All of these poisonous snakes creeping out of my waters with the weight of wet tree trunks. Some go unseen but others I notice and ask them where they come from; their hissing reply always cruelly the same: “We are you, we are you,”
In defiance I strangle them angrily, painfully.
When I awake, hungover with emotion, I scan a reptile-absent horizon and to my horror I find my own hands wringing my neck, “It was not me, it was not me,” I cry softly to myself.
I think we’ve all had this self critical moment more than once.
Your mind, comfortably resting behind your physical reality cowardly claims, My oh my, the way you’re living is shifting you backwards instead of ahead! If this has never happened then you are one lucky bastard.
I am here today to rescue these minds, myself included.
Self criticism has to come from somewhere and I find the most common place is expectation. Whether it be familial, social, societal…or any other ‘ial’ or ‘tal’ you can think of. Why do you feel like you are not moving forward? Who defines what ‘moving forward’ looks like? The education board? The medical school who finally accepted you in? Your parents giving a nod of approval? Whoever it is has conditioned you to feel satisfied inside, giving you a personalized sensation of success and progression.
To clarify, I’m not trying to dismiss individual beliefs of success; that one is better than another. My intention is to communicate my own experience of internal victory and distress. My point being: I believe external expectations did and still do (thanks to conditioning) impact my understanding of self success and what it means to ‘move forward’. I battle between my own gut beliefs (aka. intuition) and those that were imposed upon me from such a young age. It used to be difficult to differentiate between the two but learned awareness and mindfulness have saved me from a lifetime of self doubt and unhappiness.
If you ‘wasted’ years of your life in one job just to discover you hate the path you’ve taken and yearn for something else, readjust the way you think about this decision and the steps that led you there. You haven’t wasted any time my friend!! You’ve gained skills, friendships, experiences and a diverse understanding of yourself through the journey. This creates NEW realizations, DIFFERENT directions and BOLD movements. All the while you are growing as you believe you’re ‘moving backwards’.
Embrace your position. Extract your lesson learned. And Enjoy moving forward, because no matter whether others think you aren’t, you are. It’s not easy that’s for sure, it takes practice so be kind to yourself. Self criticism is a rough enemy to defeat.
My sister shared a simple yet helpful tidbit with me that was passed onto her: You are where you’re supposed to be. Exactly.
Side Note: This post was not to encourage people to sit on their dreams, motionless, and accept their fate as it is. But rather to stimulate self acceptance and allow room for self love to blossom.