Squirrel writing: “who am I?”

I just had a very interesting conversation which follows a series of thoughts and other conversations I have been having for a while. “Who am I?” This simple question is not one that really is so easily answered. So I am writing because that is one thing I do know that I am; a writer. I put thoughts into words and then through my fingers on to keys which translate the thoughts into concepts which I share. This to me is what I do as a writer. By putting my thoughts on paper, I am trying to figure out my dilemma because in a face to face situation, I was totally inarticulate. I needed time to digest what was being said and then a realization hit me which I will share in a moment.
Some of you will start right now shaking your head because you know where I am going with this….”just be.” My old nemesis. But this is more than “just be” being…. It is trying to figure out my comfort zone with myself and what that looks like. In trying to figure out the person who is me and that I am comfortable with, I realized I am not sure of what me really is. But then on further thought, maybe I do know who I am and it is not fitting what everyone else thinks it should be. For someone to say to me “just be”, I have no clue how to define what that represents. My past precludes one simple answer to that. My body and mind have been in a protective war for so long, that my natural state of being was hyper vigilant and afraid. I have worked hard to knock down many walls and peal back many layers only to discover ….what? I have been so barricaded and so wrapped up in protecting this being from being hurt that to remove the battle is very unsettling. The adjustment has made me extremely vulnerable and even more susceptible to critique. No wonder I struggle with just be. I am almost 60 years old and I have no clue who I am. Or do I? And am I still requiring some form of validation because I have no reservoir of internal knowledge that I am truly ok? My mirror is so clouded with the transgressions of past relationships that to reflect with approval on myself is foreign and that the concept is making me uncomfortable. The old way of either being put down or putting myself down was how I have rolled for most of my life.
Here is where I struggle to articulate any cohesive response. Because I still have fear of exposure, I hesitate in any action of self-proclamation. And truly, why wouldn’t I? So the simple response and about all I can give is: “I am”. That’s it, “I am.” So when someone says I am not being me, who are they to say so? Isn’t this a fun riddle? There are lists of things that I know I am. We all have them. So why isn’t the person who has a list of things not being themselves when they are doing something on the list? How is saying that not being judgmental? How are the things that I do not being me?
I have been called an actress. So how is that not also a part of me? I like to entertain and I like to be funny. Making people laugh brings me joy. I do play roles; we all do as life demands. Mothers are mothers when their kids need it. Teachers are actors who portray educational concept so their students can learn. Who gets to say that is not me being me? I do keep a lot of stuff to myself and I do put up walls but it is as life demands. It is also because I am so vulnerable and uncomfortable with opening myself to being criticized. Funny thing is does not stop anyone from making comments as they see fit. I know I still hear and react to negative comments and why wouldn’t I? It is what I have always done. I am learning the skills necessary not to react but it is going to take time and a lot of acceptance of myself. See what I said about not having a reservoir of knowledge on knowing what that feels like. Hence my struggle. But this is me for now.
There are stories that make up who I am. There is history that I cannot do anything about at this point other than let them be. I do need to keep working on the release of the pain it caused and the other manifestations but the story is still there. However, I do not want to be known as a victim who survived. The details are not important anymore. I am learning that it is not necessary to relive all the crap we have walked in our lives. It really does not do any good unless there are pieces of the puzzle that we need to fit together. Sometimes the finished puzzle is horrible. But we learn from these things and so when I am with others who have lived a similar situation I understand. I have turned some things around in my life that could have brought me to a standstill and incorporated the lessons to help others. This is being me. Yes the “bad stuff” is part of my life, but it is not all that makes Jane- Jane. “I am”
But there are things that some people will never understand because they have not gone through similar things. I am so glad for them. Truly, glad. And I cannot explain to people what it feels to be me, either. And you cannot explain to me what it feels like to be you. What I think I am coming to figure out that the only reality we do have is acceptance. It is very easy for me to accept other people. I have always loved the “underdog” and advocated for others in need. But I do not do it easily in myself……because I did not know I was so broken. That is what just popped in my head.
This is taking me somewhere, which is why I like writing… keep coming along if you want. So “I did not know I was broken” was very interesting when it popped in my head. This journey I have been on has not been easy at all. But I will not argue with the fact that there was much need for healing. Broken is not the right word, but in need of healing is better. (When I reread this statement after eight hours of writing it, it offended me which is good. I am not broken.) This comes back around to acceptance. I can easily accept that I needed to heal. But to say I was broken makes my life a mistake, and error or travesty. And it soundly was not. “I am” for a reason. Granted I do not have the answer why, but I am ok with that. I am on the route and every day is another step to that answer.
But there are many things that are not going to change overnight. Being me is also not being patient by the way. I know that very well about myself. So there are things that will not become apparent to outsiders because the insider (me) is still learning to accept new feelings and be comfortable with that. I will share an example.
A year ago, no one could touch me without getting a reaction which was usually a withdrawal or flinch. I still flinch to a degree but now as much. But there is still trepidation of physical contact and I still have trouble with it. I am much like a beloved dog who was abused by others and reacts by lowering the head even when their loving owner pats their head. And as much as I do not like to be touched, I struggle more with touching others. I am uncomfortable and at first I thought it was because I am embarrassed. I realized something today when I had time to think about it. It is much more that I am afraid the touch will be rejected. Also, there is still a huge fear that by reaching out to touch someone, I offer myself to have my arm grabbed and twisted or that I am leaving my body unprotected. I keep my arms very close to myself. I never paid attention to it until now. That is conditioning and it will take a long time to heal from.
And for those of you who know me outside of the blog world, you may be wondering how I can do Spiritual Healing Touch if I cannot touch people. That is very easy to answer: because it is not me who is doing the healing. I am only a tool or conduit. I take myself right out of the equation. I am perfect for this work because I can only do it if I take myself out of it. I accept this and I am fine with it.
This post is a fine example of what I call squirrel writing. It is when I just let my mind wander and change my thought path much like my dog would do if he saw a squirrel. This is how I work stuff out. Going back to the question of who am I? I do not know if I can define that. I know there are things I want to change. My focus is on learning to hear the good. I need to work on building a bank of self-resilient and non- deprecating thoughts to pull from. Unfortunately there is a lot of mud to get rid of first to uncover any pool within. I need to stop worrying about that. Today is now and this is what I have to work with. Nothing is permanent. I think my work is only beginning on the discovery of just being me. And yet, every day “I am.”

