Today I swam in a lake, even though I couldn’t see the bottom and I felt the sun on my skin while I read and wrote. I took the day entirely to myself and went to Moraine State Park, in spite of the work I could be doing on my dissertation and coursework for my Methods of Assessment class. This was the first really sunny day Western PA has seen this summer, so I took advantage. I often feel guilty for taking time for myself, thinking I’m not doing as much as others, which I know likely isn’t true. So I try to let go of that guilt and the made-up expectations I think others may have of me. No matter what you choose in life, someone will disagree. That’s inevitable.
The book I finished at the beach today, Radical Acceptance, has meditations where to deal with suffering, you relate it to universal suffering to feel connectedness with others and to realize you are not alone in whatever you are feeling. So when I feel alone and disconnected and feel like I was set up to fail in relationships from some aspects of my upbringing, I think of how many other people must struggle with that and feel that way. Sometimes it helps. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but it does have some very helpful insights. Maybe I’ll do a book review entry.
Anyhow, sometimes I feel like because I was not securely attached or emotionally connected as a child, I’m destined to repeat that. And I’m angry I wasn’t taught to be secure and not wary of others. I realize others likely feel the same, but I want a solution, something concrete for me to do. That might not be realistic. I do give good thoughts to all those who invisibly suffer like I do. I used to think my upbringing didn’t affect me, and while it wasn’t awful by any means, it didn’t set me up to relate with others well. And no, it’s not because I am an only child, it’s because of my parent’s tension, volatility, unpredictability, and detached emotionality. They would give me physical things instead of connection. So a lot of my issues surface in relationships, as everyone’s does… but mine are truly relational.
I’ve spent so much time doing for others, acting how I think they think I should act, doing what I think they want me to do instead of just being myself and it has made me ill. No more. I’m going to try to give myself permission to be my true self. And you should too, if you haven’t already.
May you create and experience the inner stability you seek.