(WARNING: I am really just thinking out loud
here...I may sound like I am all over the place,
because I probably am. Read at your own peril :P)
There was no small irony for me that for all of the
years that I have talked to people about "being true
to themselves" that I was finding myself in a less
than true place.
It wasn't that I was being dishonest.
It was more just that in being who I was being I
was stopping myself from just being.
True in some part is defined as "genuine" "actual."
I would say that who I would be was genuine and
actual, but it was an edited version.
I would not say how I really felt and if I did a video
or took pictures, I put out the ones I liked the best.
I would take and re-take video - especially if I
stumbled over my words or didn't think I looked
as good as I might think you would think I should.
I justified doing these things, business-wise, in
part, because one always hears "appearance is
everything." If I didn't appear to be the best I
could then you may not like me or I might not
seem to be as together as you would need me to
be to work with me.
At the same time that it was less than "perfect,"
it was as perfect as I could get things. And
because of that I felt as good as one might hope
for. I was being "true" to who I was, even if it
was not someone else's version of perfection, it
was the best me I had to offer.
The fact that I was even doing videos - that I was
in - was a major accomplishment.
Most of my life I have spent being a "good girl,"
trying always to do things in a way that I would
be liked. The thing is that while it suited a part
of me, it really wasn't a "true" me. I didn't say
what I really felt, and often didn't even know
what *I* thought as it was filtered through what
someone else thought I should be, how I should
act, what they might have expected.
When I was in 7th grade I had major issues.
I wasn't going to school, and I was so angry a
lot of the time. I really felt like I was going out
of my mind, and threatened to commit suicide
more than once.
My grandmother, not knowing what else to do,
took me to a psychiatrist, who gave me "calming
down medicine." I have no idea what it was that
I was given by name, but that was what the
medicine was supposed to do: calm me down.
I hated that medicine. I remember it was 10
drops in orange juice. Whenever I could cheat
the number of drops, I would. I think on some
level I knew I didn't really need it. But I didn't
know what I did. All I knew that how I was
being wasn't right - everyone was telling me so.
I wasn't supposed to be so angry.
It wasn't right to want to commit suicide.
It wasn't right to pour food over your sister.
I was supposed to go to school.
(In regard to school, it didn't help that I was
bullied on the bus).
When I look back with the knowing eyes of
someone who now knows she is empathic
(which means I can literally feel how another
is feeling) and intuitive, I can better understand
what was going on.
I believe that I was reacting to emotions and
feelings of my grandparents. They were very
unhappy people. My grandmother was in a
wheelchair and was losing her sight. She had
been in and out of the hospital.
My guess now is that my "desire" to commit
suicide might have just been a desire on her
part not to live. I say this in part because I
was never really personally serious about
When one is empathic, the person picks up on
what others feel and makes it their own in whatever
way makes "sense." They don't do this logically
or consciously, it is just a part of the "natural"
unconscious flow of things.
For many years I felt like I was on a roller
coaster. One minute I would be up. The next
minute I would be down. If you were to ask
me why I was up or down in the moment, I
could choose a piece of my life at the time
that fit - and that would explain it.
What I didn't realize was that I was likely
picking up what those around me felt. Once
I realized this was the case, it helped me to feel
a bit more sane. It made no sense to me why I
would be all over the place. Could I be "bi-polar?"
Was it ADD or ADHD? What was "wrong"
(A personal theory of mine is that people are
more intuitive/empathic then they know and
that many who wear the above labels are really
at the effect of their unrecognized intuitive
abilities. But that is just a theory, and I will
never tell you not to do whatever you need to
do medically to take care of yourself. I am not
a "medical professional," and would never pretend
to be one. I have no interest in getting into trouble
with the law. But I can share my experience with
you and my thoughts, and you can think what you
like, and perhaps ask some questions of me or
others as you seek answers you may be looking
for. I am in no way telling you what to do, or
what I think is best. I am merely sharing and
speculating out loud. This is obviously my
By not knowing I was such a "sponge" for what
other people thought and felt, and by unconsciously
always (often?) trying to be what I thought someone
else wanted or needed, it is no wonder I would have
little sense of who I was. It is no wonder I would
have little sense of who I am.
It is no wonder I would find myself in impossible
situations as I would seek to figure out who I was.
I would want to express myself the best way I
knew how, but often it was not to good effect.
Perhaps it didn't help that I could wind up
defending something that wasn't even "mine" to
As I am writing, it occurs to me that part of the reason
I may be such a loner - and part of the reason people
don't hear from me as much as they would like - is
not because I am selfish (as they often have claimed
I am) but because I am just protecting myself. Maybe
it is a way of me trying to find me. The less I interact
with others personally, the more chance I may have
of figuring out who I truly am.
