top of page
Search

Distractions and Unbecoming 1/3/24


I originally started this post with the words “as I reflect back on this past year…”, but those words seem so trite. We reflect every day on our actions, our thoughts, our words, and sometimes we learn from the reflections and sometimes we don’t. I seem to do some of my best thinking between 2 and 6 in the morning when I can’t sleep, and there is a lot of self-reflection that occurs during that time. But then I get up and face the day, go to work, run a household, pay bills, all the things that we do as humans and I forget the things I was thinking about sometimes … and other times the things gnaw at me until I find a way to get them out. I prefer to speak these things out loud, letting the words tumble out in a jumbled mess, sometimes revealing vulnerabilities and insecurities that are not seeking outside attention but are begging for me to understand them so they can be transformed into something useful. In my head, I can usually see three or four sides of a box (problem), but have trouble accessing the remaining sides. Out loud, I can make those things “real”, so to speak, and am then able to turn them over and over until all the pieces fit and all those thoughts come together as a whole to be solved or transmuted. I prefer to have someone who at least appears to listen as I ramble – I’m sure engaging with my multiple perspectives out loud for all my waking hours in a disjointed way until I figure Me out would have me committed pretty quickly hahaha. Not that I don’t talk to myself and have surprised people at times, but that’s a story for another time. :) **I affectionately call my perspectives personalities, so if you hear this, please know I am referring to what Carl Jung describes as subpersonalities, bits and pieces we create for different reasons, and not a personality disorder. I take the subject matter of disorders very seriously and do not intend to make light of the subject.

The older I get though, the more I realize that society as a whole doesn’t enable us to hold this space for our Selves and we “forget” to make it a priority. We allow ourselves to be mired in the mundane – 40-60 hour work weeks, paying bills, spending time with family, making sure we fit in time for friends, endless laundry and dishes to wash, and the list goes on … all with the end of meeting the status quo. That doesn’t stop the voices in our heads though – how many times have we done dishes and not really paid attention to whether they were fully clean because we were thinking about tomorrow’s schedule – taking the kids to whatever activity they’re doing, figuring out if we have time to take the fur or scaled baby to the vet, what we’re planning for dinner if there’s time to cook. All the while, there’s another voice in our heads, possibly saying things like “I’m tired, do we (the royal “we” in this case – me myself and I) really have to make this decision now or can we sleep and make the decision tomorrow?” or “I haven’t felt well in three days but we still haven’t taken that relaxing bath we promised ourselves” or “I’m really angry with something so-and-so said or did today – are we going to continue being angry or are we gonna figure this out?”. Honestly, do we allow ourselves the time to check in with our bodies, to really listen to what those voices in the background have to say? Do we ask our friends to sit down with us and help us process?


For me, I find that I tend to distract myself instead of giving myself those times to process out loud. Even just taking the time to write the thoughts here can seem like a daunting task so I find other things to do until there’s ‘no time’ left. The louder these voices in my head are, the more “things” I find to do. (Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the icky stuff comes out when I least expect it, but I usually try to keep it under control.) This past year was a roller coaster ride, one of those ones with the hills and valleys that seem like they go on forever, then when you’re not looking suddenly change direction…

...the ones that have twists and turns that make you feel like you might fall out of the seat and you experience a momentary panic and nausea...

...The ones that leave you breathless, disoriented, scared, exhilarated, and like you might laugh and cry all at the same time …

...and you can’t wait to do it again! Maybe next time we’ll try a different seat and see if the feeling of the ride changes.

When I was a child, I had a fear of roller coasters – I was very small and most of the rides didn’t have buckles that could hold me in a way I felt secure. My dad told me if I was scared, I needed to try it and find out why I was scared – meet the challenges head on. Of course I researched first, so I could find facts that would back up my decision to not ride one – but instead found that statistically speaking, roller coasters were safer to ride in than a wheeled vehicle or an airplane and only served to prove him right. His response was, as always, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself”. Now, this was in the 80s and I haven’t researched since then so I don’t know if this is still a fact. Whether it is or not, I still find the big roller coaster to be my favorite ride in any theme park, no matter how scared I am when I approach it.


Okay, where was I…? Oh, yes, distractions. The roller coaster in my head this year was so much different than the rides. On a physical ride, if you can keep your eyes open long enough, you can anticipate the twists and turns, and even if you’re not completely ready when you get to one you still know it’s coming and can somewhat prepare. In our heads though, we find twists and turns that don’t reveal themselves until the last minute…

...We hear someone say something offhand that strikes a chord inside and we have to stop for a moment – wait, what was that..? why do I feel this way…?...

