Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mindfulness Day- 18?- The Lies My Ego Tells Me

So, here we are on Mindfulness day 18, I think it is? I've lost count of what day it is and as I predicted I am too busy to blog often about it.  I'd love to be able to, but life gets in the way.

In these last couple weeks I have noticed something.  It's been there causing trouble this whole time, but I had been unaware of it.  As I am being more compassionate with myself and letting go of perfection thinking I have become aware of some negative thought patterns that were lurking just beneath the surface.  They required my belief to be strong that I was indeed not good at anything and less worthy than others.  They thrived off this mindset.  As I let go of these thoughts that I held as absolute truths these other negative behaviors showed themselves.  These beliefs were that since I held myself in such a negative light and saw this as nothing but the truth, then others do as well.

I approached every sentence, every action and every facial expression from other people to be somewhat malicious.  It was just an assumption that since I thought I was such an awful person others must, as well.  I felt like I was defending myself in every conversation and being on the look out for being the victim.  Something so simple as my husband asking me if I had checked the mail today when he arrived home from work could be interpreted by me as negative.  My thoughts could go something like this:
"What does he mean?" I'd pause and look for any clue that he was irritated or mad in his face.
"I should have checked the mail."
"He probably thinks I'm lazy"
"He's out at work all day and I can't even check the mail."
"I really shouldn't spend so much time _______ or ______-."
"He could probably find someone else that would do better than me."
Then, sometimes (not always) from there I will get defensive, as if he actually said these things. Then, my thoughts go from self loathing to defensiveness. I begin to think things like:
"Well, he doesn't know how hard it is to keep this house up!"
"I'd like to see him find someone who will do it better!"
From here my mood can go to any direction that's negative. I might get angry and resentful and begin to speak to my husband as if he actually said these things.  I might get depressed and whiny, or perhaps go straight for the anorexic route, where I decide I need to restrict my food, because somehow, that will fix this.

It doesn't matter which way I might go with it, because they all end up in a destination of misery.  They all start with my belief that I'm not okay. That I am defective and others know it, too.  Some of this isn't just me being irrational, because I know that as a child growing up in a dysfunctional home where I was always the scapegoat everyone really did believe that I was unworthy. There was a lot of insults and mind games that were hidden in between the lines.  This isn't really just a product of an overactive imagination.  This is the result of years of self preservation.  The issue is, is that the patterns we learn in dysfunctional families only work in that dysfunctional unit.  Everywhere else we apply them, they are a disaster!

This is a major step in freeing myself up from the cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors.  Having this revelation has enabled me to be able to question the authenticity of my assumptions that I previously held as facts, without question.  Now, I can approach life from a different angle and in doing this, get different results. I can choose to view others actions and words through a lens of positivity and kindness, assuming the best of intentions. Of course, this doesn't always mean that others do have good intentions, but I'll let them carry their own hate and negativity around.  I don't want it.  I'd rather keep my head up and move forward, instead of getting stuck in drama of what others think.  There are more important things in life to worry about than if so and so thinks this or that about me and what I'm going to do to show them they're wrong.  My ego doesn't get to call driver's seat anymore. I don't like where it takes me.


20 comments:

  1. It takes a lot to get over the damage families do to their children, and each other, I got rid of all my negative feelings and thoughts a long time ago with the help of an excellent book "Families, and How To Survive Them" by Robin Skynner and John Cleese. Glad to see you're finding a way too :)

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    1. I'm glad you were able to successfully overcome your family challenges. Sometimes, it's difficult, but well worth the effort, I'm sure!

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  2. This is a fabulous post!! So insightful! Thank you for sharing...

    Leah

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    1. Thanks for your comment and for reading, Leah! :)

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  3. Wonderful insight as usual. I can relate on so many levels and it's something I've been working hard at correcting for over a year and a half now. It's something I suspect I will always have to do maintanance on...practice makes perfect right?

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  4. Wonderful insight as usual. I can relate on so many levels and it's something I've been working hard at correcting for over a year and a half now. It's something I suspect I will always have to do maintanance on...practice makes perfect right?

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    1. I suspect I will always have to work at this, as well, to some degree. Seems we kind of never fully shake off the way we were brought up, but with effort I hope it becomes easier. Kudos to us for doing what needs to be done and making things better for our kids!

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  5. This is a MAJOR step! congratulations! If you are aware you can do something about it. Taking back your power is always better than to be a victim of thoughts/people!

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  6. I absolutely love this post. Epiphanies like this are truly life changing. All your hard working is starting to pay off. You really are inspirational xxx

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  7. Excellent post! I can relate very much and I am working on not allowing negativity influence me any longer as well. (Including my own that I have adopted because of others.) It is great to know that I am not alone on this journey. I get encouraged every time I pop over here and read your posts!

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    1. Thank you! I need to pop over to your blog and catch up, because I feel the same way every time I read it. I feel like you're living my life. You're definitely not alone.

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  8. Same with me. Awesome post! THANK YOU!

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  9. Wow! sensational post - with so much in there for all of us. Thanks for sharing!

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