Hopping on the Proud Cloud
One thing I like to do that really helps as I grow up is to look back and see where I’ve come from. Twelve Step groups use this technique and call it “Telling Your Story.” Sometimes, when we are moving through a rough patch, it can feel like we’ve made no progress at all ever, and it’s always been like this. Looking back can really help.
These days, I feel pretty great most of the time. It seems miraculous to me, but it’s really just the predictable result from the work I’ve done. There have been times when my home was plastered with reminders on sticky notes, Creative Questions cards tucked everywhere, rubber bands on my wrist.
I sought out teachers, always finding the perfect teacher at the perfect time. Sometimes it took a few tries, but then they would be fantastic, and I would emerge from their tutelage happier and wiser.
I didn’t always like it, what they wanted me to try. I didn’t always do it. Sometimes I was a little bit kicky and screamy about it. But the bottom line was this.
I wanted to be happy. I didn’t know what that even meant, but I wanted it. I thought it was the opposite of suffering, self-loathing, and self-abuse, if I thought about it at all. But I felt like I would do almost anything to get there.
We get so good at pretending that things are alright, that we are alright, that our relationships and work and families are alright. It takes a ton of energy to pretend that. We talk a good game, and people may suspect, but they don’t know for sure how bad it is.
Why do we keep it a secret? (That is a bad creative question, just for the record.)
Sometimes we feel ashamed, or scared. We think it’s no one else’s business. Sometimes we tell ourselves that everything is fine, and we choose to believe it even though we are in a bad situation. We convince ourselves that everything is normal and fine.
And we hate ourselves. Or at least act like we hate ourselves. Or we try to act like we don’t hate ourselves, and end up feeling like we are going crazy. And going crazy seems kind of attractive, especially if it means a few weeks in a hospital being taken care of by someone who is nice to us.
We don’t want anyone to know what it’s really like, and so we pull back a little, or push harder, and either way people end up not wanting to be around us very much. And that seems kind of good because then there aren’t as many people to convince that things are okay.
And then we decide we’ve had enough. And we get help. There are so many people, and agencies, and services, and healing modalities, that want you to be happy and healthy, that want to help you climb out of that smelly pit of your life and back into the fresh air and sunshine. Why do I choose to be happy? What makes me choose to take care of me? How do I make room for joy in my life?
When I take this step, when I seriously address the crap in my life with a competent, trustworthy helper, things get better. I can take better care of me, and of you, and all the yous that matter to me.
How have I changed from wanting to hide to being proud of myself?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2013 all rights reserved. 09302013