I’ve been doing a lot of reading on “shame” today, by this psychotherapist called Joseph Burgo. I know I have it. Come to think of it, I don’t know how I stumbled into that page really. But it was a very informative piece. His advice? Just learn to accept you are not perfect, and that you have these feelings. Recognise these feelings when they appear, and don’t try to sweep them under the carpet by either blaming others or becoming narcissistic. Just… accept that things are just the way they are. Don’t do anything extra or on top of this, thinking it will solve the problem. It won’t. It’s just the way you are. He also wrote a piece on self-criticism and just like what I said yesterday, it is perfectionism. It is an unrealistic way of thinking. You get furious with yourself for not living up to your excessive expectations. It’s all very futile… Life is never gonna be perfect. You are not perfect. Key to conquering that attitude : Once again, full acceptance of your natural self and that you’re just the way you are and that’s just the way things are.
Seems like acceptance is such a cure-all for my mental conditions. It’s just one word. Acceptance. But I think it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to contend with in my life.
But I have to.
Today I got passive-aggressive with my girls because they just sat on their bums playing computers while I was trying to tidy up the entire flat and vacuum it… They had brought out a huge load of toys earlier on, played with them, and just left them lying around on the floor. My dear son came to help me… and although he did, it was more tokenistic than it was, really. But he’s sweet. I love him.
I don’t feel proud of my passive-aggression towards my daughters today at all. It’s like I felt like shouting at them and using threats to make them help me tidy up the place. But I know that is wrong so I didn’t do any of that. Instead I tried to guilt-trip them and shame them by going on to them about how kind and generous Er was in helping me to tidy up without me asking. And how mean and selfish they were just leaving me there to do all the work while they sat on their backsides playing computer games.
What I should have done, was to be gracious. And not have reacted towards them despite feeling very disappointed in them. After all, there’s no telling why they have turned out this way. Perhaps my parenting techniques were crap when I was bringing them up as babies. I probably was anyway.
So yeah… I know.
This acceptance thing. It’s like the magic elixir to all my ills in daily life. Yet it is so very very very hard to practice. Sometimes I feel like my anger at the situations not turning out the way I wanted is so great that I just want to scream out loud in anger at the sky on a big open space. I want to be alone, and to scream and yell and let all that rage lose to the bloody heavens… who gave me this life that I don’t remember asking for, and making it turn out to be … unsatisfactory to me.
Ahh… well… I have anger issues there. I know I do.
You elusive thing.
Feeling angry today.
These recent Muslim rioting and terrorism news in Europe and the injustices feminist activism counter are all serving to remind me of the injustices of this world. Why is this world so unfair? Why? Ahh… well. Acceptance? So hard to do. How to accept and think of a solution for a way out of this? I think that’s a trick.