Sit with yourself alone and listen

I want to know what you are thinking. Each time you look at me with a little confusion, a little displeasure, I want to know what I did wrong. I want to know what you are thinking about me — the rest of your thoughts are yours. I am selfish in that way. I don’t mean to be – I call your other thoughts your own privacy, I am giving you the freedom of independent thought. In reality, I am so invested in my own thoughts that I am too busy to consider yours. I am not ready for your world. 

This doesn’t mean I am not pensive, attentive, and loving. I care about what you are thinking, how you are feeling, and what excites you. But I don’t know how to ask you. I don’t know how to talk about the weather or joke about the day without your guidance. I need you to tell me when it is time to stop. I need you to help me slow down my thoughts, but this is not your job. 

What you want confuses me; I feel like I am giving you everything I have, yet you don’t want it. When you tell me what you want it doesn’t make sense to me — When I try to understand you my behavior seems to bother you. I want to know what you are thinking so you can tell me what I should be doing. I am not ignoring your thoughts, I am trying to figure out how to make you more comfortable. I don’t see it easily so I have to think. I have to reflect and sit in introspection. I have to do an incredible amount of work so that I can stay in the moment, resisting the temptation to launch into conversation. This takes me to Jungian methods and hours of reflection. I write for hours trying to suss out my thoughts; Which ones are selfish and which ones are pure. I question everything so that I may have the answer to one thing: What do you think of me? 

“What do I think of you? I think a thousand things about you.” This is the closest thing to a truthful answer that I will ever get. I could ask 50 people who they think I am and if they think I am living my life well, and I would get 50 different answers. We are funny that way — we don’t make up our minds so quickly. This is not a mistake in human judgment; rather we cannot give perfect answers to imperfect questions.  And for the first time in my life, this answer makes sense to me; I am ok with it.

There is clarity within this radical change of acceptance and understanding. I had tried my entire life to find that one answer and I realized I was looking for something that wasn’t there. I was seeking guidance by asking for approval — I wanted you to tell me that I was eccentric, intelligent, handsome, bold, passionate, courageous, odd, intolerable, inefficient, surprising, anything! I wanted to be able to define myself through your eyes. And in one fell swoop that life was shattered. Everything I was so accustomed to, all the snarled up ropes that held my life together were cut down, and I was left alone; a mirror my only audience. I had to talk to this mirror; if I truly wanted an answer I would have to ask him, and I did.

To truly change something, it is necessary to understand it. And that is what I set out to do: Understand myself, by myself, according to myself. I had guidance to be sure, but I would no longer be given answers. My guides do not offer answers; instead, they offered to wait. I poured through the pages of my heart without judgment. I allowed my mind to wander and kept it stable without trying to control it. I didn’t need to look for answers this time; I was the answer to every question I had ever asked. I found that my biggest enemy, the one who always told me which direction to go, the one who never asked me what I wanted, was me. To excuse my behavior and satisfy my confusion I created a world where nobody understood me, and nobody wanted me. I had created something hateful, without love and compassion. Everything in this world was a mirror pointed directly back at me — nobody told me who I was. I had destroyed myself all on my own.

But this discovery was not met with hopelessness. Rather I finally knew what I needed to do to find happiness in this life. I saw where I had taken myself astray — I saw myself clearly, not all bad and not all good. I am imperfect, and the thought that I have to be otherwise is a delusion of power and control. I saw the things I was lacking and how that emptiness made me lash out in various ways. I saw that my actions were directly connected to how I felt about myself; My judgment of others, my anger, my jealousy, my insecurities — these were all manifestations of my creation.

This life is maintained with introspection and honest reflection. The beauty and the work are behind the curtain; it’s where all of my confidence is built. All of my actions, everything that you see, has been constructed before I even leave the house. If you want to know how I am doing, if I still sit with myself, and examine my day, pay attention to my actions. Listen to the way I speak, look into my eyes. I no longer need you to tell me how I am feeling; I know if I have put in the work. The outcome of any given situation, while certainly not predetermined, can be traced directly back to the amount of work I have done on myself. When I lash out with anger, lust, or greed, you will know in that instant how little I am doing. When I am calm, enthusiastic, excited, and involved you have no need to wonder if I am ok — today, my actions are my voice and my words come last. I cannot prove myself with words and the words of others cannot hurt me the way they once had. There was a time when I wanted to tell you all that I knew, but that is no longer necessary.  When met with disapproval I need only check back in with my mirror; he knows the truth. When I have accomplished something the first person I want to tell is myself, for I know I cannot exaggerate, minimize, or lie to myself any longer.

Nothing in my life is designed, it never was, at least not by me! The only thing that I can control is how much effort I put into doing the next right thing. When I sit with myself and examine my day, it is all that I can do, but it is enough. It leads me to a possibility; it takes me where I need to be.

Today I am proud of myself, without ego or false pride. I know how hard I have worked, and I know that you can see it too. I know that sometimes my best self just isn’t meant for everybody. I am not hurt by this; I don’t see it as rejection — This life has given me the freedom to know that you have your choices, and most of the time they have nothing to do with me.

It is a struggle at times, but it is in this struggle that I find the ability to accept myself for who I am.

3 thoughts on “Sit with yourself alone and listen

    1. I’m grateful that you found something meaningful here. If you are struggling with something and you want to share that with me perhaps I could share my experience on it. You can also always contact me through my website – I know what it feels like to spiral out of control, and there is a way out. Be well

      Liked by 1 person

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