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7 thoughts on “Squirrel writing: “who am I?”

  1. Congrats, all positive, all vulnerable, and above all else, graceful discomfort with growth which makes it real, true and beautiful, welcome to jane.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. What you call Squirrel writing Jane I call a brain dump. The main difference is you are a writer and I just sling a bunch of words on the screen. In the short time I have been on this site I have seen your writing skills improve ten fold. For the most part this is a very positive post !

  3. Actually, it sounds like you’re closer to ‘just being’ than you ever have been – at least ever have been since you’ve been blogging here. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin and all that entails. “I am”…exactly! 🙂

  4. I have to agree with all the responses you have received – particularly thoughtsalone. You “are,” and you are reaching the point where you can hold hands with that, and walk into the world without agonizing over who you are . . you are you. Great post! Peace . .

  5. so much of this could be me….
    I was commenting on a blog, it was about my signage “Take Care You Matter”
    the gentleman liked it and wrote in..as you my mind wanders and my fingers write
    where I go and what I feel and/or see….I am blunt in commenting back I am told…
    but I liked what I said, it was how I see and feel things about “wandering if I matter”
    He came back with
    ” Do you honestly believe this how it is or is there something bothering you that you are looking for?”
    I just sat there….I had absolutely no answer …so I wrote what I saw…what i felt….what I heard….
    “”to be honest I have no ideal what I Believe anymore….
    and if I am looking for something I haven’t figured out what”
    I probably won’t get a response….been one of those days…..
    somedays I get tired f searching for whatever it is…
    and I enjoyed your post….it felt real and I am glad you are moving forward….
    Thank you Jane…for always sharing a piece of you
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

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