The past few days have been quite challenging. I want to say that I have been busy, but in reality, I really don’t have anything to account for that. The days have gone by so quickly and I feel like I haven’t put any time into my workbook or meditation.
What I have come to realize is that I am having a hard time accepting that this process I am going through is, in fact, a process. I want change to happen NOW! I want to get over my insecurity and self-hatred NOW! I want these negative thinking patterns GONE! I find it hard to accept because time goes by so fast and my depression keeps me from doing things that I want to do. I don’t want to be in this situation anymore. I want to get on with my life, but I can’t rush the process either. What a conundrum!
In my last session, I talked to my therapist about my family’s difficult beginnings. My parents and older siblings struggled and did without for many years. By the time I was born, there was a sense of stability, so in a sense, I reaped the benefits of my families labor. I grew up hearing stories of how difficult things were in years past and felt a huge sense of guilt and responsibility. This dynamic has played out in my life by my determination to succeed in life and pay a penance for not suffering like my older siblings did.
In my 20’s I definitely lived with a sense of guilt for not having sacrificed as much as everyone else in the family, and with this guilt, I felt a huge sense of responsibility to DO SOMETHING so that my family’s sacrifices wouldn’t be wasted. I channeled my energy into academics and was determined to succeed.
In my 30’s I felt success as I was stable in a good paying job that I actually enjoyed. But once that was pulled out from under me, I felt like a huge failure. I felt like I failed myself and my family, and once again, that old feeling of guilt has set in.
Tied into all this has been my battle with feeling that I shouldn’t feel the way I do because I had it so much easier than others in my family. But I know that, regardless of that fact, my experiences are valid because it is what I experienced, and I have the right to own them.
What I have to keep reminding myself is that I do not have to make up for what others in my life did not have. I have to remind myself that I have my own purpose for being here and every time I feel like I have to pay a penance for what they did not have, I rob myself of my authentic self. I have to remind myself to be patient and compassionate with myself. I have to remind myself that I can be grateful to my family for all their hard work and I can grieve the lack of emotional nurturing in my childhood.
I don’t know when I’ll get to that point where my compassion for myself is stronger than my self-hatred. It reminds of an old quote I saw as a kid and related to so well, “Lord grant me patience, BUT HURRY!”