Learning to Love Again
On yesterday’s post You Tell Me Yours I wrote about my most recent experience on the discussion forum for my Human Sexuality class. The process of writing and responding regarding this week’s discussion topic has played into my experience of transformation that I started earlier in the week, which I spoke about in my post The Power to Discern.
Last night, I got a response to You Tell Me Yours from Jen over on Only a Little Sugar-Coated and she commented, “I read your discerning post, and felt confused. Because you do know. I’m glad you found that today.” That prompted me to share with her further details about what I learned yesterday… then I realized that it may be loving to myself to write a little more in a longer post… so that’s what you’re reading now. My experience has taught me that repetition is key when it comes to personal inner-work and transformation. And it is important to me that I get this new learning solid in my body so I can use it.
My response to her reads: “Thank you, Jen. It has been an incredible couple of days. BIG transformations and I feel excited and scared all at once. Yesterday, in my lab, I was working on homework and read something that was related to problem solving for business and suddenly I was realized that WHEN I FOLLOW MY INTUITION then I AM discerning. My intuition is, without fail, CLEAR. So, it isn’t that I need to learn discernment… it’s that I need to learn to trust myself, without fail, and follow that intuitive nudge.”
The two radio shows that we have done this week have been a lot about self-love and being loving to ourselves. I have such an appreciation for the experiences of this week because it has shown me how far I’ve come and that, even though I think I’ve got it all figured out, there are still some places where I slide backwards into old destructive patterns. The one that showed up yesterday was that I think I’m doing “it” wrong if I’m not doing “it” like everyone else. There is a programmed belief within me that says I am fundamentally flawed and, therefore, I am not enough and can’t do anything right. This belief pops into play when I am moving forward at lightning speed and start forgetting to remember that I need to stay present with ME. The quick forward motion starts stirring up bubbles of fear that pop and send me outside of me… even further ahead of my already quick-moving pace and then I am flailing about in the nothingness of the future. A place where I have, literally, no control. The only thing I have a say about is what is happening in the present.
How that showed up in lab yesterday was I was completing a big project for my business class. I had to solve a problem using many of the problem solving skills I’ve learned in that class. I started with the required skill and then spun through solving the problem instinctively, without referring to the book. When it came time to write the paper, I realized I hadn’t been paying attention to what I was “supposed to do” next. I had simply… done it.
So I had to figure out what I had done so I could write the paper. The entire time I was writing my paper on the process, I was berating myself because I had not done it “right.” I hadn’t planned on which steps I was going to take. I had just done it willy-nilly and that was… well… wrong. I had this whole internal dialogue going until I turned to page 95 in my textbook (The Creative Problem Solver’s Toolbox; Fobes, Richard) and landed on the section called, “Following Strategies, Not Steps or Rules.” I stopped for a moment. Something about those six words caught my attention and my heart started racing. I read on and found myself with tears running down my face right there in the ASL lab because I was reading in that book the very message I had shared with our listeners on Wednesday’s show…
“Leonardo da Vinci wisely said, “If you were to use rules in creating, you would never get to the beginning of anything.” Centuries ago when explorers traveled through new frontiers, they didn’t have trails to follow or maps to tell them what was on the other side of each mountain. Instead, they had to create their own trail and draw their own maps. Similarly, as you explore new mental frontiers, you must blaze your own trail without any step-by-step instructions or rules to follow. After all, you’re going where perhaps no one has ever been, so how can anyone supply you with instructions to get there? … Each situation by its nature, automatically indicates which tool you need to use.”
It reminded me that my mind works so quickly that, often times, it is doing something so naturally that others may struggle with and may have to actually have a map lined out for them to follow. For my entire life, I have gone it “on my own.” It is part of the reason I left my religion… I simply had to find the truth for myself in a way that I understood. Following the pack has never been my strong suit, although I have tried desperately to make myself be a sheep. I’m not really a sheep. I have a difficult time blending in… even when I want to be like everyone else and not be unique and different and “finicky.” I have a difficult time following leaders because part of me knows without a doubt that I am connected directly to my Higher Power who can see the entire picture and I, somehow, can see it too.
So I’ve rounded the corner and feel like I’m back on track. I have gained understanding and have refocused, finding the core issue that was stealthily waiting in the dark recesses of my being… hiding and poking at me in moments when I was least prepared, but looking desperately. Like many of my healing experiences, it took me by surprise because it happened when I least expected it, when I had given up on frantically working at it and struggling to find the answer. I had stopped beating myself up and had started paying attention to my life. I had started showing myself that I do, indeed, love me and care about me and then… gently and with no further ado… there was the answer… in the middle of my ASL lab… in the middle of a book that had nothing to do with personal transformation, self-help or conscious thinking.