Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Who Am I ... part I

Welcome to my self-discovery. First, a bit of history and then we'll see what happens next.

I have hated myself the greater part of my life. I have used the phrase self-loathing often. I am not enough. I have failed and disappointed everyone around me. I must be perfect or I’m worthless. Or so says my demon. Actually, it's a broken down, decrepit belief system as corrupt as former NY/NJ governor Edward Hyde (though no women's clothing is involved) that's been in use since before I was conscious of its existence.

In the years since, I have experienced therapies, lectures, seminars, The Omega Institute, books, cassettes, CDs, weekend retreats, The Open Center. I have experienced John Bradshaw, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, don Miguel Ruiz, Debbie Ford, Sheri Huber, Julia Cameron, Rick Jarow, Mia Farrow, Thich Nhat Hanh,Tara Brach, Pema Chodron and other spiritual gurus. And in the now of those experiences I am whole and clearly see my higher self, my calling and my perfect-ness as a spiritual being having a human experience. The demon is silenced.

But after the experience ends – the CD is over, the book is finished, the lecture is done – something happens (a moment of imperfection (being human)) and I fall back into the familiar embrace of the demon. The judgment and criticism come roaring back louder and more intense: “You’re a worthless piece of shit.” “You’re a failure.” “You’re a useless piece of garbage.” “Nobody cares about you.” “Why don’t you do everyone a favor and die.” “Can’t you do anything right?”

See, it's like this: Where most people write off mistakes, stumbles and gaffes as being human, that’s not acceptable to me. I must be perfect or people will see what a failure I am. This is shame: I don’t make mistakes, I am a fundamentally flawed mistake.

Some days/weeks are better than others and some are particularly brutal, with the demon screaming self-loathing epithets at me. All of this comes from thoughts borne out of a belief system that says life is difficult, that says I’m not enough to succeed, that says I should accept mediocrity, that says if enough people say I can't do a thing, then I can't do that thing, that bows down and worships the phrase "I Can't."

But for all the self-condemnation, I’ve kept going. I have a list of accomplishments that include two traditionally published novels, a cassette of originals, a lot of gigs, a cycled century and a couple of metric centuries and many other things. You’d think I would’ve gotten over myself and my hate. But no matter what, it’s not enough. People have published more novels, have ridden more centuries and are better musicians. Yes, I know that in this world there will always be people who’ve done more and many who’ve done less. I know that I shouldn’t stop writing or playing because there are people better than me. Yet because I believe I am not enough, I’m constantly thinking to give up. But I have not. I kept going and I’m still going, even with the self-condemnation I experience almost daily.

But wait ... in the darkness of my self there's a pinprick of light, the tiniest of flames and I focus on it and look to it as a means of letting go and "getting over it." But will I or will I allow the same demons to crawl out of the black and pull me under once again?

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