2021.12.30 Day Notes

* Day two of journaling about Shame/Humiliation/Misery
** Reread the chapters of Letting Go up to and through the chapter about Shame
* Watch the video of week 7 of the 3VQ course

* Meditation
* Yoga
* Journaling

Reflections:: At a friend’s place that I stayed over at, so woke up and did my yoga practice with me in the AM. Noticed that doing the beginner yoga training with someone else made me a little annoyed because I was with someone, which is funny to observe, as my ideal relationship situation would involve doing these practices with someone. I think it was partly because I was not fully confident about how to instruct someone else on these exercises. And also partly because my current programming is still to push people away. The not-being-confident-instructing-someone-else-on-these-exercises argument actually doesn’t hold up now that I think about it since she’s a yoga teacher. I think it’s gotta be that I was closed off to the idea of her doing it with me. It’s 9:58am right now. Switching to reflecting on shame.

Having a second day to think about shame is great because I’m getting a peeling-the-onion sort of effect with more memories coming to the surface. Additional memories that are coming to mind:
* There was someone I was friends with when I was a teenager and I liked his girlfriend so I tried to interfere with their relationship. I feel shame that I acted that way.
* When I was a teenager, someone got upset at me for saying something to someone that they interpreted as homophobic. I truly meant the exact opposite of what they interpreted, but to get out of the situation I created a whole story about having a friend who got beat up for being gay (this did not happen) to elicit sympathy and get out of the situation that way. I feel shame that I was so dishonest and manipulative. I’m embarrassed that I found it easier to make up a story to pull on someone’s heartstrings than to tell the truth to get the same effect. Clearly I was scared of being vulnerable. I’m ashamed I wasn’t braver and had more integrity when I was younger.
*I’m ashamed that when I was a teenager I made up stories of being in fights to tell myself and others that I was tougher than I really was. I was scared to say I was scared in the first place. I’m embarrassed again, that I did not have the strength to integrity and take pride in who I really was. There was a lot to be proud of, but I only focused on the negative and what was different from how I wish I presented.
*I’m ashamed that at a cross-country meet in tenth grade I stole the first place ribbon because I wanted the ribbon even though I didn’t win the race.
*I’m ashamed that at a debate competition I put extra votes in for my speech and that’s the only debate that I won at.
*I’m ashamed that at a number of tryouts for things like model UN and being a counselor at a camp program I treated things as a joke rather than express my real feelings.
*I’m ashamed that when I hooked up with women as a teenager I was more interested in being perceived as popular than connecting with them.
*I’m ashamed that as a teenager there was someone who liked hanging out with my friends and I, and rather than be nice to him, we used him for his car and called him names behind his back.
*I’m ashamed that it’s taken me until I’m 38 years old to have enough distance to be able to admit those things to myself. At the same time, I’m noticing that creating distance is the exact opposite of what I want to do here. As I’m writing this post, I noticed my breathing was shallow. I’m now intentionally breathing more deeply and leaning into feeling connected to the teenage version of me that was so hurtful towards other people and pushed both them and myself away. That teenager could be any teenager. And he was unknowingly dealing with a ton of things and just didn’t have a guidebook for how to relate to folks. I feel fortunate that I now take pride in being honest and direct, and it’s scary to see how when I allow myself to stop and reflect on things, I was very much the opposite in another phase in my life.
*I’m ashamed that in a number of circumstances when I was scared as a teenager, I backed down instead of going after what I wanted. Like if I had a crush on someone but they seemed to like someone else, I didn’t ask them out anyways. I would tell any teenager I raised to express themselves openly and directly. 🤔 What’s interesting to me after typing this out is that I now do so. I’m a direct communicator. I feel pain and confusion when I put myself back in those situations. But when I go into my present day body noticing my breath, I also notice some throbbing – my pulse – on the rear left side of my skull, and feelings of anger/disgust that I was that person. And then after I type that I’m noticing a part of me jumps towards reassuring me that I was doing my best and without a father figure I had to learn those things by trial and error on my own. And that there are a number of people who never become folks with integrity and as a society we need to have a better system than just hoping kids have good parents.

10:28am. Been typing for 30 minutes. So the above is half an hour of reflection. Looking forward to seeing what else comes up today and tomorrow as I continue delving deeper into this emotion and mindset.

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