My horoscope today says not to be so hard on myself. It also said something about cleaning house, but you know, we can't take these things too literally.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about negative messages playing in our minds and how we need to exorcise those thoughts. I quit reading that book in the middle and have been rereading Harry Potters instead because HP is pleasant and soothing instead of that other horrible book that makes me think of dark things crawling through my brain.
I keep thinking about that unfinished book though. I want to earn my emotional fitness merit badge, and complain to myself that I've paid my dues and done my time and truly want to quit giving effort to all this. The finish line seems mythical, and graduating to the next grade is a punishment because achieving some mental health only qualifies to the next, harder level of study.
The happy stories I've shared on this blog are true, but I'm hard on myself because I was raised with unrealistic expectations and severe punishments. I'm not allowed to be "good enough" even though most of the world thrives in subperfection. I need to get out from under decades old, irrational demands. I know this, understand it, feel it, and still can't seem to stop those voices from playing in my head. I get frustrated at my limitations and very angry that I have to deal with this stuff. Just give me the damned merit badge for trying.
On the internet, everyone posts their best photo with only the most flattering information about themselves. That's sensible. I do that too. My resume doesn't mention jobs I didn't get or conflicts I couldn't resolve -- but it's all so unrealistic and sets ideals that can't be met. People feel like they don't measure up and never will, and that spawns a whole lot more dishonest self-promotion, socially and professionally. It's no wonder 1/4 of the US is on anti-depressants.
We don't know what anyone else has to deal with. A long time ago, a woman told me about getting smacked with a paddle ball paddle. I laughed. Recently, another woman told me she got hit with one of those paddles and I didn't laugh. See, I grow. It doesn't matter that I know what it feels like to get hit with worse things. It isn't a competition. I hope these women deal with their ongoing issues with balsa paddles.
As long as we only show our positives, we can't resolve our issues or help each other set realistic expectations. In the last several months, 3 suicides have touched my life. Gunmen shot up crowds. People went into irrevocable debt to buy things to impress the Joneses. Stop it, stop it, stop it!
Let's stop trying to impress each other so much and find ways to help each other. Each of us has the ability to work on our own problems, share what we learn, and give someone else a hand. It all starts with honesty, with ourselves and with the people around us.