When reflecting on what to write, I continue to circle around the unchanged state of things. It’s been more than two weeks since my last post, and while I wanted to state I was out of the muck, wanted to report a newfound contentment, it wouldn’t be true. It would be a mask to cover over the sharp-edged parts of myself I’d rather not acknowledge. But where does a forced smile and cheery “I’m fine” get me? What does it say about me if I’m afraid to bare my flaws and own my shortcomings? Hiding and tamping down will neither resolve my issues nor enable growth.
Perhaps to grow as a person, I must peer inside the shadowy caverns within me, shed light on the troubled bits, and flay them open on the lab table. Dissect them–my anger, disappointment, impatience, melancholia, harshness cut open under the microscope in hopes of making sense of where the problems originate and how I might shrink or harvest the ailing cells before they spread.
When I don’t get enough time to myself, everyone, including my most beloved, appears an imposition, people to tolerate rather than adore and enjoy. They don’t deserve that, but when I’m sleep-deprived my patience goes out the window. A fussy baby or an overflowing recycling bin can be the last straw…
If I’m unhappy, I snap at people, most often my husband because he’s there, no matter that he’s done nothing but strive to help and please me. Then in my angry state, I don’t want to be touched or assuaged, just left alone, which further alienates and hurts their feelings. When it’s restlessness or sadness instead, I bake, bake and eat. Cookies and ice cream offer the serotonin spike I haven’t mastered obtaining naturally yet.
I dwell routinely on the status of my body and my finances, despite both being relatively okay and on the upswing. I take myself so seriously and struggle to lighten up, haven’t been able to play, even as a child. I’m melancholy by nature and worry I’ll never be fully content. I’m ever critical of others but rarely myself, speaking brutal honesty even when unsolicited. I need to be right or I feel like I’ve failed, like I don’t measure up. Yet I don’t speak up when asked for my preference only to harbor resentment for going along with things I don’t want to do, eat, or watch. I make the wrong things known.
I repeat these same mistakes over and over, knowing how it plays out. So much splayed open– cancerous pieces of myself that I’ve identified, voiced, and need desperately to carve out of myself. If only it were that quick to be rid of the ugliness I carry.
I’m sure we all carry our own brittle truths, the ways we fall short of our ideal selves. Why wouldn’t we want to be instantly rid of it all if we could? We learn to be ashamed of these pieces of ourselves. Most of the time we bury them or allow them to overtake us.
We need to claim them, investigate the root causes, symptoms, and triggers. We must play scientist to our internal workings and examine the darkness. We must challenge ourselves to an uncomfortable baring of our own rotten cells in order to heal. It’s only in healing ourselves and resolving to be kind and true to who we are that we can be wholly kind and true to others.