Internalizing

We don’t let go into trust until we’ve exhausted our egos. – Rob Lehman

My ego is being bossy again.

I suppose that’s its job but it really is annoying. When my ego is in charge, situations that have nothing to do with me suddenly get personalized. I pout, manipulate and scheme. I spend too much brain energy on crap that is none of my business. I compare, contrast and come up empty.

This is no good.

I’ve been struggling with trust too- particularly where men are concerned. This is not a new battle but it feels different and scary. I think about dating and then stop myself saying “You are not ready.” Are we ever “ready”? If I wait until I am ready will I be dead? And yet the thought of putting myself out there makes me want to take to my bed. (Alone.) Makes me want to QUICK come up with another dream that doesn’t involve living happily ever after with someone though that’s the universal truth we’re all supposed to chase. What if I never find love again? What if no one ever wants a forever with me? What if I can’t do it- be a girlfriend or a wife or someone’s mom? Miniscule doubts, under the magnifier of my mind, loom large.

What if I am never enough?

Worse: What if I never believe I am enough?

I’m self-aware enough to realize the real issue here. My belief in myself, while a thousand times better than it was ten years ago, is not where I would like it to be. I’m an overachiever and a perfectionist but regardless of my high standards, I am not where I want to be when it comes to self-confidence. This is not a newsflash. Frankly, I’m rather tired of thinking about it. Yesterday, while chatting with Kaply, she said: You can’t think your way into right action, you have to act your way into right thinking.

And while I agree with her, I feel stuck.

It’s hard to act different when your mind is playing tricks on you. It’s like I need to put parts of myself in a time out in the corner so I can make some progress. I’ve spent most of my life trying to control uncontrollable situations. You’d think by now I’d give up that worthless fight.

So yeah- trust, ego, self-worth- same story, different day.

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23 thoughts on “Internalizing

  1. And yet, every day that you talk about it with friends or whomever, every day that you shine a light on it, every day that you say, “There’s that judging voice, say what you have to say, and then shut up already”? That’s a day that progress is being made.

    I struggle with this, too, as you well know. I move forward, and then I slip backwards again. But despite my (extremely) dark moods that pop up, I know that I’m making headway.

    It sounds like you know that you are (have been) making progress, too. Remember what a wise woman that *I* know told me: “[T]here is no timetable except the one you force on yourself.”

  2. Sometimes, I think we expect too much of ourselves too soon. So, maybe you aren’t ready to jump out there, actively date, actively seek out boys, etc. To go from a difficult break-up to that is a huge step. Why not take a few baby steps instead. Why not be open to meeting someone. It takes no action on your part. Why not enjoy looking at cute boys when you’re out with friends. Again, it takes no action on your part. But, steps like those will begin to let your mind be ready for when you actually do start dating again. You definitely have it in you to be loved again, but you don’t have to take such gigantic steps to get there.

  3. You know, I had completely given up finding “that special someone” after my last break-up, over three years ago. I sure wasn’t out there looking or thinking about it, but now? Well, you know.

    And that Kaply is some sort of genius or something. And not just because of her strong anti-pants stance.

  4. Several thoughts:
    1. No, I don’t think we’re ever really ready to date. We put ourselves out there and try to make the best choices we can, and learn from our mistakes (and successes!).
    2. I firmly believe that at some point in the dating cycle, you get to the “I just don’t give a shit” tipping point — and that’s when it becomes easy. It’s just hard to get there.
    3. You are awesome.

  5. 1. You ARE enough. Actually, you are wonderfully perfect.
    2. Any man would be lucky to be with you.
    3. Don’t settle.
    and 4. Don’t think about it. Seriously. Try and let it all go. And it’ll come to you. I promise and pinky swear.

  6. i agree…don’t think we are ever ready to date. have you ever wondered why so many people have the story that starts out, “i went out with him, just thinking that we were going to be friends…”. because there is no pressure. it’s that pressure that kills anything that could be, in many cases.

  7. …i know your thought processes (because it is mine as well) and it is intimidating and can be incapacitating to have those questions rolling around like a steam roller in your head …no we are never ready …love hits us when we least expect us and, as i am learning, leaves us in the same fasion …sometimes bloodied battered and bruised …but we go on, right?

  8. I wish the world referred to everything in life as we do with medicine and law and art: practice. Because that’s really all any of us are doing. Practice doesn’t make perfect, it just makes progress. Which, really, is all we can really count on. So just practice. No pressure, you’re allowed to screw up, you’re allowed to succeed brilliantly, and you’re allowed to be anywhere in between.

  9. *sigh* See also my recurring fears that no one likes me. I feel like my confidence has been deteriorating over the past few years and I am not sure why? Maybe I need to throw myself into therapy. :p

  10. Ah. I relate to so much of what you write. I know the stuck feeling well, but I’m also thinking that with as much thinking and writing and sorting through this as you’re doing, you’re probably making more progress than you give yourself credit for … Keep on truckin’.

  11. Your posts are always so illuminating of what’s happening in my mind/life. I feel how you have described feeling here, although I’m certain our stories share both similarities and differences. I totally agree with Marie, though, and I think we should all print her little numbered list of advice and refer ourselves to it whenever we begin to feel this way!

  12. I think the only person you need to learn to trust is yourself. Deep down, you know what (or rather, who) you deserve – it’s just a matter of trusting your own intuition to ensure that you get it. Trust yourself if you see a red flag or get a sour feeling. Most of the times I don’t think it’s the boys who pull the wool over our eyes when we’re dating…it’s us.

    I totally hear you on the “what if I never” front, too. When I was in counseling, my therapist had me write out what my life would be like if I never got married and had kids. It was really painful and I cried – but afterward, I felt sort of free. I knew that I could still make my life rich and meaningful if I didn’t have what I thought I always wanted. You can never go wrong when you write about this kind of stuff.

  13. I hate overanalyzing things, yet it is something I’m good at. And, like I say, you find something you’re good at and you stick with it. To a lot of those questions, when they start taking over your brain, respond, “So what.” You’re living your life the best you can and some things can take a “so what” until you’re ready for them, or until they actually happen.

  14. For what it’s worth in this moment – I really like who you are.

    Putting parts in timeout. Great concept. I am going to use that in therapy if you don’t mind. ;)

  15. I hate to say this – I was once a perfectionist. You have to be pretty damn good at stuff to be a perfectionist. Those less inclined don’t have that problem. So, take a look at others a little judgmentally and you’ll see that you are better than average. You may not be perfect but perfect is not the standard. Average is the standard. Perfection is rarely required unless you are a neurosurgeon. The rest of the world is allowed to make mistakes. Give yourself a break. You do not have to be the best at everything so lighten up. “It’ll do” is good enough most of the time believe it or not.

    Try not to look at men as possible partners for life. Maybe they could just be a friend for now. Why commit yourself? If the friendship deepens – wonderful – if not? ehn people grow and change. Enjoy the moment. Seize the day.

  16. I worry about never being enough and never believing I am enough on a daily basis. Confidence? Me? Whatever. I wish I knew how to overcome this obstacle. Life would be so much better if I could.

  17. I am having ego issues this week myself. (Mostly work related.)

    On Youtube there are some (poor quality) videos on the Big Mind Process, I went through the steps… it helps.

  18. Oh, that evil old ego! Gets me in trouble all the time. I suggest telling her to take a hike. As for dating. I am 53, single and I have been in love, had boyfriends and lived with a few, I have ended up alone. So far. Let me tell you that the constant search is exhausting.
    It will happen when it happens and it may not happen, ready or not. Relax, and be happy, you don’t need another person to make you complete, it is lie, but if it happens that’s great to. xoxo

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