Okay, so the title is a little messy and maybe prompts too literal of a visual for some. I use this title to express the vastness of perspective that our world carries. I am too often dragged through the mud of the first world, usually by my own doing. I tend to be anxious for no real reason other than forgetting how to fail with grace, or actually leaning into conflict. I resort to shaming myself, and harbor that guilt for years to come–literally, years. I’ll be laying in bed at night and boom: August 7th 2007, (insert the event my hamster wheel pulled out of my rolodex of painful memories). I lay there and bask in the guilt I am too good at giving.
The shackles of my mind are ones that are made with titanium from the earths core (although I think the earths core is mostly Nickel). Besides the point of type of metal, these shackles could honestly be made of feathers and for some reason I do not have the strength to much less blow them into the wind myself, but I don’t even stand in a place to let the wind surrounding me take them. It’s almost as if I am nothing without them. Who am I without my own self-doubt and constant punishment; never good enough, and giving myself the fallacy of aiming better, is me.
Sometimes, I think we don’t talk enough. We don’t get down and gritty with the uncomfortable. I am sounding pretty lame and pitiful right about now, but more often than not, I truly am walking around punishing myself at every turn; it’s like otherwise I won’t deserve the good things when they come, or the good things will be ripped from me if I don’t repent hard enough. And who even knows what I am repenting for, I feel like if I look at my dog wrong, or don’t wink back I might as well just put myself in a jail cell (bad example absolutely I would walk off a cliff for my friends with tails). I think the point I’m horribly attempting to describe is that I do not feel good enough. Plain and simple. Thats a risky thing to feel, allows darkness and recklessness to conquer what good you’ve worked hard for. What I mean is that its taxing, yes energy taxing for me to see my good. So I work hard for that, and the moment I let even the smallest of demons appear, that good image that cost me so much of my energy, shattered. Sounds so silly. Especially when you’re the one writing it. I can feel the strong shouting at this page, “what are you talking about! You’re great! Get up dust off those shoulders!”
Anyone who knows me, knows I am THE hype man. You need new clothes, bring me I got you; starting a new job and you’re terrified no worries, give me five minutes i’ll have you ready for a promotion tomorrow; worried about a new relationship, I. Am. Your. Girl. you will feel confident and ready to take on connection. Then its time to talk to myself: You fuggggggly girl, Go home and hide you crazy weirdo. Shouldn’t you be tending to your kids, your house is dirty, you have dirty laundry to take care of, you don’t pay enough attention to the dogs, how can you call yourself a daughter?, you don’t and never will do enough.
I know harsh right? Like d*mn honey take it down a notch, jeez. By now, its years and years of self-abuse. And the older I get the more I realize the more abuse you do to yourself, the more you allow from outsiders, even if they mean nothing to you. You guys are probably like wow this chick is prettayyy crazy. And you might be right. I do have moments, many moments, where my demons are put in their rightful places, I am rocking every role to play in my life, I should get an oscar! Life feels good, I feel good, I am enough. Then I usually screw it up. A common mistake I tend to make is losing control. I think this is almost innate for me, a knee jerk reaction because I am such a control freak with every other second of my life. The moment I have an opportunity to lose the shackles of mine, I lose control only to slap them on even tighter when I surface from the overtaking freedom. This is the uncomfortable part I was talking about. It is incredibly hard to write this down. I think of my kids, how I do not want any of the burdens I have sculpted upon myself, to ever fall on them or learn through my lack of self-love, any of those habitual behaviors. My children are perfect just as they are. As I should be saying to myself, but we are working on it.
You ever have these moments, memories, that feel frozen. Sometimes they are versions of your self you really like, almost miss, maybe even admire. Then there are other moments that when they enter your thoughts you could throw up with how fast your stomach turns, maybe paralyzes you, you never want to go back there but your mind wants you to remember how shitty you are? Shackles.
So if you’ve made it this far you are probably asking, so how does sh*tting the bed fall into this depressing notion of self-identity, or you’ve totally forgotten and now have the glorious imagery back. Here’s the thing: Theres no book, no list of things to follow if malfunction occurs, no map to find the glue when you’re on the floor in pieces, no extras sheets on deck when you sh*t the bed. Instead, you have to be your own captain even when you’re not ready, figure out how to navigate uncharted waters without binoculars praying you don’t come across an iceberg, remain afloat, remain steady, find clean sheets.
How we get to the golden linens, well, that looks really different for everyone. And depending on the time some people may enter your life, they may not want to help you find the clean sheets, and would rather leave you as they found you, in your own soiled mess. Which, in truth, isn’t their problem, it’s yours. Sometimes we are lucky and they leave little clues behind, to help us find the so sought after clean sheets. But they can leave clues in their wake from a joy ride or high tailing out of the storm that you are in. Either way, it’s valuable. This is why I have a hard time not giving myself a hard time; Pain is good. Pain is a learning tool to growth of such heights that can only be achieved when you dance in the rain. The thing is, I can dance, some may say pretty effing well, but I don’t kick, twirl and tap through the storm. I let my self soak in the mess. I only dance when I think its deserved after perfection is achieved.
Spoiler: Perfection isn’t a real thing. It’s like the monster in my closet, or the million dollars in my mailbox, not real. Perfect is an opinion. What a terrible thing to live by, opinion; opinion of what and by whom? Where is my “that is good enough” standard even coming from and who decides where it stops? You do. I do. The sad thing is, I don’t. I know the answers, I know how to fix my mistakes, love myself a little bit more but yet the cycle keeps coming full circle and round and round we go, waiting to get off the this carousel, like I need an invitation that reads you’ve made it. Made what and where? All I have to do is step off, stop spinning, and it’s like I can’t move, or I can’t see where I am going. But if I just keep going, keep f*cking going, I’ll get to those sheets, forcing myself to stop rolling around in my past messes, that maybe, to some, aren’t even messes. To some my sheets might be clean.
But if I’ve learned anything, your sheets are only as clean as you see them. So until then, I’ll keep fighting, looking, searching…Keep f*cking going.