What I Learned On Vacation
On vacation, my first two days were difficult. I was watching other people and making up all sorts of negative stories about them. I decided they were all pretending to have fun. I was getting myself depressed.
Because that’s what I was doing. I was trying to keep my daughter happy by doing whatever she wanted even though I was tired, in pain, and just wanting to relax.
I was sacrificing myself, thinking it was the right thing to do.
I discuss it in this video. I laugh and cry as usual.
Even so, I will say the vacation was great, because I learned some valuable lessons:
I don’t have to pretend to be pleasant.
I don’t have to try to please others by sacrificing myself.
I don’t have to always be fun.
Everyone can do what they want. It’s ok.
I can acknowledge when something isn’t working for me.
I can open my mouth.
I can be free.
Pretending to be fine when I’m not doesn’t work for me. Maybe others, but definitely not me. I go down and down into a negative cycle.
The only way out is to start sharing. Not to complain, but to acknowledge where I am. Get it all out, and then I can create freedom and a new trajectory for life. Out of the shitter and into something new.
This morning, when I was making myself wrong for not being happy, I remembered another vacation.
I was sitting with my travelling companions at breakfast.
“All you do is complain. Just stop it. I can’t take it anymore,” my “friend” blurted out suddenly.
I was stunned. I felt attacked and don’t think I spoke for the rest of the vacation. It was a miserable few days in Florida, waiting for the trip to be over.
Looking back, I remembered I had gotten some very bad news before I left for Florida. My friend didn’t believe me. I was upset, nervous and scared and didn’t know how to handle it. No solution was a happy one and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I felt miserable and alone.
Today I got to cry for my much younger self. Because I never did back then. I toughed my way through, pretending I was fine. It is actually healing for me to feel the pain, even though it’s many years later. By feeling it, it can get complete. I can also have compassion for my younger self, something I rarely do.
That’s what works for me. Maybe other people can power through tough times being positive. For me that doesn’t work. I make myself wrong for being upset, turn on myself, and then get upset for being upset. I don’t know if this makes sense, but it’s a vicious circle. I have a hard time getting myself out of it.
In contrast, allowing myself to feel the emotions has me move through them in a matter of minutes if not seconds. I’m just not very adept at it, having not allowed them most of my life. Sometimes I don’t even know that I’m upset.
But I am practicing. And getting better every day.
As Michael Singer says in the Untethered Soul, which I am loving, by feeling the emotions, discomfort and even panic and fear, and allowing it, we can be free. We can move beyond our self-imposed, but invisible boundaries. It’s uncomfortable, but then it’s not.
Like a dog in an electric fence, we have to move towards the painful jolt and allow it, to get to the other side. I don’t know if I’m doing justice to what he says, but I’ve been experimenting with it the past couple of weeks. It is quite amazing. And quite freeing.
Come join me on the other side.
Thanks for listening.