I woke up in the middle of the night last night with chest tightness — I pulled myself out of bed, sprayed FES Flowers Post-Trauma Stabilizer into my mouth, rubbed DoTerra Peace oil onto my pulse points and breathed through it.
The anxiety was from lying there trying to come up with a defense for why I don’t want to do a certain thing, reach out to a person, so that I could explain it to a veritable stranger who told me I should do those things. From my pillow, I crafted the reasons why, I apologized, I placed responsibility on myself for things I have never done, feelings that I had nothing to do with fostering.
This is the old me. My husband helped me see that this morning.
“This is the old people-pleasing you. You are also a rule follower,” he said.
“YES!” I slapped myself on the forehead (gently, lovingly, because I love myself). That makes total sense. The old me thought she needed to explain herself to everyone. I am doing exactly what Danielle LaPorte talks about in White Hot Truth! Slipping into the old way — where I want to open my heart so wide it’s raw, just to prove I’m good, and let people take up whatever kind of residence there at their behest, regardless of whether it’s impeding the function of my internal organs or my own growth.
“NO!!! NOOO! NOOOOOO!!!” My inner self-loving person who has become less enmeshed screams at me. And therein lies the conflict and the chest-tightening at five in the morning.
And it reminds me of one of the many times someone let a shop door slam on my niece, who is 4’11”.
“Sorry,” she said to the clueless perpetrator.
“You didn’t do anything,” I said loudly, my ears hot. “Why are you apologizing?”
“Someone had to,” she said.
I can so relate to this. When things are emotionally jagged with someone I always feel like someone has to smooth it out. Being a peacemaker, that’s usually me.
“Tar baby,” my therapist has said to me many times. Meaning — you can put your hands all in a dramatic situation, but you’re just going to get tar all over yourself. Think before you swoop in. So that’s what I’m doing. And it had me up at the ass crack of dawn because the old people pleaser wants to run in and slather someone else’s tar all over my body. And current me is like, “You have a book proposal to finish! And other family to support! And your own energetic trajectory to follow! Quit with your self sabotage, resistance, messiah complex, enmeshed family conditioning and now, to top it all off, tight chest and lack of a good sleep.”
From the genius White Hot Truth:
“You will experience sharp and surprising pangs of self-hatred on your way to self-respect. This is what happens: you’re morphing beautifully and certainly into your assured self. You’re less critical, more embracing, and, just as marvelously, you are expressing yourself more purely. You’re really becoming YOU, through Love. You are Loving yourself into fullness.
“And then you slip into the old you for an interminable minute. Something triggers you, and you revert to that former, rougher, or wimpier version of yourself. You try to get something done with your old tricks and tactics—and then you extra extra hate yourself for it.”
OMG YES. Wimpier FO MF SHO.
And then DLP goes on to explain how, instead of hating yourself, love that sweet person. Have compassion. I keep getting this message again and again. From Martha Beck, to the medical medium I talked to the other day, who said to counter every self-attack with the mushiest “I LOVE YOU” I can muster. Break down the defenses of the ego by inviting everybody up on the sweetest lap for hugs and kisses and smothery motherly love.
Another thing the medical medium and I discussed is that my mother was probably molested (something I had suspected and that was gently alluded to, but never confirmed). It all clicked: Oh, hey, I have all this weird shame around sex, but it’s not from anything that happened to me. I’m carrying my mom’s stuff. I mean, yeah, I’ve had some lowdown cheater boyfriends, but no one has ever done anything sexual to me without my true consent. (And I don't think the momentary phalanges-phallus contact with the singer with the foot fetish counts.)
My siblings and I didn’t talk about what had happened to my mom except someone may have touched her breasts at some point when she was young. We all felt shame around so many things, in part because we were told to. And I started trying to “fix” my mom at a very young age, but never quite knew why. My love was good enough. I might not have been able to fix her, but who can fix anyone? So then to find myself about to go down another road of trying to fix and smooth un-smoothable others…NO THANK YOU!
I think at this point in my self-loving life I’m going to keep living by example. I’m going to keep my vibration high and keep my hands out of tar babies, even if someone tells me I shouldn’t. And I’ll have conflict here and there because of that. Oh well.
There might be a lot of overgrowth on certain roads of communication but I have no gate up nor have I ever erected one. And to me, that is actually quite loving.
“Here’s the white hot Truth: Loving yourself doesn’t guarantee that you will be Loved by others.
“As a self-celebrating, self-respecting individual, you might really annoy some people. You WILL annoy some people. You will annoy a LOT of people. You will be misunderstood—perhaps thought of as arrogant. You may be uninvited. When you Love yourself enough to say, 'This is acceptable in my life and this is not,' you will become unacceptable to other people, especially those who tend to push against your boundaries. (You will also become a magnet for real Love and respect, so don’t dillydally with the haters.)”
BOOM. God, I love this woman.
You know when you have those moments where you’re like, “I'm here to learn”? Yeah. I am a sensitive soul who has often processed other people’s feelings through her own body (not anymore). And what a boot camp of a learning ground I find myself on with my old dad and the trickle down of all that DNA. To navigate out of the knotted rope obstacle course of other people’s feelings with my own oft-quiet voice not only intact but singing to high heaven, well, it’s been no small feat. And I welcome and thank the lesson I had early this morning.
A Czech friend once told me “Sutkowski” means “knotty.” Yah, no shit. Knots are tough and really hard to unravel sometimes but knots are also strong as this sometimes stoic Slav.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
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