Believe it or not we all have a split personality. There is you, the slightly eager, maybe curious, solution seeking reader of a health blog. You have every intention of taking care of yourself and the people around you, and you would like to have a happy, simple life.
Then there’s the other you. The one you designed when you were very young. Imagine the first time you recognized unfairness, meaning: something made you angry. Hurt you. Confused you. At this point you generated a phrase, or maybe just a word. It dictates the feeling you had that you couldn’t articulate at the time. This was the birth of what I like to call, your “act”.
act. [akt] verb; without object
to pretend; feign: Act interested even if you’re bored.
to serve or substitute (usually followed by for): in the absence of my sanity, my alter ego will act in my place
Your act is responsible for everything unworkable in your life, and everything that comes at you that you see as unworkable, is handled by your act.
Example: Me. My act is, “hear me.” In the face of something that isn’t working, I am convinced that no one is listening to me. So I talk more, louder, in different tones. Go about it different ways. Once I’ve decided that I’m unheard, that’s it. No matter what anyone may say, I’m not being heard. God as my witness I will keep talking until I faint. Just to insure that everyone, ya know, hears me. [crazy]
Your act can be your saving grace as it normally is what creates an unreasonable drive and determination, (tune in next week…Teaser!) but for now I’d like to stick to if left unattended and unchecked, it can break apart our lives.
So here’s the game. The whole point of life as far as your act is concerned is to be validated. It’s more important than love, health, marriage, everything. You will forfeit and destroy relationships, and to preserve your act you will even refuse to be healthy.
As fascinating as this is to uncover, (which I hope you are doing) it’s also incredibly boring. Your whole life has been surrounded by a fundamental concern you established as an adolescent. You are trying on jeans at 40 or fighting with your partner in your 30′s and you’re best test for that current reality and valid feelings is a concept you generated when you were 8.
Please take a moment to laugh at that.
While you are at it, imagine a picture in your head. You, face to face with an elementary school aged child. He or she is telling you how to operate every element of your life that isn’t quite working for you and you say “You are definitely correct. Excellent plan.”
This is our struggle. We look through life and everything in it and we are so unaware of the distortion that’s right in front of us. No wonder most of us feel like we are never good enough. No wonder we are never satisfied. With years of living the best that most of us can come up with is “there’s something wrong with me.”
There’s nothing to fix here really. It’s just an understanding that in moments where life gets a little challenging, being aware that you and everyone else around you, isn’t always operating with both feet in the now. We are all walking around like little kids. Combining all of our experience and all of our knowledge as adults, just that little bit of awareness will change the way in which you handle your interactions with others but most importantly yourself. Would you ever look at a child and tell them that they are fat? Ugly? Not worthy of love? Absolutely not. But when you say that to yourself that’s exactly who you are talking to.