Am I An Asshole?
Some things kicking around my head today.
I've spent a long time prosecuting myself for bad thoughts I have. They can make me feel like I should be locked in a cold dingy cell rocking back and forth, no contact with the outside world. They make me feel stuck, frozen, and like I don't deserve good things. They cause me anxiety and depression. They make sure that I don't love fully, myself or anyone else, and they make sure that I know I don't deserve to be loved. Because how could I be? I have these bad thoughts, so I am a dirty, stupid, bad person/asshole. And then on top of it, I’ve spent so much energy trying to be good and perfect, so I feel even worse thinking that it’s all for nothing. And then...more depression...
Somewhere along the way, though, I began to see that these thoughts weren't actually ME. Why was I judging myself based on these things? Thoughts aren't real. They only become real if you identify with them, if you believe in them, if you let them use you. And, I also began to see that as human beings, we ALL have dark thoughts, surprising fantasies, anger, revenge, envy, hatred, etc. If we keep these hidden, we feel alone, we become ashamed, and then the shame is salt in the wound. Drives us deeper into feeling unworthy, and potentially could cause us to act on the bad thoughts because we believe it's "who we are". The mind is a dangerous place, especially when left in the dark. How many times have you felt deep inside that something wasn't right, but you were able to rationalize it with your mind and thoughts and you did it anyway? How did that turn out? I'm not saying this to make you judge yourself (so please don't!) but it's more of a science experiment - discovering and observing as a way to break habits, patterns, and build awareness.
I see now that it's not the thoughts that are the problem - there HAS to be dark with the light. There HAS to be contrast and duality to make anything in this world exist. So - the fact that I do have dark or bad or scary thoughts means that I also have the opposite. And, what I believe to be the only thing that is real - LOVE - does not have an opposite. It's not created by the mind, it just IS. Like us, if we let ourselves just Be.
So I went through a huge Harry Potter obsession just a month or two ago, (and will probably do it again because HARRY POTTER!!!), and I re-read the entire series and then re-watched all the movies. All Harry, all the time. Anyway, there was this part where he was all worried about the darkness taking over him and Sirius Black said: "We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." And for some reason, in that moment, I felt something in me let go. (Yes, during a Harry Potter movie.) I saw all the dark thoughts and shameful things in my head I had been obsessing over and freaked out about and realized that they didn't matter - it was only if I acted on them that they became real. From there I realized that the thoughts had nothing to do with who I actually AM.
Our minds are like sponges - they take in anything from anywhere even unconsciously and turn up in the thoughts you think. The mind is always on, always working, and it's why it can drive us absolutely mad. The things I learned, the things I saw, what was on TV, how my family behaved around me and towards me, the way I was treated, all that stuff (some pretty shitty) that happened to me in the past contributed to my thoughts. I also saw I was being so hard on myself and judgemental when sometimes disturbing ones would come.
It's like locking a kid in a dark room alone for a year, only taking them out to treat them badly, then being angry at them after they're out for thinking that people are untrustworthy and the world is scary. I mean, that's pretty extreme - but you can see how their picture of reality would be very different than someone who was held and loved and tucked in at night and free to see the world. And, none of it is THEM - it's just a product of their experiences. (Like Eleven from Stranger Things when she got locked in Mike's closet that one time - the memories of being locked up and treated the way she was treated - I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it - but why haven't you seen it?!- made her freak out.) It's easier though to be easy on someone and be tough on yourself. I know.
Life is tough enough as it is. We all have been through difficult things and experiences and none of them is better or worse than another. It's time to stop judging ourselves and other people and instead show compassion and openness about our darkness because it loses it's hold on us when we share it. I've said it before and I'll say it again - shining light on the shadows makes them smaller and smaller until they disappear. Let's forgive ourselves no matter what, because we're more than our past, more than our thoughts. They're merely distractions from being who we were born to be.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, but these are just some things I've learned along the way. I still battle with this - it's just a part of being a human in this crazy world. Writing this and sharing this is part of my healing, even if some of it may not make sense even to me, I'm putting it out there anyway. (Even if my mind is rationalizing and telling me all the reasons not to. I've almost not posted at least 5 times. Hah. And still am contemplating not posting.lol.)
BUT I'M GONNA DO IT. HERE I GO.
All my love,