I recently told a friend, I was afraid of what people might think of me if they knew who I really was deep down inside. She looked at me quizzically. Yet, I realized this was the truth I had created for myself, creatively held within the pages of my “book of inadequacies.”
Whether we own up to the idea or not, I think we all are in possession of a book of inadequacies. Whether we bury them deep within our conscious, or obstinately face them in our daily lives, they impact our every thought. Which in turn impacts how we chose to live our lives, how we create our stories and who we invite on our journey.
Shame and fear, I have found, take turns driving and riding shotgun on my own personal journey. Recently, I asked myself why this had become true and what if anything, I could do about it. As I pieced together the different experiences I had as a child and a young adult, via as honest of a lens as I could muster, I began to see more clearly the root of these feelings.
Negative experiences happen, but we do not have to let them move in and hold as much of our life space hostage, as they tend to often times do.
We experience a myriad of both positive and unpleasant moments each and every day of our lives. Due to the way our minds work, we are naturally inclined to squirrel away, cling to, continuously drudge up and often carry around some of the unpleasant moments in a somewhat protective space, as if our lives depended on their existence. As if these unpleasant moments make up so much of who we are, we cannot bear to part with them. Since we scientifically know this inclination to be true about the human race, and knowledge is power, how do we work to overcome these natural tendencies to live in a negative space?
PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation(s). I would be more worried if I didn’t have it! Then, I would just be a sociopath.
Why would my brain want to dig up something so tragic and force me to relive it, as though it were happening again in the present moment? I put a lot of energy and effort into shoving the memory as far down as I could. If my mind were a big house, with many rooms and hallways, I wandered down to the deepest depths of the basement. I found the darkest hallway, with the darkest corner to bag the memory up and leave it in. I wanted to keep it from ever surfacing and hurting me again. Out of sight, out of mind, right? So what was the purpose of digging it up and reliving it? Why would anyone purposefully do that?
Well after much thought, this is my opinion. We humans are natural problem solvers, we do it from the day we are born. We think, therefore we are human.
Our brain has a natural tendency to solve and resolve whatever is happening in our lives. If it is particularly difficult, we will chew on it over and over in an attempt to grind it up small enough, so we can “swallow it and move on.” Sometimes we put an immense amount of effort into this process, whether we want to or not. You know how it goes. Why can’t I stop thinking about this! Ughh….!!!