...Someone asks a question in a way we haven’t thought of before, and suddenly all the jigsaw pieces right themselves and we can see a bigger picture…

...Or a song randomly brings up an old grief we thought we had laid to rest and we have to pull the car over to give ourselves time to cry...

...Sometimes we literally take a wrong turn when we’re headed somewhere and come across something that reminds us of our Selves – the deep-down buried parts that simply want to be recognized.


This past year, I had absolutely awe-inspiring (and simultaneously exhausting!) adventures around the Midwest.. amazing interactions with friends and family.. profound learning opportunities galore from strangers, friends, and foes.. and enough frustrations to keep my mind occupied for some time.. And I spent the majority of the year taking each of those pieces and tucking them neatly into a closet, some of the things in the waaay back, and keeping the door closed. Engage in the moment, make a note of what I want to examine later, and put it away – then go back to the mundane job, allow myself to be overwhelmed by things I want to do but don’t have the energy for, and avoid all the internal work that that closet represents - I’ll come back to it eventually, right?!

So what are these distractions – these things that we keep occupied with whether they ‘need’ done or not? They are avoidance techniques to help us not do our internal work. And what happens when we avoid our work? All kinds of things….

In my experience, we develop more subpersonalities – those little pieces that are only fractions of our Selves that fit into a given experience. And! Our unconscious rears its head at the most inopportune times and things slip out – things that were buried where we can’t see them but are still there and still want our attention whether we acknowledge them or not. (If you can’t tell, the philosophies of Carl Jung have been heavily on my mind lately – simply fascinating stuff.  I’ll post a link below to get ya started if anyone is interested in researching further.)


**I find it important here to make a distinction that I may have I neglected in my last several posts… I am not a subject matter expert in anything. I know a little bit about a lot of things – just enough to be dangerous – and I still haven’t found the switch that will magically repair these holes in my memory ( any suggestions?). The things that I post about are based solely on my own experiences, perspectives, conversations, and observations. They are not all fact, but they are also not all opinion, and it is up to you Lovely Reader to decide if the content here resonates with you. Please take what you will and discard the rest, and if something here gives you that reaction of “how dare she/they insinuate xyz!” then I invite you to take a moment to reflect on why you feel the way you do.  


What else happens when we avoid our ‘work’? We experience physical pain, mental anguish, don’t sleep or sleep too much, gain stress weight or lose weight, feel overwhelmed or exhausted for no apparent reason, don’t exercise or punish ourselves with exercise, and get frustrated easily, among other things. How do you feel or what do you do when you have neglected your Self for a while? Eventually, we either give in to the symptoms or we ‘remember’ to do our work. The proverbial Universal 2x4 suddenly appears and bops us over the head until we pay attention or block it out completely. I find I’ve done both of these things so many times over the last 20 years and still forget to listen to Me on occasion.

In metaphysical practices, our internal work is referred to as Shadow work among other things – learning self-reflection so we can acknowledge and integrate those parts that we hide away. Somewhere along the line we learned those parts were undesirable so we just tucked them somewhere out of sight. Either those parts brought us discomfort, or brought others discomfort, or we were told over and over til we figured it out that we “shouldn’t” speak or be a certain way or do the things we do, or we experience abuse in such a way that we hide our whole Selves completely to make sure we are living as ‘expected’.

When we hide these pieces, they don’t go away. We tuck them into the dark where sometimes they appear to be the Darkness themselves, or they irritate the place they are in and fester and grow. In response, we develop our subpersonalities to fill the gaping holes that are left, pieces that fit in here and there with the situations we are in, and are only portions of our Selves. And we call all these little parts “I” as if they are one and we build our self-identity from them. Are all these little pieces truly who we are though?


We build our expectations for ourselves based on our interactions with the world and others. We think “if I could be this way, maybe I’d fit in better over there” which could then be followed by “do I truly want to be over there? Maybe I can be this way and fit in over here instead”. We perceive what we ‘think’ other people want, shift to match the perception in most cases (or outright reject it), and create our expectations for them and ourselves and move forward. Who benefits from that transaction? Is it you, who only allows this little tiny piece of YOU to be seen at any given moment? Is it the ‘other’, who is also carefully weighing which parts of them to show based on their perceptions and expectations of you and themselves? Are we ever truly happy with the “I” that we project, with the masks that we use so often that sometimes we see them in the mirror instead of our Selves? Do we allow our Shadows to appear when our subpersonalities don’t wholly jive with the situation like we thought they would, and reactions that we didn’t expect just pop up and throw everything out of balance?


