OMG. I just had an enormous revelation.
When I eat, or shop, or have sex, or take meds, or have a drink, or zone out in front of the TV, or get lost playing Plants vs. Zombies, or take a nap, or get lost in Twitter or Facebook, or do any of the other thousands of things that I have been known to do in order to evade my feelings…
I AM ABANDONING MYSELF.
I have had these exact words said to me: “When you eat and you are not hungry (shop when you have no money, etc. etc. or any of the above list), you are abandoning yourself.”
W.T.F. How did I not understand that what they meant by saying that was that…I WAS ABANDONING MYSELF!
I am someone who may have, on occasion, fallen prey to the Knight in Shining Armour ideology. So when I have not been rescued, or at the very least been met where I am by the people who I believe should be meeting me there, I have always pointed the Finger of Abandonment firmly at the other party. And, in fact, I mostly still stand by those finger pointings. (I do not point fingers lightly, people.)
Right. So. However. (And this is a big however.) I have consistently failed to recognize the areas in which I have just as coldly abandoned myself. And that, people, is unforgivable. (Except, of course, we do have to find forgiveness for ourselves in order to love ourselves, blah, blah, blah. That’s my self-help course number 2. Fageddaboudit.)
When I go to put something in my mouth – and although this could be as seemingly insignificant as a piece of cucumber, it is more often a piece of chocolate or an entire bag of chips – and I am aware of not being hungry for it, I am abandoning myself. Period. I’m not choosing to listen to and respect my body.
When I am aware of being hungry for, say, chicken and salad, and instead opt for ice cream and cookies? Same deal. I am choosing the easy out, the thing that is within easy reach and takes no work, instead of deciding that I am worth the effort and the work it may take to prepare what my body is actually asking for.
When I’m feeling an emotion that is uncomfortable and from which I’d rather escape? My general solution: shove something (Quick! Anything! No really, anything! Just put something in your goddamnedmouthsoyouwon’thavetofeelsoshitty) into the mouthhole. This functions like a cork, stopping the feeling of any emotion in question.
(Does this work, you may ask? Not at all. Why does it continue? Shut up, stop asking stupid questions.)
Is this taking good care of one’s self? No. Is this what we would refer to as abandonment? Yep. Sho’ is! See Intention #5 regarding corking up the mouthhole in order to successfully abandon myself.
How is that OK? It just isn’t, period. How do I realize all of this every so often, and then magically manage to forget it again? Pesky Alzheimer’s…
So here I go into a grand new year, hopes high, and intentions clear. And this is a really big one for me: not abandoning myself. It overlaps into so many other areas…like Intention #1, 2, probably #3 if I really get down to it, #4, #5, #6, and #7. So, yeah, kinda all of my New Year’s Intentions can be boiled down to that one overlying concept: Thou Shalt Not Abandon Thyself. Those are big, scary (why scary? they shouldn’t be scary. but whatever. they are to me.) gigantic words. And it’s a lot to live up to. But it’s also a slap in the face to realize that for 37 years I have done the polar opposite in so many areas of my life.
So why not shake things up a little? Try out a new spin? Wanna come along for the ride? It will be scary, fun, sad, fulfilling, and ultimately, the key to…everything fabulous. C’mon, let’s do it together. Let’s stop abandoning ourselves. In turn, that means we will consistently show up for ourselves, pay ourselves heed, and make choices in our lives that resonate within us.
I’ve heard some pretty great speakers and writers talk about just showing up. Danielle LaPorte. Martha Beck. Joan Lunden. All women who are very successful, and for whom I have a great deal of respect. And they all talk about just showing up. To me, that holds inherent within it the concept of not abandoning one’s self. They don’t equate to exactly the same thing, but they are awfully related.
So here I go, into the fray. Showing up and not abandoning myself.