Project Protect: Sunshine and Dirt
It’s what I have been waiting for.
In this moment, it feels like it cannot get any worse.
I am perfectly calm, surrounded by a sketch artist, a man eating Pringles, a cool tattooed guy, and 5 middle school friends in a Starbucks. Am I calm, numb, or fierce? Can’t tell, and I don’t really care.
I am thinking of starving myself again to gain some kind of control. I am thinking I am a cold and horrible piece of dirt.
And my friends call me Sunshine, Sunflower Head, that I bring the light, etc. How can I be so far removed from these sentiments? Well, I will attempt to solve my predicament in my least favorite form of expression: words.
Have you listened to “Where Should We Begin, with Esther Perel?” I do not recommend it, unless you really want an honest mirror to why your relationships keep ending in blame, shame, guilt, and victimization. You are all good if you do want to know. Which I apparently I do. Thank you for making this so clear, God.
Recently I partook in Sassafras which is an MDA hallucinogen. It did not matter to me exactly what it was, but that I was with a trusted group of people.
What a trip.
They call it a heart opener. Depressing really, as it seemed like the first time my heart had opened as an adult. Is this really true? No, probably not. Ms. Esther and her wonderful guests’ conversation hit a cord. The shame cord. I feel like the work I have done around shame has moved out of me and into a rock that squishes me from above. The shame rock pushes on my memory veins so that I only remember all the times I have failed. The rock has taken shape and color. Maybe it has some worms and a wide eyed newt living under it when it is not squishing me. As I navigate my current relationship, the shame rock is quite busy though. Ok, so I am not the only one (bummer, any Enneagram 4’s out there who also want to bask in their specialness?). As I am listening to a very brave interview on the Esther Perel show, it clicked as I was listening to her reflect on this woman who had been living in a tremendous amount of denial, guilt, and disassociation: Apparently, people who disassociate do not vary their voice tone when speaking about the weather or cheating on their spouse with a different sex and not telling their kids. Not pointing fingers here. What’s done is in the past. Yet, our minds can keep living our mistakes and bullshit over and over and over again. And that leaks into my present moment all the time. I feel like I never quite sink into life, yet I observe others do it. I change jobs, move, fire boyfriends, hold back how I feel about others, stop communicating with people I really admire if I have embarrassed myself, hold back on my business, not teach classes I want to teach, not wear outfits I want to wear, and I wait. I wait for home to be here, that someone else is going to create a safe place for me again to be depressed or self absorbed or naively happy and innocent. That that someone will let me want my parents to be together or let me want one home to go to, to return to. And I can want those things all day, but they cannot be. I have blocked so many forms of connection and conversation by letting my shame about _____ create so much doubt in who I want to be. I attract rescuers who momentarily give me a sense of permission to live in this doubt. I energetically say, “Oh, I don’t know my worth, and I am so closed off. Open me up and prove me wrong about what I think about myself. Heal my wounds about my parents’ divorce, please, by being a successful relationship!”
But they cannot save me. And this shit needs to stop here. Esther Perel says so beautifully during this enlightening interview:
“Instead of defying her. Defy your own limiting beliefs.” That about sums it up.
And I want to relate to Esther Perel. I want to embody her successful energy. By calling out my own shit and seeing it, the secret cannot live on. Did you catch the secret? I’ll say it again, more for my own sake.
I wait for home to be here, that someone else is going to create a safe place for me again to be depressed or self absorbed or naively happy and innocent. That that someone will let me want my parents to be together or let me want one home to go to, to return to. And I can want those things all day, but they cannot be.
I cannot return to being a high schooler. Get ready, Lyndsey, switching from a saving-face-human to an authentic human means a lot of things!!!
They could criticize me. Reject me. Call me weird, needy, crazy, bitchy, distant, living in the past, stubborn, cold, hard to crack, hard to read, sensitive, insecure, ungrateful, and/or self absorbed.
These are all the things I project ONTO others. So I can protect or defend myself before they do these things.
While I am so busy knowing what they think of me, they are calling me Sunshine, Sunflower Head, and bringing the light…how can this be??
What if I take some new risks?
Questions I am asking myself: What will I call myself? Who will I call upon in my doubt? How will I defy my beliefs? How will I sit in the darkness until the darkness and light are the same, the judgement is a distant worm, and my face becomes the sun beam that we all need reflected back to us?
It starts here. This is the moment I have been waiting for.