Several months ago, that closet that I’ve been using for storage with the intent of cataloging experiences and putting them in their nice, neat boxes or relegating them to Shadow, suddenly burst open and all the things came at me at once. Imagine, if you will, umbrellas and beach balls and coats and roller skates and trains, and bats and crazy monsters of all sizes and cackling stereotypical witches, and fears and ambitions and aches and pains and accomplishments and shortcomings, and memories of mountain views and seaside fishing excursions and whitewater rafting, and who knows what else, all flying out at once and demanding attention at the same time. I did what we do, right?! Grabbed a broom and tried to shove it all back in. No matter how we pack things though, they never go in the same way twice and my expansive closet was now a steam trunk.

What else is there to do? Face my challenges and fears head on. If they all need attention now, then that’s what we’ll do. And I told my Higher, Divine self – hit me with your best shot World, I can take it (<--in Jack Burton's voice from Big Trouble in Little China lol).


Now, when we tell ourselves and others to be careful what you wish for – we truly mean it, and sometimes we forget to take our own advice. Holy hell, I was not ready for the onslaught – “I thought” my eyes were open, “I thought” I knew what I needed to process, “I thought” I could handle shedding all the stupid silly crap that I carry around and integrating the parts that I had been ignoring all at once…but “I” didn’t ask my “Self”, my whole Me, to be centered and ready when the attack came. I use that word specifically because that’s what it felt like, like I had been laying in wait with an ambush for myself and when I stepped into that space I came out barrels blazing.

Acknowledge, release, acknowledge, integrate,

acknowledge, release, acknowledge, integrate…

rinse and repeat….

All well and good, until the voices become so loud that we don’t know what we’re working on anymore. We hit a place where it “feels” like we’re in a good spot, and a roller skate appears out of nowhere and we step on it and go flying down the road. And we recover, bruised and tired but ready for the next step cuz that’s what we asked for :/ , and work our way back to where we thought we were, but now the landscape has changed and as we’re trying to get our bearings we step on a landmine and pieces of “I” go everywhere. What’s left are the gooey messy bits without an identity - the parts inside that are primordial, oozy, dark and light at the same time, scary and fascinating in and of themselves, that hold the faith of the mustard seed and the unlimited powers of the cosmos – and sometimes these oozy messy parts bleed over into our “outside” lives and we run away screaming because we weren’t ready for that part yet. Reminds me of all those movies that have special mirrors that show us our true Selves and most everyone that encounters it comes away certifiably crazy.  

Then we have to stop and decide – which pieces am I picking up? Which pieces do I no longer need? Where did this piece go that I was kind of attached to cuz now I can’t find it? How do the pieces I want to keep fit together? Haven’t me, myself, and I been here before? (Yes, but never like this!) Or… should I leave the pieces on the ground and just be messy and unidentifiable?

And we wander around and pick up the pieces because that’s what we “know”, finding doors within that we weren’t aware existed, finding pieces that are ghosts of memories from a long ago time, and we decide what to do with each individual one and how it’s going to work with the other parts that we picked up – and as it appears we’re nearing the end because we are again in a good head space.. FINALLY!!! – we step on another landmine or fall overboard in the ocean or get buried in a landslide or find what appears to be a knife in the back from a long forgotten perceived slight or what have you. And we get on a train and go somewhere else to try to see things differently, and find out the train we thought was going to Timbuktu actually stops in Albuquerque and we don’t know how we got there or what we’re supposed to do…


And this goes on for as long as we let it, and we’re exhausted in all ways, because in the meantime we are still attending our 40-60 hours a week mundane jobs, and getting the laundry done, and trying to remember what day to take the trash to the curb, and trying to hold space for ourselves and others at the same time. And we find after all that time that it’s not about holding on to what we had, it’s about letting it go. It’s about unlearning all the things we’ve taught ourselves throughout our lives, based on our experiences and interactions and perceptions and preconceived notions – right or wrong, good or bad. It’s about unbecoming the “I” that is made up of all those little pieces that we fabricated for whatever reason because it’s so much easier than facing our Shadow. It’s about allowing the destruction of all that we “think” we are and leaving all those pieces laying on the ground, the ones left that have survived the blasts anyway, and sitting right in the middle of them – grieving, rejoicing, accepting, surrendering. It’s about giving our Selves time to process and listening to the little voices in the background and our bodies when they have something to say – because in the end, it’s all about YOU.


...Not the ‘best foot forward’ you...

...not the ‘sacrifice for the greater good’ you...

...not the ‘screaming banshee when things don’t go your way’ you...

...not the ‘crying in the corner cuz you momentarily lost your way’ you...


