How did we ever get sold on the idea that we could always have good days and always have good relationships and always be clear headed and say and do all the right things? And why do we make ourselves wrong for feeling down or for saying the wrong thing? How did we come to accept the standard of perfection in all things? What happened to our margin for error?
Don't we know that we need the darkness to have the light? That polarity and contrast create passion? We spend time judging ourselves and others. I have an updated attitude about the dark side. Instead of expecting it to be gone and spending my energy trying to prevent its presence and then feeling like I failed, now I simply acknowledge it and go one step further. I accept its presence because I know that it will pass and really good stuff like clarity, inspiration, wisdom, and creativity are on the other side. I forgive myself for not being "perfect". I once heard that perfection is the lowest standard. I love that.
If you're feeling on top of the world and able to identify triggers and projection and not internalize other people's shit, don't read this. If you sometimes feel like you're standing on the edge of an abyss and you're not sure if you're being rational or crazy and your demons and fear are calling to you and you're about to fall into the pit, read this.
Believe me, I try my best to learn as I go, to correct my mistakes, to evolve, to be self aware, to be courageous with my own shit, but try as hard as I can, I find myself in the same patterns. Clearly, the universe is teaching me a lesson. If only it were a little clearer. I'll deal with it, I'll do the work if I just knew what it was that needed getting done.
So let me give you some specifics of my latest teetering on the edge of the abyss. I recognize when someone I'm with gets triggered. By getting triggered, I mean when someone reacts to me in a way that is extreme relative to the reality of the situation. For example, let's say...
You know that feeling of an endless pit in your stomach filled with sludge? It's heavy and deep and you can't lighten it or clear it no matter what you try? You know rationally that there's no reason for you to feel bad, but emotionally you can't shift it. Yeh, me neither.
My mother taught me that I had control over my emotions. It was as simple as choosing to be happy. "Turn that frown upside down." "Pull yourself up by your boot straps." "Wallowing in misery is self indulgent." This way of thinking came with many messages: You're weak if you're upset. You are only worthy of attention when you're happy and accomplished. When you feel bad, you should shove it aside quickly.
So I learned that if I couldn't snap myself out of a bad mood, that there was something wrong with me, that I was deficient, weak. I was ashamed about my lack of control. I carried this through my adulthood, believing that we could be happy most of the time. We just had to try harder to control our focus.