I’ve been struggling with this concept for days now. Years, actually, but I truly thought I had been-there-done-that enough already to move through/past/beyond it, but no. I suck.
And yet I cannot yet embrace it. Embrace the suckage. I smile slightly, inwardly, as I write that. A wry smile. Rueful. It’s irony, after all, and I dig the ironic bizarreness that life is. Except when it’s about me, of course. Me? I have to be Perfect. No suckage for me.
I could say “Thanks, Dad” for that one. A big part of my imprinting is in this concept. Let me see if I can explain it to you; it’s a bit circular but to me makes perfect sense since I have been living it so long. But if I throw out the keyword phrases of high self expectations, heavy judgement of self and others, low self esteem, and heavy arrogance, do you begin to get the picture? In my growing-up world and the one I have created ever since, I have had to be perfect. I have judged others for their seeming imperfections, largely because 1) I am a mirror and I have those same imperfections, if not more, and 2) judging others takes the onus and focus off me. In fact, a big part of why my work appeals to me as much as it does is that it allows me to sit there on a guru pedestal and reflect stuff back away from me and toward my clients when it begins to hit home a little too much. I cannot suck. It is not possible, not part of the reality I created.
God, I suck.
I could say “Thanks, Dad” in a sarcastic way. Thanks for all the shit you gave me. Thanks for all the pain. Thanks for being the one who turned me into this ball of suckage. Except … what is the point in that? In blame? I have held my father accountable (in my mind) for a lot of my “stuff” for a long time. I would rather release that now. I could feel into the possibility that 1) I chose this experience (duh), and 2) it’s actually a gift (!), and 3) it’s up to me to figure out how to see it that way.
All this comes up for me because there is a man who loves me and my inner response is to run. Danger! Danger! Abort! Abort! He loves me and I think I should love him back by being Perfect. Because in my mind that’s what I should be. And if I am not Perfect, he won’t love me. In my mind. This is the very thing that has ended relationships in the past. Every single one, really. When someone got too close to seeing me, I’d set up a defense. Make them suck, in my mind. Concentrate on their flaws until that’s all I could see. Rationalization! Yay! Or I would set up a wall. You are getting this close and that’s all. Many people are happy with that. You can live an entire life not truly connecting.
Except, I have always held an ideal in my mind. That there was, somewhere, someone out there who would truly see me. Who would love me, simply because I am me. Who would accept my full heart and take it in. Love it. Who would be incredibly and intimately connected with me in every way. Who would feel wonderful just to be near. Who would be a real partner to me, without an agenda other than wanting ways to connect, love and support me and want the same from me. I have wanted that, so much, and always thought it was possible. Someday. Somewhere. With someone.
And I have that, I believe I have that now, and it scares me. I don’t want to fuck this up. This is what I have been wanting.
Why this man? Why now?
Because I am ready for this. Because he is. I have been presented with almost the same opportunity in the past … except it wasn’t the same. Not even close. Same but not-same. Just let me love you. I have heard that before. But there were triggers. Or they hadn’t done their work. There was a charge. An agenda. Something was missing. And I was different, too, for those men-of-the-past. More scared. More in denial. Less self-aware. Less close to the internal ball of suckage that’s inside me. More. Less.
I am scared to let this amazing man truly see me because I don’t want to see me. I want to run home, close my blinds, turn on the TV, get a bag of chips, and disappear into the couch cushions. I want to and yet he looks at me with eyes of understanding and love and invites me (invites!) to undress my fears and be naked for him. Along with him. Beside him. No requirements, just an invitation. Just a witness to whatever and however I am. And the irony in this is part of what endears him to me are all his fears, nakedness, quirks, the very things in me that I want so badly to hide from him (and myself).
What if I find out that I truly do suck? That I don’t actually live in a Lake Wobegon world where I am always above average? From here, standing on the edge of suckage, it feels like my world would implode if I found that out. If I am not as awesome as I wished I was (but have never truly believed about myself and so have set up layers and layers of defenses about, especially to myself). If I am not special. If I am like everyone else.
I counsel people frequently about what it is like to let go of identities. I have gone through this myself. Once I identified strongly with being a mother. I changed my lifestyle and forced myself to let go of that identity. It was extremely frightening. I didn’t know who I was. I felt like I didn’t have a foothold, that I was falling. So what did I do? I created a new identity. Helper. Healer. Guru. And now, through this invitation to let myself love and be loved by this man, I am asking myself to let go of that identity as well. I have nothing else yet to hang onto. It feels as though I am falling through space, formless infinite space, and it scares me, thinking that there is nothing at my core to grab onto except for suck. And I scramble back — a fingerhold, a toehold — trying to keep from falling into the ball of suck that is at my core.
The thought strikes me that there could be another identity out there that’s even better than the one I struggle to hold onto. And then I wonder if that thought isn’t in itself sort of self-destructive, leading to more Denial of Inner Suck. Then I employ a whole stream of shoulds and tell myself that I should just be allowing. Just be in the present. Just let things unfold. Stop trying to DO. Be.
I am going to work with this concept of inner suck, even though it scares me. I am going to love and be loved, even though it scares me. I want to be a better person.