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.