This morning I woke up feeling like the shittiest person who’s ever lived. It doesn’t of course take a lot of reflection to realize that that simply can’t be true: I haven’t started wars, I haven’t tortured anyone, locked someone away, starved someone, nor have I ever consciously abused anyone, physically or psychologically.
So, that cleared, I wish the feeling of being shitty would have been cleared, too, but unfortunately, my primitive brain isn’t that easily convinced. My inner guidance, much wiser, but unfortunately also much more timid, is telling me that my primitive brain has made the false association between FEELING shitty and BEING shitty. So, when I woke up hurting (shoulders) and also sad and exhausted after a night of poor quality sleep, craving chocolate first thing, feeling like a generally bad person and especially bad parent, not knowing how to be able to meet the day, and above all FEELING BAD FOR EXPERIENCING AND FEELING ALL THESE THINGS, my primitive brain and it’s league of inner critics were loudly and unmistakeably telling me how bad a person I am.
At breakfast, tears running down my face, I am quietly asking my husband for forgiveness. Over and over again. Please forgive me for not being a better person. For not holding up better. Please forgive me and please don’t leave me.
Inner guidance is simultaneously whispering: There’s nothing to forgive. There is nothing to forgive! We are all doing the best we can and it’s okay.
It’s just not what it feels like.
And while there truly is a part of me that wants to evolve, wondering why it just isn’t happening, I guess I have to come to terms with that I am still not really feeling safe and / or emancipated enough to let go of chocolate as comfort, and asking friends for confirmation and encouragement. Sometimes, I’m even begging for it. A kind part of myself is telling me that that’s okay and that being where I am is not making me worthless, nor does it invalidate the growth, learnings, and insights that I have already acquired. Nor does it make my love and compassion smaller.
Okay, admittedly, I’m still not really buying it, not on a day such as today. Hopefully though, one day I can wake up in a state like this and have compassion for myself, for the pain and the bad sleep, realizing that chocolate craving in the morning can be due to low blood sugar, that it mustn’t necessarily mean that I’m a hopeless addict, and meet myself with compassion and curiously ask myself how I can best take care of myself, in order to feel better.
If I already know (at least partly) how to handle things better, why oh why, is it so difficult to just do it?
As my coach and friend Rick Wilkes* pointed out to me, there’s a chasm between inner guidance and how we feel in our body-mind. How we feel does not equal who we are. And there isn’t anything to forgive. Shame is never guidance. Shame is an “alert” — to the chasm.
Oh, how I’d love to be part of evolving and crossing that chasm and raising the awareness about it, rather than just wishing to have crossed it…
(Rick Wilkes from Thrivingnow.com has been a fabulous mentor and coach during rough times and is generously sharing his wisdom, but above all, teaching people to find their own inner wisdom. If that sounds appealing to you, I encourage you to check out Thrivingnow.com )