I’m a failure!
This past week, my husband, Steve, made a comment to which I had an intense reaction. I interpreted his comment to mean that he felt superior and wanted to make me inferior.
Shame and guilt reared up in response to what he had voiced, followed by intense anger. I wanted to fight! I blamed Steve for my drama. I made up that he had deliberately caused me pain. Even though I checked out my “made up stuff” with him, and even though he assured me that it wasn’t true, it still hooked me.
For years, I’ve taught that what upsets us about another really resides in us. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t react. When we experience an emotional charge toward someone or something, we harbor some version of that very thing that bugs us so much. Therefore, if I’m upset, I’m responsible for my upset. Steve had just become the handy coat rack on which to hang the blame for my bit of theater.
Knowing this, when I experience the kind of drama that had gripped me, I attempt to withdraw blame (believe me, that’s not easy!). I take a deep look at what’s going on within me. I ask questions. I want to know how the ego lured me into the drama through the lies it fed me. Some people like to do this inner work mentally. I like to journal about it.
As I wrote, there it was – the lie that the ego had served up: “You’re inadequate, a real failure!” I recognized it as a belief that had been with me for a long time and that I had bought into.
Now that I had named the belief, I could take my inquiry further. I asked myself, “If this belief were a person, how would it see the world? How does it think and feel?”
My inquiry led me to see the fear that lies at the heart of the thought, “I’m a failure.” “It” (the ego that lives with me) quakes in its boots at the perception that, if people find out how inadequate it really is, they will reject and abandon it. This ego desperately wants to be seen in a good light. It holds onto the notion that others have their stuff together and it doesn’t. It’s terrified that people will see it naked and know it to be a fraud.
The motivations of other people do not cause our suffering. Neither do the events and circumstances that show up in our lives. It’s our perception of situations, events, circumstances and others’ motivation that causes our pain. Drama originates in our minds. Our own thoughts and interpretations cause most of our anguish.
Why do I journal to dig into and uncover these belief systems? It’s because they disrupt my peace and insert wedges between others and myself. They cause me to suffer, and I don’t like suffering!
By holding the ego’s interpretations and beliefs up to the light of my awareness, I intend to make them so transparent that they disappear. I am then able to see myself for who and what I truly am in this moment – whole, perfect, complete.
And so are you.
Dr. Marta supports the alleviation of egoic suffering in others through her Life Coach practice. To contact her, write email@example.com or call (928) 451-9482.