But it IS about YOU – all of the above and more – all of the messy bits and fears and the scary Darkness and the bright Divine light and all of the love that you have for yourself – because the more you step in to your Self and “be” YOU, the better off YOU will be.


I know those last couple paragraphs sound like lip service – overused cliches, new-agey, fluffy bunny type stuff … Trust me, until recently I “thought” I knew what the words truly meant but have found that I was seriously wrong. Those words – unlearning, unbecoming, surrendering.. are beautiful words with beautiful concepts, promising bliss and peace and tranquility… and hurt like a m!@#$ f*&^% when trying to live them…

As a result, I decided to take a break for a little while. I have not been on Facebook unless it was necessary for a couple weeks now, even deleted the app from my phone for Winter break lol. I am blessed to have a mundane job that gives me Winter Break off work and that as a self-employed person for my second job I can set my own hours and boundaries. I have spent some time with family and friends but not as much as I would normally have liked to… I did spend a lot of time over this break creating my emotional support doll (based on one I made recently that I absolutely adored but wasn’t for me)… I find that crocheting helps me to refocus my thoughts when I don’t have a place to speak them out loud; keeps the monkey mind busy so I can process all the “background stuff”. This little doll certainly helped me through a lot of tears and heart wrenching moments these last couple weeks, and provided a quiet space to process internally when I had no words left...


After figuratively exploding into pieces more times than I can count over the last few months, this work and electronics break was definitely needed – I’m not sure how much more I could have handled with my attention scattered all the time. The last time I stepped on a landmine, I didn’t have the energy or desire to pick up the pieces anymore. There was nothing left – no emotion, no desire, nothing. Everything hurt, and some days I couldn’t sleep, and other days that's all I did was sleep, and engaging with life felt like an extreme effort. Haven’t we been here before? Absolutely, but not like this….

So we reflect, again and again and again – bring forward all the things that were stuck in that closet that wanted attention so long ago (technically months in human terms – lifetimes / possibly centuries in how I feel) – what was the conversation or experience about? Why did it bring up the feelings it did? Where did I feel those things in the body? Have I integrated that piece or does it still need attention? What other pieces may not have fully integrated in all that mess? One of my favorite all time stories is about Carl Jung and how he would sit on a rock and ponder if he was a boy sitting on a rock or a rock being sat on by a boy. When we take time for self-reflection, do we add in the other perspectives? What part did we miss that the “I” didn’t want to acknowledge? Are we making sure the parts are going into the whole Self and not twisted by the Ego’s perception?

In the end, we do the best we can with what we have and we are all in the place that we are because that’s the way life is. However – I have to seriously bite my tongue when I hear someone say “It is what it is” because what I ‘hear’ is, “I have no control over the matter”. YES YOU DO! The remainder of that saying is “It will be what I make it”. If life is messy, difficult, overwhelming, coming at you from all sides, or you don’t know which way to turn, YOU can change it!

And I am not saying, you have to do all the work – when I get into a depressed, apathetic state, the last thing I want to do is my own work even though it’s the thing I need the most. Sometimes I want to throw my hands in the air, scream, maybe break a few things, and drink myself into oblivion…. but I’ve been there and know it doesn’t work so must resist temptation…

And sometimes I want someone else to make that decision – Miria, you need to seek help! But it’s not their decision, is it? It’s merely a suggestion and we have to decide for our Selves that we want the help, that we are willing to put in the work, one little tiny step at a time. And we eventually “remember” to give our Selves time, and to listen and do the work, then do the work again, then do the work again, and we learn that it is okay to step away from the “I”, that we don’t have to present ourselves a certain way anymore, that allowing the Self to come through is where we are truly at home.

The “I” doesn’t disappear – I believe that would be the end of the human life in that case, but I could be wrong… (<-- I would love to hear some perspectives on that)… It does hang out, and remind us of lessons learned, and will still step forward sometimes, and that’s okay. And we’ll do the work again, and come back around again, following the Spirals of Life ...


Thank you from the bottom of my heart, as always, for hanging in there with me on this wild ride we call life, and for indulging my crazinesss… weirdness… tendency to overshare… whatever we want to call it lol. My sincere hope is that, if nothing else, a piece of what I share reminds you that you are never alone, there’s always someone out there who understands where you are and is willing to sit with you in the dark while you find your pieces or work on letting them go… Wherever you are on your path is okay! We’ll just keep doing the best we can with what we have. Blessings to you, with all my Love  <3

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

On Grief and Growth

(Warning – possible triggers) Today is my youngest daughter's birthday - she would have been 19 today, freshly graduated from high school, figuring out life as she moves into adulthood. It's hard to b

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page