I’ve been feeling rather guilty lately, as I’ve not posted on here for… a year. Just where have those 12 months gone to – a common call when we look back and feel we have not achieved or done what we had hoped now that time is lost. Yet, as we cannot regain that time passed nor make more of any opportunities or put right wrongs we cannot live our lives based on having ‘something to look forward to’.
My blog is a window on my state of mind and energy thus, feelintg guilty about writing is yet another example of me being passive-aggressive to myself. There is no purpose to this self punishment (I was trying to find a play on ‘selfie’ here to please my little ego that’s saying “show your critics you are clever oh yes, that’s myself mainly”) other than reaffirming core beliefs that I’m not good enough and other uncomfortable feelings I thought I’d unpicked during therapy. It seems not. Maybe I have just unearthed another strata of discomfort and shame that needs sifting through to filter out the issues upsetting the smooth running of my path. Oh Mrs Superego is having fun today.
I’ve not felt able to write here – some resistance to ‘putting myself out there’ – even if my writing is not read or seen by anyone: it is in the public domain. I believe I have been partly inuring myself against the testing reality of life after uni and finding work in a complex and competitive marketplace. I am learning new things about myself that I’m not entirely sure I relish but, which I am going to work on as without uprooting these weeds I cannot flourish. I have been hiding behind being busy but, in reality I have been busy avoiding. Avoiding making contact directly, avoiding peers, avoiding real engagement: because it feels so hard and unfair and I don’t believe I can succeed or have what it takes to ‘win’. I have a sneaky suspicion that I roll over and give up, as it’s less painful (at the time), than engage direct, strong, sustained effort to achieve what I would like to do. I sound like a child who hasn’t been given the toy they want and can’t understand why. I don’t want to be that child, I want to the one who picks themselves up when they fall and find themselves stronger, more determined, and with resilient self-belief.
I realise with a pang, that it is this quality that I have envied in others, and consequently been on the defensive in their presence and feeling suspicious, and protective and dislike. What I am actually doing, is defending my inner self from the threat of destruction whilst also attacking myself for lacking the quality I admire and wish for myself. My supervisor recently commented “does it have to be and/or, could it not be and/and?”. I realise I have spent most of my life comparing and finding myself wanting.
So, what of this and looking forward?
I felt inspired to write today when listening to The Archers whilst re-varnishing our dining room floor. You get to thinking, sitting and painting. I can’t recall the story line but when a character said, “Lovely, something to look forward to” it caught me; I mused on how often this is said without considering what that might mean at an unconscious level. Someone I know always has to have something to look forward to, booking holidays way in advance and spending hours and £££ deliberating what clothes to buy to make the trip perfect. I often wonder if the goods deliver – physically and emotionally. A young client over anticipated forthcoming events, embuing them with all kinds of significance. Yet, after they had happened, he didn’t talk about his experience at all – although his body gave away his disappointment.
What is the obsession with looking forward to…. is it a positive life-affirming outlook, a defence against facing up to what is happening in the now, other fears, or an attempt to control our existence in an unpredictable world?
What drives us to think like this: boredom, dissatisfaction with our lot, avoidance of problems with our relationships or with ourselves:sublimating narcissistic pain onto making plans that validate existence as worthwhile, vital, interesting people?
Having goals and dreams is different, but both this active engaged planning and wishful forward thinking can negatively affect how we life now, if they topple over into obsession and avoidance. The only elements over which we have control is how we feel, act and think in the now.
This is why DMP can be so powerful: it persuades us to be in the moment, our bodies integrating our internal world with external reality with physical sensation, sensory perception, and the rhythm of our hearts.
I am looking forward to being, to living, to taking control and making each precious moment count. For that’s all we truly have.