Last Thursday I saw my therapist. I was pretty distraught, with a shaming weight crushing my chest because I so often feel so anxious for approval, affirmation, and when it's delayed or I don't receive it, I go to my dark place where I'd just as soon fold up my tent. It's a cycle that's been with me forever and I'm very ashamed by it. Sure, maybe that seems silly to you dear reader, but I get so defensive and I feel so needy. It feels like feelings I simply should not have and since I do so intensely I'm ashamed. After all in my professional life people don't act like that, do they? No way, Jose. It's like I'm often on edge, hyper-aware of how people feel about me and I worry that that comes across too. Goodness, what a mess.
Toward the end of the meeting he said something like, "Well, be sure to listen to Emma. She's a huge part of you and she has a perspective that may help you." I took that to heart and spent the last couple of days wondering what Emma would say. And I felt like such a fraud! I'm always ready with some sort of encouragement or thoughts but when it comes to me they all sound so inane and useless. Sure, I hope it does help those I send messages to, I really do. But when I'm sending them to myself? I can't even think of what Emma might say that would be useful. I kept thinking that I'd put up a blog post with something like, "What should Emma say to herself?" But that sounded so wimpy.
So I took a bike ride today. It was almost 80 degrees here (can you believe it?) and I went out for a couple of hours, but beforehand decided I would think about this further. I must say that riding the bike is a great place to just think. Yeah sure, while peddling like a madwoman. I don't remember what prompted this but it occurred to me that I'm always wanting the fast answer. I want the problem to be diagnosed, implement the solution, and have it done and behind me. I recalled that last couple of years since coming out to myself and then my wife. Jeez, a couple of years? Yeah, but that's not so bad. Better to have taken a couple of years and be where I am than not, right? So it dawned on me: "Come on, honey, give yourself some time." <big sigh> And she's right, I think.
We've all heard that life's a journey and all that but I think it really is. There is some truth to that. Go have a cup of tea, put your feet up, enjoy your new top. (It did finally arrive today and it is pretty cute with the leggings I found yesterday at Costco.) So that's my game plan for this week. I'm trying to slow down. Way down. Be patient. Good things come to those who wait.
We'll see, my friends. (You do still like me, right? I am still loving your affirmations. )
Have a nice week,