If you read my last couple of essays than you know I have become obsessed with the idea of having two versions of myself. It all started with watching the movie ‘Another Earth’, which by the way is unbelievably good. I find myself daydreaming of my other version. Maybe an earlier version of myself, maybe a completely different version of me, or maybe it’s an identical me walking around.
Lately I have spent time going back in my mind at the earlier version of myself. This morning I came across a part of me that I forgot had existed. It showed itself to me and I stopped for a second, I thought, wow I can’t believe that was me.
Years ago I had a bad habit. Every single time I was around other people I was under tremendous anxiety. When I would leave the company I was in the torment would begin. I would convince myself that the people I was with would talk about me behind my back. I would convince myself that I had said something ‘stupid’ as I always did, or so I thought, and that they would have somethign to say about that. I would have these thoughts even when I was with my best friends. I always had this underlying feeling of ‘little-ness’ ‘un-important’ and ‘not worthy’. I somehow always thought that all those around me had something special that I just couldn’t wrap my hands around. There was always something that I thought was missing inside of me.
Really! I am quite sure that this is not the description that fits me best. When reading the words it seems even more outlandish that we could ever think of ourselves in terms like this.
I am not quite sure how I let that bad habit go, but I did. I am so thankful for that. I suppose I filled those feelings of unimportance and nothingness with feelings of love and gratitude. Like any bad habit they do try to creep back into your life. They try to worm their way back into your good graces. They try to set up shop and come back home.
Practicing self-love is a practice just as you would practice yoga. I have to be completely aware and present of the choices I make in regards to how I am with myself. I still sometimes am in shock at how comfortable I am with who I am. This whole conversation has come up for me because the old habit is trying to weasel its way back to me.
One of the strange things that has happened to me with my medical problems is unexplained weight gain. I found myself yesterday having this old and boring conversation with myself. If I just lose the 20 pounds then I will be happy. If I just lose the 20 pounds then people will see me as a ‘better’ yoga teacher. If I just lose 20 pounds then I will be ‘better’ than I am now. I stopped myself dead in my tracks yesterday and gave myself an imaginary slap in the face. I know better than this. I know that if I am not happy now 20 pounds won’t magically make me ‘happier’.
Then I came across an essay written by another woman. It was very intense and personal. It was one of the most real and raw things I have ever read. A woman who according to ‘America’s’ standards is drop dead gorgeous. Tall, blonde and beautiful. A well spoken and intelligent woman who is seemingly perfect on the outside, while on the inside breaking apart. She is just moments away from shattering into a million little pieces. I don’t know why but I was completely stunned. I am human and I sometimes forget that we can all be good actors, we can all hide the real versions of ourselves. As I read her essay I was floored with some of the intense and honest words that came out of her mouth. I realized that so many of us struggle with this basic and most fundamental acceptance of ourselves, especially women. So much pressure that we put on ourselves. This woman was so honest and it got me thinking about things that I need to get more honest about in my own life.
I have spent many years working towards self-actualization. I have spent countless hours alone with my thoughts and facing all the things that make me who I am. I am always willing to take a look deeper and discover more of me, and work towards a better me. I am facing this bump in the road head on. When these bumps in the road come up they shake me at my foundation. I have worked so hard to leave those pieces of me where they belong, in version 1. I had a habit of waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the good to turn to bad, for something to go wrong. I have a hard time believing that this could really stick, so these little reminders take hold of me for a minute. I am thankful that I am able to release them back to where they belong before they spread to my entire being. My new habit is to face all my issues with total and complete honesty and then go forward from there. It has helped release me from unwanted and unnecessary stress in my life.
Where can you get more honest in your life? Where do you think that honesty will affect you the most?
I would love to hear your feedback.