Recently, I have had the distinct feeling that the stronger I become, and the closer I come to who I really am, the stronger forces of destruction are rising to keep me where I was.
This comes in many forms from people (with smiling faces) who are uncomfortable with my healthier eating habits who say things like “Oh that doesn’t look like enough food. You should eat more.”
Or maybe it’s deciding to only let men into my life who are capable of caring about my feelings and having a few good looking but completely self-absorbed dudes suddenly swim into my territory like sharks who would have no remorse over tearing me apart. The voices of these little devils are not overtly mean; these voices are seductive and welcoming, and they tell me I’m beautiful.
More than any of these outside factors, however, is my own internal resistance to deep down believing that I deserve something good. My own biggest enemy is inside me. For example, when I get up at 5 a.m. to do yoga, and I hear the nasty whisper of some old voice telling me, “Who do you think you are? You doing yoga? You’re tired. Just go back to bed. Yoga and a fit body is for other people. Not you. You can’t really do this.”
My own little mean voice is sometimes like a little breeze that I barely notice, and other times it’s a sick tornado that takes my breath away and destroys my life to shreds, but it never really seems to go away.
I’m not sure how to get rid of this little cockroach of a voice, but I’m starting to think of standing up to it the same way I approach my yoga practice. For instance, there are some poses that I could not do a few months ago which are now part of my practice because I faltered, failed, got frustrated, felt tired, felt humbled, but I persisted even though my muscles shook, and little by little, I learned how to do things like headstands.
It’s easier to realize how other people are trying to derail me than it is to realize and confront the multiple ways I derail myself. I recently thought that destructive forces have increased their efforts to smother me, but someone I trust recently said maybe the destructive voice inside my head that wants me to sleep in and eat tortilla chips and the outside forces of destruction aren’t getting stronger; maybe I’m just becoming more sensitive and aware of what’s been there all along and never previously questioned.
Maybe some people have never really been on my side and felt more comfortable befriending me when I was down or was unquestioningly fulfilling their needs above my own or if I didn’t ask for anything in return like support and kindness. Maybe I was okay with this because I didn’t think I deserved better. I need to think about this. I need to think about a lot of things.
Apparently, I need to keep fucking up, faltering, getting tired, feeling humbled, getting it wrong, and feeling hopeless and trying one more time and one more time until I’m crying and my hands are shaking because this is how I really get stronger.
Every time I recognize one of the many creative ways the sneaky, sinister destructive voice inside my head that wants me to sleep in, eat too much or reach for companionship from someone who isn’t capable of caring about my feelings, I’ve uncovered a hiding place; I’ve shined a light on something that was once hidden.
Even though shining a light on my own various forms of self-destruction isn’t going to make them go away, I’m going to keep discovering whatever I discover, and I’m going to keep getting up, and getting up, and getting up again until one more piece of me gets stronger because I’m worth fighting for.
I hope my blog inspires you to believe in yourself more and feel less alone in the world. I, for one, am inspired by the imperfections of others who continue to rise up again and again despite life's challenges. May we find ways to inspire and support each other.