Usually I wait until I have figured something out before I write about it, but this one is niggling me and I haven't quite got an answer so I'm writing anyway in the hope that either the answer will come as I write, or that someone out there can offer up some wise words to help me.
I have struggled with not feeling good enough ever since I've been able to consciously feel. I've fought against it my whole life. Its been the cause of two quite serious depressive episodes and one what I like to call breakdown.
Having survived the events of last year I have worked a lot on how I feel about myself and things around me. The knowledge that I can survive what life throws at me gives me strength. The love that people have for me and the help they offer when I need it gives me sustenance. My self-esteem is higher than it ever has been. But still I get those days........
The ones where I wake up hating the world and everyone in it. The ones where everything that is said to me takes on a sinister note. The ones where the bad voices inside me shout down the good ones. They shout so loudly and are so exhausting that I can hardly get out of bed. Those days don't happen so often now but they do still happen.
I've done a lot of work on this over the last few weeks. Working on acceptance. Of myself. To embrace and love all the aspects of me - particularly the ones I don't like. The passive-aggressive me. The sulky me. The me that hurts people. The rude me that can't look people in the eye.
Acceptance is an interesting thing. We are all made up of everything - all the aspects of humanity, from love to hate. From nice to nasty. From easy to difficult. From lover to killer. And we all have the potential to be all of those things - either unconsciously or consciously. We are usually more conscious of the good stuff - we like to think of ourselves as kind and useful, and we tend to ignore the manipulative, dirty side of us. But its still there. Somewhere in us.
And the trick with this, I'm finding, is that if we consciously accept that we are those things, that they are all behavioural tools that we can choose to use if we need or decide to, then actually we don't ever have to use them. Its a paradox - if I know that I can really hurt someone, and that I will if the situation demands it, then I can afford to be compassionate. I have nothing to prove, I am not stuck in an angry, reactionary habit, instead I can make an informed choice to be loving, kind and offer succour to my fellow human. And I find that hugely powerful.
So the bit that I don't have the answer for, are the days where I wake up feeling not good enough. When everything that everyone says to me sounds like a criticism. Like everyone else in the world is in a fabulous club that I'm excluded from. Like they all get the joke and the joke is me.
I'm trying to accept it. I'm trying to relax when it happens, to tell myself that it will pass, and just live in the feelings. Just sit with the feeling of not being good enough. To know that its just a perception and that it isn't real. Because after all this time I don't think its going to go away.
But I guess the bit I don't get is why it happens. What benefit does it bring me? Is it telling me not to act that day? Is it telling me to rest and not enter the world at that moment? Do I just need to preserve my energy and stay in bed?
I know that acceptance is the answer. I know that I can stop fighting the feelings and just accept them. But I don't know what good it is doing me.
Maybe that's enough for now.