The most important spiritual growth doesn’t happen when you’re meditating or on a yoga mat. It happens in the midst of conflict. When you’re frustrated, angry or scared and you’re doing the same old thing and then you suddenly realize that you have a choice to do it differently…
Responsibility is choice, it is potentiality. It is just our ability to respond and that ability is infinite. It is god-like. That is our power. Our lives are manifestations of our choices and character. Being enlightened just means that you are living your life consciously. Life is not just happening to you, that’s the revelation one has when they start an awakening. There is no shortcut through this journey but it is one that we’re all meant to be on.
The first time I became aware of the power of choice happened when I was very young. I am scared that there is a monster in me to. That was written on the wall behind my therapist when I was seven. It was mixed in with a bunch of other notes and testimonies from kids but that one statement made me conscious about how kids with a history similar to my own turnout. I made the decision at that moment to not turn out like them. Cycles, that is what I became conscious of. Big things have small beginnings and I was always cautious about what choices I made. I grew up in rough neighbourhoods, I did not want to grow up and be like any of the adults and teens that I was surrounded by. I wanted to be better. Of course, now we live in a time where it is immoral and judgemental to look at communities like that and not feel responsible for them. They’re not powerless. They have agency. If you want the right results you have to do the right things.
Self-Sabotage looks like: Rejecting praise and compliments
Not asking for help
Pushing people away when they start to get close
Opening up and attaching to others prematurely
Refusing to do something unless you can do it perfectly
Procrastinating on important projects
Putting everyone else’s needs before your own
Constantly criticizing yourself
Isolating when you are hurting
I’m not saying that every choice I have made in my life was perfect. I’m not saying that I am perfect. I did, however, realize that I have been my saboteur. I am my own worst enemy. I had this realization around this time last year. I had the disease to please. That’s how I self-sabotaged. I created as much distance from dealing with my own life by taking on the problems of everyone else. I don’t know if that created my anxiety disorder or if that is how I coped with my anxiety disorder. Either way, I had two nervous breakdowns that landed me where I am now. I took in my 17-year-old cousin in so he could finish school, he was about to drop out to escape his mother’s abusive boyfriend. I took on Selena and her abusive boyfriend. I got her out of there. I took on Stacy and her mom to protect them from abusive men also. I took on being a role model for her son. I took on my sister and her boyfriend’s financial problems by moving in together. Which turned into me taking on an abusive sociopathic addict. I had no idea that her boyfriend was a pathological narcissist. I took on Ryan and his addiction, we lost that battle. He passed away. I took on many breakups and divorces and job searches and one existential crisis after another from my friends. I literally became somebody that nobody wanted in their lives while their lives were good. I was only around negative energy and I was only managing theirs and not my own. The dramas and upsets that came with it all caused me to have a nervous breakdown. I developed an eating disorder. Hunger was something I could control. My sister’s boyfriend bled my finances dry. Drove my cousin out of the house. I stayed to protect my sister and I was in way over my head. We didn’t even have electricity. This sociopath did not let anything go in his name. We endured all of the textbook abuse from a narcissist. I had learned helplessness. My other sister took me in. Her husband felt sorry for me. I was given an opportunity to focus on myself and leave all this drama behind.
In January of last year, I started to see a therapist. What brings you here? He asked. I am the best I’ve ever been. My health is the best it’s ever been. My finances are the best it’s ever been. My relationships are the best it’s ever been. Work is the best it’s ever been… but I feel stuck. My fears were still in control of me. They still have a grip on me to this day but I wanted to advance myself in life but I was afraid to make the changes in my life to do so. He ended his practice before I could get anywhere. Honestly, I think he learned more from me. Then I lost my job. The job I had for thirteen years. I hated it but the way I lost it was hard to get over. Several women brought to my attention that the operations manager was being predatory. These were sexual harassment and rape allegations that my store manager told me to ignore. I eventually went over his head and what the company decided to do was protect the predator and silence the victims. So there I was, unemployed for the first time in thirteen years and what I realized was that fixing everything in my life wasn’t the answer. It was never the content that wasn’t working for me, it was the context.
I had enough savings to take a substantial amount of time off. When my sister’s husband lost his job he took seven months off. My mother took one year off. I wanted to talk half a year off to figure myself out. I was still crippled with fear by the time it came to apply for work. That turned out to be harder to do than I thought. Getting work I mean. I am still hellbent on avoiding food handling but the game changed, the way we acquire work was different. There was plenty of self-sabotage there. Eventually, I got hired at the craft store and my friend Toni and I were about to combine solutions about going back to school. Then along came COVID. I was put back to square one.
This time I was changed. I have fewer people in my life than ever before. For various reasons but the main one is that it is clear that I am bigger than they are. Not by status or success but by character. A narcissist’s nightmare right there by the way, that I don’t see heir status and success as something that makes them special. Friends and family, they can barely stand me. I make them insecure because I am more vocal than ever. I’m constantly challenging them, their beliefs and opinions. Turns out that people don’t like that. I cannot connect with them and they cannot connect with me. I was ready to move to a different province to get away from people who think they know what is best for me. The COVID response pulled the rug from under me again, as I said. Now here I am trying to find work again. Trying to find a place to live even. I’m trying to be zen throughout it all. It is definitely another hardening moment. It feels like I am just being shaped and tested to become something and someone I need to be. That’s what I prefer to believe anyway. Just as I was questioning my intentions to move that choice was made for me. Everything I wanted over just manifested over here so I got to roll with it. I suppose. It’s definitely time to see what I’m made of. I gave myself yesterday to wallow. I laid in bed all day and let Spotify cry for me. Just as I saw 333 on the block this cheesy song came on and the lyrics spoke to me. The song isn’t special but the timing was good.