This is not to say I haven't been selfish, by the way.
But rather just to question for myself what may have
been motivating some of the choices I have made.
Although, maybe it is selfish to not want to participate
with others. But maybe it isn't a bad thing. And
maybe I am just justifying things, too.
I don't really know.
Interesting. I just said I don't really know, but that is
not true. I really felt I just said that because I didn't
want you to think less of me for being a certain way.
I feel like I *DO* know. And I feel like there is truth
for me in what I have said. And...as ugly as it may
look to some, it is something I have had to deal with
most of my life: the disconnect between who I know
myself to be in my heart, and the me that others close
to me perceive me to be.
I am only doing the best I can at any given moment.
I can't always explain why I do what I do. And many
times life just happens the way it does.
So many I know live such unhappy lives because they
are living a life by someone else's dictates, and if they
try to do what feels right to them, then they will upset
and disappoint and anger others. And that reaction,
depending on what it is, can create a whole other form
of unhappiness because then you have to deal with what
other people do with how you are and what you say.
It really, in some ways, seems like a no-win situation.
As I re-read what I wrote just above, I want to be clear
about something as I think some may read it and think
"victim." When I wrote what I did it is because it is
what has occurred. When you make choices based on
what your unconscious wants (and demands) many things
As I think about it, one may take away the idea that they
are a victim to their circumstances when those things
happen. But just saying that they happen does not a victim
It is what you do with it that matters. And I wonder if the
label "victim" helps here. Because the thing is we learn
from the life we live, being whoever we are at the moment
we are it. And when one is labelled a victim, it is like saying
there is something wrong.
Maybe there is nothing wrong. Maybe everything is just as
it should be. Maybe there is something to learn in the process
of being who you are, how you are.
In a recent healing session I told the person I was working with
that I was questioning "Why" this was happening. He interpreted
as victim language. It wasn't a "why is this happening to me,
woe is me" type of why but more of a desire to understand why
it was happening to me why. It was more to understand what I
was meant to understand, know or appreciate from this situation.
That satisfied him as it was a "good why."
As a hypnotist, I know language is very important for creating
a particular outcome. But it is more what is behind the words
that matter. I could say something that means something to me,
hoping that it means the same something to you. But that isn't
always the case.
That is why being able to communicate is so important. No
one knows how you feel unless you tell them. And you may
have to tell them over and over and over if there is something
that s/he is doing or saying that doesn't really work for you.
But even in doing that, you may still be feeling frustrated, or
at a loss because the other person isn't living life the way you
would want him or her to. They aren't doing things right,
according to how you perceive right to be.
I know how that feels. As I write I think about the things in my
life that just don't go the way I want them to, despite my best
efforts. And it is at times a challenge to allow myself to be OK
with the fact that a person isn't doing what I want them to.
I also know I drive some people crazy the way that I am.
Sometimes how I am doesn't necessarily work for me, either.
But it's all I got.
I don't know about you, but it is difficult to feel like everything
you say or do or don't say or don't do is wrong. That who you
are is wrong. It makes you be someone you are not, which is
kind of ironic if you think about it. You are so worried about
doing something wrong and being judged that you second guess
what you do, and wind up not being who you truly are. Only
to wind up being judged any way.
If you are going to be judged, might it not be better to be judged
for who you are than who you are thought to be?
The thing is, though, that who I am is lived through a filter of
those who interact with me. What I do and don't do is run
through their filter and deemed to be good, bad, indifferent.
It really doesn't matter what I do or say or how I am because
they can filter their experience of me in a totally different way
than the one that I think I am having.
So even then if I am who I truly am, I am still running the risk
of being misunderstood by another.
So what is the point of all of this?
That is an excellent question.
I am glad you asked. :P
I suspect the fact that there are so many variables that
contribute to our experience of life and our experience
of each other is reason enough to logically consider that
we can't "win" if we are being anything but who we truly
I suspect that the only way we "win" is to be the best person
we can be in any given moment of our life. And I don't
mean that even in the sense of "good" or "perfect" or
anything along those lines. But instead, being true to
whoever we know ourselves to be in that moment.
And at the same time...
Letting others do the same even when -
especially when -
they disappoint us or drive us crazy.
If my life was any different, if my family experience was
any different, I would likely not see these things. They likely
would not be as important to me or my experience of my life.
As much as I find myself in pain around what happens, I
learn more about myself in the process. Some people will
say we are here to learn. Maybe it is a selfish life that we
are here to live. Maybe everything really is about us. Maybe
in how we experience life we selfishly get to know ourselves,
and in being true to ourselves - we find the people in life that
we are meant to learn more from and the people in life who
are meant to learn more from us.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
Too bad it doesn't always feel that way.