On the one hand, that is ok. I mean I'm coming to recognize that sometimes I just get to feel how I feel...happy or not...and that I don't have to stifle that in order to be a "better" person. I just get to be how I am in the moment and that is good enough. I think I'm really getting that as I type it so let me say it again: I just get to be how I am in the moment and that is good enough. Me. Right now. Good enough. Check!
My default setting is kindness. I'm generous of spirit and I'm loving. That doesn't mean I can't ever have unkind, grumpy, selfish moments, days, or even months. They don't lessen who I am as a whole as long as I don't LIVE from those places ALL the time and as long as I don't act from a place of small-mindedness, pettiness, malice, or meanness. I'm not prone to doing that, nor have I ever been, so there is little danger there.
I read an article this week entitled "Why Women Aren't Crazy". It really has me thinking about how I express myself and how I don't. I keep looking at how often I stifle my feelings if they're not all roses and sunshine. I keep noticing how guilty I feel if I'm not HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!!
Like so many of us, I grew up being gaslighted about my feelings by my father and then by various and sundry partners over the years.
My mom, in her gentle way, kept telling me that I needed to "go with the flow" and that I should be "more compassionate." Now, let me just state clearly here that my mom actually walks her talk. She is probably the most compassionate, patient, gentle, loving soul I know. I am deeply blessed to have her as my mother and to have the amazing relationship that I share with her. I admire her so much. I admire her in particular for her ability to let go and to have genuine compassion in her heart for most everyone. I strive for that. I am not blessed with her infinite patience though, so I'm still striving and often come up short in that arena. It is a lot to live up to.
My dad, however, was a real piece of work who constantly told me that I was a bullshitter and a liar when he didn't like what I'd said or done. He discounted my feelings, he was brilliant, he was mean, and he had very little patience. Not a great combination as his child.
So somehow it is not surprising that when I have an angry, frustrated, impatient, or in any way "negative" feeling, I feel like I'm failing, and like I shouldn't be having it. Can we see where this is going?
I have spent so much of my life trying to be the "not crazy" "not difficult" girlfriend/friend/daughter/co-worker/partner that I don't always know what to do with myself when I can and SHOULD be angry, down, frustrated, pissed off and otherwise not calm. I often end up feeling quietly resentful, and as Carrie Fisher so beautifully put it "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Yeah...not so useful.
I went to acupuncture Tuesday with the brilliant Nathan, and he commented on the fact that TMJ (which I have) is more prevalent in women than in men...generally because we so often bite down hard on the things we really feel and want to say. Not surprisingly, I'm also still, er, chewing on this idea too. It all seems to tie in.
Yesterday I found in 3 places the reminder to "do something every day that scares you". Three different reminders...with pretty much exactly those words.
Then today, Thalassa posted this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-well/201109/are-you-teaching-people-treat-you-badly which is giving me even more food for thought.
Think the universe is trying to tell me something? Just maybe? *wry smile*
I suck at conflict. I don't like to "rock the boat". I am not fond of "being difficult", but today I need to do something that scares me. Especially in light of the fact that I have my evaluation review today, and everything I read in the first draft feels like a backwards compliment and has me second-guessing myself. I need to stand up for myself in this performance evaluation and calmly express my feelings that my review is inaccurate and unfair. And right now, this moment, this kind of makes me want to throw up. Ugh.
Couple this fear with the fact that my neck has been out badly since Friday and I've been in consistent pain ever since, and it doesn't make for the most positive Tanya ever.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd like to feel positive today and I don't know how, or even if I should or need to. I just need to feel how I feel and accept that it is enough.
So yes, I recognize that I have much to be thankful for. So so much. Good friends, an active life, a roof over my head, a job, family that I love, like and respect, and so much love and caring that I am wealthy with it. As always, I do not take any of that for granted. Ever. Period.
And? I'm not happy today. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I'm lonely. I'm grumpy. I'm scared. AND? I'm in a lot of pain. I don't like it one bit. I resent it like hell. And I want it all to change for the better. Stat.
So please hear me when I tell you, I'm game to find my gratitude again tomorrow. But today? I'm just trying to be ok with the fact that things are not okay.
And that? Is a huge step for me.
Photo copyright Katie Riemer