Today is a serious beginning.
I made a date with my friend Hannah to write for an hour. Hannah was the right person to handle me. She has a killer corporate lawyer part that wrangles my resistance and holds me accountable.
Panic resounds inside my head. Oh NO, I haven’t found a caterer for tonight’s party; Oh no, I NEED to get a run in; Oh No, I NEED to vacuum the cat hair from under my bed!
I text Hannah: “Hey, wanna go for a run instead? Hey, I’m freaking out about finding a caterer for tonights party! Hey, are you too busy to meet? In her firm but sweet way, replies, “I’ll see you at 12:00”
f*&%, the resistant donkey part of me says inside my head. I’m screwed.
I examine my resistance. For the first time, I am curious about it. It just seems so… hysterical. What’s all the fuss and drama about? More quiet voices lurk beneath the hysterical melodrama, screeching like nails on chalkboard — What makes you think you can write? Who do you think you are? What are you going to DO with an hour of writing? Why don’t you do something more productive? Why do you spend time doing nonsense? I listen carefully and realize those are voices that I heard growing up with my Korean family.
There are moments when your own hypocrisy shows up and slaps you on your own doorstep. It amazes me after all this time, even as a mature, professional adult, my parents voices continue to dictate my decisions. Me, a brilliant therapist who so cleverly excises her patient’s resistance day in and day out. I wonder about the parts of me, who grew up absorbing the messages parents and other adults transmitted consciously and unconsciously. I leads me to examine the anxious panic when I engage in the “taboo” things that go against my parents beliefs about how I should conduct my life. Something as minor as taking an hour of my time to do something creative wreaks havoc in my internal belief system.
What’s so BAD about doing something different than what I know? Why is i transgressive to do things that may prove my parents wrong or expose them as a fearful, risk adverse mortal beings? When I think back on where these beliefs came from, I recall the indignant rage I felt as an adolescent. “My parents are SO unfair. They have no idea what REAL life is.”
I am now about the same age as my parents when I was that teen. I too have some fears about the unknown…and the realization that in my lifetime, I may never reach the possibilities that I fantasized about so easily as a child. This is the real reason the voices are so incessant. Parts of me mimic my parents and unconsciously sabotage my success in order to protect me from disappointment and failure.
The real tragedy in this is that the very fear they perpetuated to avoid the pain is what kept them from feeling the joy. What they were afraid allow themselves to know, is that however brief it may be, to enjoy a moment of time creating, loving and feeling joy along with sadness, disappointment and loss are just part of a larger tapestry of life. My present self can impart this wisdom to my fearful internal voices: Isn’t it wonderful that you are willing to take the time to create and enjoy things in your life. The other stuff – disappointment, loss, and fear are just part of living.
Feel into all of it. Spend time creating something out of it. Take the time to rediscover your own voice, again and again. It’s the only way to keep your inner spirit alive.