April 30, 2008

I can handle the truth....

A good friend of mine wrote this phrase in his most recent blog, and it's resonating with me still:
Like most people I don't like to be told the truth about myself, but when I do hear it, when the skin has stopped the claret flush, and the room has ceased thumping, I can begin to respect the messenger. And love myself more honestly.

So what is the truth about myself?

I've been told that I give the impression that I'm arrogantly detached from what other's are saying. I don't give cues that show that I care at all about what is being told to me. It's of no value to me, or so it seems. I overtalk, I interupt, I get easily distracted and shift my attention away. What a selfish narcissist I must come across as!

I wish that people knew how hard I try to be everything to everyone. I plan ahead. I anticipate multiple scenarios and formulate what actions I can take to please everyone. It almost always blows up in my face, leaving me feeling ineffective and useless. And unappreciated. Could I ever be loved if I was just simply "me?" As messed up as I am?

My biggest fear is being abandoned. I'm always half expecting to be, and I've never been let down. How can I prevent my life from being a series of self-fulfilling prophecies? Is healing even possible? Who will be there to witness it all? There have been those who have physically stayed...even when the emotional abandonment was done years earlier. That kind of punishment just adds insult to injury.

I'm very proud of myself that I've been crying all morning. Numbness would be my familiar escape. I've healed enough that I can recognize this pattern in myself and stop it before it takes over. I've already lost too many years in that black hole. Still, the fear is paralyzing! It's so powerful and maddening and crushingly overwhelming. There are some who would delight to see me suffering — my own karma, they'd say. And I'd say, fine, I deserve this and I'll take it all. And more.

I've only found two things that can help me break through the numbness creeping in. Holding hands with someone who deeply loves me. Hugs and kisses won't do it — I can shut that out easily enough. But palm to palm, I'm forced to feel connected, and numbness begins to dissolve, always with tears. The second thing is music. I think I'd die without music. I'm an emotional poet at heart — and words heal my soul in very powerful ways. Even better if I can sing and scream and cry. As the old saying goes, "those that sing, pray twice."

I am willing to admit that I am damn hard to love. It's hard to love myself on most days, but I've learned that it's the only option. So I make peace with my faults and try to love myself a little more for them.

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