I was suffering the easily foreseeable consequences. Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is witheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore– despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have ‘that thing’ even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is,you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess,unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that’s it. You have now reached infatuation’s final destination– the complete and merciless devaluation of self. ― Elizabeth Gilbert
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
“I want to push you away, but what I really want is to pull you closer.”
…but that’s not what she said.
She just pushed.
Until she was too far away to be pulled close to anyone.
We say “yes” to others at the expense of ourselves because we are ‘unable’ to say “no.”
The fear of losing love? Fear of disappointing others? The need to be ever present? Ever available? To prove one’s value/worth? To retain some sort of control? To avoid our own lives?
We suffocate our self/best interest because, the idea of saying “yes” to yourself– especially if it means saying “no” to others, is unnerving.
Why does me > you?
Are we not meant to help others? Are we not meant to serve a higher purpose then ourselves? Selflessness is a virtue, right?
Or, is saying yes to others more self-serving/preservation?
Saying yes to oneself is to take accountability for one’s life; one’s happiness. With this comes responsibility:
Who will we have to blame for our unhappiness?
Perhaps it is easier to live a life of servitude, a ‘victim’ of circumstance then take accountability for our own lives, but is that not a choice we make?
Perhaps it is easier for me to help you achieve your goals then to pursue mine, because if I pursue mine and fail… How will I live with that? That’s far too heavy a burden to carry. But if I help with yours, I can console myself, “I couldn’t follow my dreams because I was helping him/her pursue theirs.”
Let me say yes to you because I’m afraid of saying yes to myself? Or, let me say no to myself because it’s easier then saying no to you?
If that’s the case, is there even such a thing as people pleasing? I please you because it pleases me to do so. I serve you because I want to or because I don’t want to serve myself.
So, who are we really pleasing?
I still am…
reactive. emotional. intense. overwhelming. elusive. sarcastic. dramatic. naive. immature. codependent. independent. petty. evil. hurt. jaded. jealous. small. cocky. tenacious. persistent. annoyingly persistent. adamant. stubborn. a believer. reluctant to believe. conflicted. honest. hesitant. hidden. analytical. observant. selective. boundless. guarded. unwanted. desired. a try-hard. a tries-too-hard. determined. disciplined. self-doubtful. angry. enraged. resilient. inadequate. over-thinker. passionate. eager. anxious. misguided. misinterpreted. compassionate. argumentative. irrational. ignorant. educated. wise. oblivious. strong. straightforward. verbose. performer. powerful. hungry. lustful. aggressive. insatiable. competitive. arrogant. guilty. remorseful. sorry. condemned. romantic. hopeful.
I still am more than words, actions, and feelings in conflict with one another. More so now than ever.
I still am human and Istill aspire to be more than that. Sometimes I still delude myself into believing I am.
I still struggle every day (for a better tomorrow).
I no longer fight without fear of pain or failure because I know what pain and failure feels like (now). So I fight to avoid that pain, I fight to avoid that failure.
Sometimes I win.
Sometimes I retreat to fight another day.
Always fighting (if only with myself). Always struggling (if only to keep up with my own expectations). Always hoping (that one day, it will all be worth it).
There is always someone willing to do what you refuse to, or hesitate to do. Waiting. Anticipating.
A friend once told me, “life is adversity.”
Buddhism has taught me, life is suffering.
Prima facie, these notions appear pessimistic, though they are not. If we concede that life is suffering and full of struggles, we enable a happier life. Less disappointment. Less discouragement.
I try to exude positivity and joy, but it would be fallacious to say that I embody positivity and joy all the time.
Nor would I want to.
Dark times have the potential to turn friends into enemies and family into strangers. Dark times also have potential to be cultivated into something powerful.
I’m learning. Fumbling my way through this process of cultivating my (better) self. Writing, training, conversing with others and reflecting on all of the above have been the foundations for my development in this area.
I may not be there yet; but I am not who I used to be.