I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?
(Author: Carlos Miceli)
Blame. Fear. Fear of being out of control. Fear of not being in control. Fear of not being able to control.
I used to frequently blame myself. This is part of who I am or at least who I used to be. It was as if it was woven into the fabric of me. I got up in the morning and put on my suit of “it’s my fault” like I put on my socks. It was a suit of fear. Fear kept me from seeing how another person could be at fault and sadly reminded me it “must be my fault.”
I have come to understand but more importantly accept not everything works in my life…or perhaps not the way I would like it to work. Today I can accept this fact. My favorite sating is, “It is what it is.” I can control only so much. I cannot control others and I certainly cannot control the weather or the economy. I can only be as prepared as I can be. I have spent the majority of my life learning to let go of those things which I cannot control and accepting those things which can be uncomfortable. My Buddhist beliefs and understanding of “impermanence” have helped me arrive at this conclusion.
When I dress in the morning I realize my chest or the shirt I wear lacks a red letter “S.” I am not Superman nor am I superhuman. I wanted to be. I needed to be. I needed to control everything around me. I needed to be prepared for everything, for every contingency.
Over the years I have watched myself spin my wheels in despair. Trying to control the uncontrollable. Trying to tightly grip something to watch it slip away as if my finger were coated with a fine film of oil. I washed my hands and watched the oil reappear again and again. I was unsure from where this oil continued to reappear. I woke in the morning and it was there as if it had never left. I fought with myself; one part of my brain saying I wanted it gone, banished forever, another part of my brain fearful of what I would do without it.
I began to realize and later accept the oil which reappeared was by my choice. It certainly was not a conscious choice. Who would choose such a thing. I took the lessons I learned from my parents and adopted them as my own. If it was good enough for them it was good enough for me. I watched my dad struggle with the same struggle. I am thankful for his strength. I began to trust myself and knew I too could make the change.
I realized it was part of my suit of fear and like the remainder of the suit I did not need to wear the gloves of fear and self-blame. Today I no longer wear the gloves. They remain in the house tucked away in a dark corner of the sock drawer. You know the drawer…the one with the socks which have not been worn in years.
Today as I write this, I began to realize it is okay to clean the sock drawer out and remove the unused items. I have no plans on donating them because I don’t want the gloves to be given away. I’ll be burning these and removing them from my life for I no longer need them.