I spend my life taking care of myself, while feeling shame and anger that I have to work so hard to feel safe, balanced and well. I continuously humble myself before various aspects of Divinity, doing my very best to come to peace with being human and being mortal and with the ephemeral nature of life on the physical realm.
Worst is the self-flagilation and belief that I “shouldn’t” be so sensitive to energies, thoughts, emotions, perceptions, interpretations, food, and to not responding immediately and completely to my inner guidance.
Self hatred is hell.
It’s frequently hard being me.
It’s getting better
It’s much better than it used to be. My daily (24 hour) routine is coming into focus and into a groove of naturalness that is healing and lends harmoniousness within me. It’s taken years for me to get here.
I rarely wake up with that self-hatred – triggered by after dinner fat or carbohydrate eating. Sugar in particular is a demon in my body ingested at the wrong time, in the wrong quantities, combinations and motivation.
Trying to love and at once fighting myself
The point is, I live on the one hand devoted to self-care and healing, and on the other hand and at the same time, (running in the background) fighting that I need to. Believing that others don’t need to. That how I am is wrong and bad. That it shouldn’t be this way.
The belief running the motor of this belief is that if I’m who I am out loud – that is, without apology, free of shame and hiding – that I’ll hurt, offend and lose people. They won’t understand. How could they? I may be the second most sensitive person on the earth for all I know. Though I doubt it- probably the first 10,000 of them are in psychiatric wards or deemed village crazies or maybe ones with special gifts, depending on the society. So maybe I’m the ten thousand and tenth (10,010) most sensitive person on the planet. We’re not in the majority and we’re not approved of or valued in modern western culture.
Inside and Outside Me
I am a teacher of authentic Indian cuisine, where I’ve been sharing my passion and knowledge since 2011. Since COVID, I had taken a pause from classes. Recently, however, I felt it was safe enough to begin offering them again. I’ve offered two so far and they have been more than full, and extremely rich, positive, joyful and fun (and delicious) experiences for all.
Yesterday I gave the second class. After everyone had left and the house and kitchen had been mostly restored to it’s usual state, I was still flying on the positive vibes of the students and the time spent together in circle, in the kitchen working as a team, and dining leisurely on the roof.
I reflected on how I have these two parts:
One part is on retreat, at home for delicious and necessary days at a time. This is the majority of the time, when I am caring for myself, learning, healing, transforming, reaching into deeper connection with divine and myself. Much of this time is spent either feeling or reacting to my feelings of despair, fear, anger, shame and worry. At home, I am alone, not social, and I relish that.
Then there is the other part: the outgoing, out in the world, sharing, giving, offering, joyful, of service. This is when I’m glowing and shining and usually enjoying myself and others immensely. These times are at fixed times (business related), times I choose, or moments when it feels natural, for the most part.
Last night I saw the dichotomy clearly and marveled at it.
The sign says, “We Are Closed.”
Today, one of my students came back to my house to pick up something. She brought a friend because she wanted to show my house to her friend.
She asked if they could come in. I paused. “Okay…” I said.
At the door she said, “Is it okay if we don’t take off our shoes this time?” “Uh…..Okay…” I said, not liking it but trying to be nice.
In the living room, my student was excitedly pointing out different aspects of my house, “And here is where the class was in the kitchen, see how large it is?!” she said to her friend.
Meanwhile, the friend is standing in her dirty street shoes on my yoga mat. “Actually, you’re standing where I practice yoga,” I said. She bent down and wiped it off with her hands, apologizing.
My student asked if they could go upstairs. “No,” I said. “The house is not open and I’m busy right now.”
She quickly took her friend to see my office, anyhow, and I was now more than ready to have them out of my house.
I walked them to the gate and I explained to my student, “I am a very private person. My life is a retreat. My house is not open just any old time to anyone. I open it at the right moment. You didn’t know this, but now you do.”
It felt good to have spoken my truth, albeit “late".
I came back inside and felt (and still feel) anger mixed with tenderness.
Not saying “No” is worse than saying “No”
That was not okay with me. My home is literally a sanctuary for me. It is my safe haven, my spiritual school building. It is where I do all my sacred work. It is private and it is mine. It is for me to decide when and if and how to share it. There is nothing wrong with me for being this way, this is how I am, period. I don’t like people in my home when they are not invited.
I feel violated that they saw my personal life. That I had permitted them to step into my magical space. For indeed, my home is my alchemical cauldron and playground. It is not for every day eyes. (They probably wouldn’t know the difference, but I do.) Ritual is in progress. Others seeing it feels raw and exposed and utterly inappropriate. Disrespectful. This is where my self-anger comes from today. I didn’t treat with respect my own sacred process and reality.
Most people have no idea of what I’m doing and what is required to receive what they do from me. And, I don’t need them to. What’s important is that I honor and respect my contract with life and all that it takes to bring my offerings to others in the best way I am able. And those that specifically judge me for how I live, they’re neither who I need nor choose for my inner circle.
Fear of not being liked creates anger
I didn't decline my student’s request at the gate. Why? Because I believed that to say “No,” was “wrong”: She wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t comprehend, wouldn’t like me. But not defending my precious life and way of living is the reason for my angry feelings.
I am learning to set boundaries and say "No". I realize that had I been able to say a kind and honest “No,” at the gate, I would not have felt this anger. I would have simply felt and known that for me the request was not a fit at that moment, and I would have spoken and acted in line with that.
Wanting to be like everybody else
So much anger I have felt in my life, and how much of it is because I have not said a version of “No,” when that was the deeply felt response? And all because I have unconsciously continued to want to be like everybody else, be liked, accepted, seen as normal and therefore, all right and accepted.
It is so painful to be different – especially when a young one. It is more than time for me to love and accept myself as I am, as I am made, as I am as a result of every action and event that has happened in my life up to this moment.
Progress, not Perfection is the game
Life is a process, truly, and although I wish I had “nipped it in the bud” with my student and her friend, this afternoon, at least I clearly felt, recognized, and naturally (spontaneously, in the moment) addressed what I felt and wanted and needed. This for me is progress, and while I still prefer all or nothing perfection and completeness once and for all, I accept that today I did better. Much better.
And so with sadness and warmth I am grateful for the illumination of last night when I saw so vividly about the inside and outside parts of me. Today, I accept them as truer and more important to my health and harmony than I had realized.
I see how all the time, (which is the majority of the time,) when I am doing my inside work, that I am working hard, not only for myself, but actually, this is how I prepare myself for service to others. How I fulfill my mission. I have no choice. It is like this and needs to be like this. At least for now. I have a lot of gifts, creativity, knowledge, joy and wisdom to share, but not all the time and not at just any moment.
The sign says, “We are open”
I work for me, for you, for the world, here inside my home. And at the right moment, I open the doors and let you in. For awhile. Then you go, and I return to my inner work. Till the next time.
I have the image of a butterfly, its wings closed, as it drinks water and collects nectar. At some moment, the beauty and splendor of all that the butterfly has collected and assimilated for its survival is revealed, momentarily, as open wings.
Much of life seems to be coming to terms with all of who I am: exploring and finding acceptance and ways to lovingly accompany the various lost parts, with all their fear, trembling, and woeful lonely rage.
I scare myself, I admit.
Naturally tenacious, however, I continue to learn and explore, now surrendering and connecting in ever deeper, surprising and comforting ways.
I am piece by piece releasing being afraid of being me:
I am piece by piece releasing being afraid of being me, both inside and outside.
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help people midlife and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow, conscious living
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