I have always wondered about the antler growing process on a deer. Or any other horned animal. I'd look at these heavy, majestic, massive, intricate horns and wonder
A) How the hell do they walk around with those things??
B) How insanely uncomfortable it must be to have the horns poke through the animals' heads.
Imagine hard, sharp objects fighting to pierce through your scalp. It's like teething from your skull. Babies writhe in agony as their teeth come in, and we parents desperately try to soothe them, knowing there's not much we can do. It's just a shitty process that's biologically necessary.
I am learning that life is a continuous series of shitty, difficult, uncomfortable growth processes. I often write about how growth is hard. That's because it is. Army crawling through dark tunnels of the mind, so that we can come out into the light of the other side. This doesn't appear to ever stop, and while that sounds annoying and exhausting, it also means we never stop growing. No tunnels means no emergence into light.
I have been reading a lot lately on self study, as a means to rework my thoughts and reactions. This is very uncomfortable work. It requires reaching deep into childhood memories to begin to understand our current state of adulthood. Why we react the way we do. Why certain situations trigger the F out of us. Why we are people pleasers, overachievers, why we choose people who enable us to perpetuate unhealthy patterns. Why we always need to be the mouse running through the maze, enduring hits and roadblocks just to get the cheese. It's the cheese we want, right? That little reward at the end that convinces us it was all worth it. We are good little boys and girls if we secured the prize. In my case the cheese is crumbs of affection, which I realized recently I've had to fight for my entire life. This is a hard truth, yet it explains oceans about my behavior and choices. I plan ahead, overdo, and preempt so I can ensure I get the cheese out of self protection. This was never done for me, so my self preservation instincts kicked in long ago so I can help myself. Or rather, I think I'm helping myself by getting that instant gratification, but I'm really harming myself. By focusing on the cheese, my vision of the process becomes very cloudy. I don't see people and scenarios as sharply as I should since I'm going for the prize. This is ironic and ridiculous, given what an observant, tapped in person I am.
I recently went through several instances that have forced me (thank god) to turn inward and figure my shit out. It was time. Time to face facts and gain awareness in order to change. The first step to achieving different results (and I REALLY want different results) is awareness. And awareness is tough because it humbles the shit out of us. It forces us to see how we are far less in control we are than we want to believe. We cling so tightly to convictions, rationalizations, and patterns in order to convince ourselves we have our lives together. It is very hard to admit we don't. However without this admittance, we will forever be stuck. There is no chance of a different outcome without a different process. I have been learning that any suffering and anxiety I feel is a chance to dig deep and approach things differently.
I have read this from Deepak Chopra to life coaches on Instagram. My fave IG coaches are Mark Groves @createthelove and Abraham Hicks; both of these accounts help me tremendously. Anxiety, fear, frustrations, and anger can be seen as blessings. We get to learn about ourselves which will only lead to uncovering better versions of who we are. If we don't look we simply don't find. In my case, the knee buckling fear I feel when I don't feel seen/acknowledged/responded to needed to be addressed. It's insane that a text message from a guy, or lack thereof, should determine the course of my day. None of my reactions stem from insecurities; that would make more sense. I am very aware of what I bring to the table. So then why am I like this? I needed to learn and begin to sort out what are old reactions to what is relevant now. They're all pretty much old butterflies that still come swarming at me now. They're not real though, I conjure them up out of habit. And habits can be broken. It was hard to quit sucking my thumb at 15 (!!) but I did it and now have beautiful teeth. Even harder was to change my diet and workout routines, but now I have a body I truly love. It was difficult to start waking up at 5:45 to go to my sunrise yoga class, but that gave me an entirely new life. I have changed much tougher patterns; I can do this. I am stronger than I give myself credit for, another pattern created from being so used to not receiving credit from others.
Women in general have a hard time crediting ourselves. It's seen as selfish and egotistical. In fact, refusing to learn about ourselves is selfish, because we are unconsciously choosing to deprive our loved ones of our best selves. If we really want to give, which we do, we have to be as emotionally healthy as possible. To not do this work because we don't want to admit we aren't perfect; THAT is the egotistical piece. We will be painfully astounded by what we need to realize about ourselves. There's no room for ego in this process, which is a gift. To have true, pure results out of life we need to face rejection, hurt, confusion, and abandonment. Use rejection as a chance to explore why you are feeling rejected in the first place. Understand all the crazy assumptions and scenarios you concoct in order to gain false control over situations. As soon as I started to see all this, I felt stuff begin to melt away. Shedding skin, leaving old crap behind. Yoga, by the way, teaches all of this. All. Which is why I responded so quickly to its teachings. I was ready to become a new Me, I just needed help.
If I examine my life today, I am factually no longer unseen. I am objectively acknowledged. I am actively living out my dreams and pursuing my passions. I am clear on my purpose and path. On paper I have a completely actualized life that I'm proud of. So to tie up my happiness in a text message or phone call from some dude is nuts. I know I'm a Kween, I just need to align my actions with that fact. And since my actions stem from my reactions, then my reactions needed some serious dissection. In science class, we dissect specimens to learn every detail about them. You are your most important specimen. There is no education without dissection, which requires sharp tools. They say stagnation is death because without change there is no life. It's true, the years of my life that were identical and stagnant weren't such happy years for me. It's unnatural to have all remain status quo. We are nature, and nature demands change. To not evolve is to battle all nature asks of us. Which is why it feels so lousy, even if we can't identify it. In yoga we flow. We stay firm yet flexible. We stay strong yet soft. We believe in ourselves but are humbled to learning more. We change shape while reveling in our firm connection to the earth. We pump ourselves full of self love while simultaneously welcoming space for newness.
Man, I love this practice. But to practice takes discipline. It requires physically and emotionally showing up. It's called a practice, even by the masters, because perfection is never achieved. We are always a work in progress. I love the image of the beautiful lotus emerging from the mud. From ugliness comes beauty. From pain comes wonder. And like the antlers on a deer, we can carry a far heavier load than we ever thought possible. As we poke through our own thoughts we rise majestically. We teethe like babies to create necessary new stages of growth. How lucky are we to begin to know this? To turn pain into progress. Turning hell into healing. We have every tool needed to do this. Don't be afraid. This is a private journey that you don't need to blog about if you don't want to. That's why I'm here. The first step is understanding fear. The second you start that you are immediately braver. And when you claim back your bravery, that's when you line up with yourself.
Deer God, you so deserve to feel like the warrior you are. But first, the training. You weren't created for a mediocre half life. Go get yourself. You'll fall, cry, and bleed along the way, but forgive yourself for tripping (I'm a perfectionist so this part really challenges me). And if someone makes you feel less than worthy, after constructing the voodoo doll, thank them silently for forcing you to face the need for introspection. Let your pain teach you and guide you to a stronger mental plane. It will be the best trip you ever take. I know you can do this because I can, and we are all the same underneath the layers of nonsense we bury ourselves in. This is such a loaded post and I'm not really sure what the perfect closing line should be. Perhaps giving up the idea of perfection is where I leave you... Yeah, that sounds right.