Meditation this morning was heavily distracted by thoughts of an encounter that I had last night, which should’ve never happened. After a little over half of the session that I was originally planning to sit for, I ended up putting an end to it. I wasn’t able to find enough time in the clear/flow state. Yes, I know that it’s still beneficial, so long as you’re trying, but I guess I let the frustration and impatience get the best of me. It was exacerbated by too much coffee this morning, as well, so I figured that it’d be better to wait for a time when I’m not having to battle my own body chemistry in order to find the peace that I’m looking for.
After this sit, I decided that it was time to update my ultra sekrit paper journal with information about what happened last night. It didn’t take me very long to realize that the same pattern of events has been happening for quite some time, nor did it take long for the follow-up to hit: I’ve been battling this, without making much (or quite possibly any) measurable progress for my entire life.
My guess is that the problem stems from needing to be remarkably attuned to the wants and desires of my parents at any early age. I had quickly learned that if I didn’t attempt to placate their every whim that things would rapidly worsen, and end up biting me in the ass in physically and/or emotionally painful ways. Hell, I’m still dealing with it, with my adoptive mother, and it’s just bitten me in the ass within the past 2 days.
Though it was a survival issue while I was a child, this quickly became a handicap in my dealings with other people. I really hit a breaking point in my teens, when I started rebelling against my emotional, and often physical, captivity, and started telling my parents to pound sand, in much harsher terms. So with them, it hasn’t really been an issue since that point, at least not on as major a scale. However, when placating every whim became a survival strategy, it didn’t discriminate between parents and John Q. Public. Hell, there have been multiple incidents in my life where this usually bogus strategy has actually saved my ass, also, due to other people being dangerous, so it’s gotten positive reinforcement on that front, too, making things even more complex. The main problem with things here is that while I learned to tell my parents to pound sand, I never learned that ability with any of the other people, whom I cave to far too easily.
This cycle, almost utterly lacking in assertiveness, has been in place at least since I’ve hit the double digits in my childhood. Looking back at things, I know for a fact that it’s caused me to have higher stresses almost every single day in my life. Barring, perhaps, the days and times that I’ve spent purely in solitude. I say perhaps because during those times I don’t doubt that, in at least half of them, I’ve spent a portion of the time pondering and agonizing over situations that I’ve trapped myself into, due to not saying my true feelings, and not standing up for my own needs and wants (in situations where wants are applicable). A good portion of these stretches have been long lasting periods (still occasionally haunting me) where I’m utterly unhappy because of being utterly trapped by not being able to say no. A few of them have ended in disaster, due to my caving in to people leading me down pathways, and initiating chains of events, that I knew would lead to destructive outcomes.
So I really need to work on this assertiveness. Hell, it’s a big enough issue so that I think it may well warrant a tattoo, to remind me, daily, to focus on it. It’s one of the largest catalysts to spawning my own unhappiness that I can think of right now; I’ve got several ongoing issues that would’ve been solved long ago, if only I would’ve done the assertive thing and stood up for the best outcome immediately. My life would be much better right now if I’d have focused on it. You can only start in the present, though, so I need to be starting on things now.