I don't know how to say hard things without swallowing venom it's more natural to pull away silently than to try to solve my problems Removing myself from my relationships receding from myself inside substances sitting behind layered walls of disassociation until connection becomes a foreign concept Stuck in the strange limbo of knowing what I need to do and being too afraid to do it sickening cycle of second guessing certainty left paralyzed by life's pivotal moments So much of my time has been spent waiting for the pain of inertia to overpower the pain of exerting my will in a decision about the lesser of two evils Hiding behind the bullet proof vest of helplessness because at least then I can cling to the comfort of feeling sorry for myself if I feel like this suffering was not my own choice How much longer can I spend cowering behind a life I know is not right for fear of an unknown, greater misery if I move forward on the wrong path I've always been too ready to lie down and die instead of fighting for what I desperately dream about but have never truly felt that I deserve
I don’t understand how other people deal with difficult emotions and confrontations in relationships. No matter how much I try, I always seem to be blind sided by my own reaction to things. It feels like my emotions twist around my vocal chords like vines and leave me speechless. I utterly shut down like a child. I could totally imagine myself crossing my arms and dropping down onto the floor where I was standing. I pout! A twenty-eight year old woman and I can’t keep myself from pouting about things that don’t go my way. It truly feels beyond my control.
On Friday when I thought I might have Covid, part of me was really happy that I would have to miss the dinner my boyfriend invited me to with his family. I even somewhat enjoyed not finding out until a day after I was supposed to. I hesitated to tell him my results because I wanted some more alone time. Then when I did tell him, I happily began preparing for him to drop everything and come see me. When it turned out he wasn’t going to do that, offering to hangout for just a few hours the next day, I was furious. I wanted to not respond at all. It took me tremendous effort to write back a short, passive aggressive reply instead. If I couldn’t hang out with him that night, well I didn’t want to see him at all. Very mature. After that brief message, I proceeded to ignore him for hours. I nearly made an excuse to avoid the Facetime we planned earlier too. One small thing, and I am ready to throw our whole relationship in the garbage out of spite. I genuinely don’t even know why that made me so upset. I enjoy being alone anyway.
It’s so embarrassing confiding these instances to my friends and family as well. Hearing them all echo back “just talk to him about it” or “tell him what you just told me” makes me feel even more childish than I already do. I can’t explain why I’m not able to just express my frustration with the person in question like I am with unrelated individuals. Not only am I afraid of how they’ll take such a conversation, I’m afraid of what I might say. I can get pretty hateful in the heat of the moment.
The longer I sit on these things, the worse it becomes. I add each succeeding irritation on top of the last, until explaining why I’m upset when something small happens becomes nearly impossible. My anger and frustration is also compounded by the fact that I’m just as mad at myself as I am at the other person. My instinct is to scrap the whole relationship rather than work through and face these nasty feelings.
I’m painfully aware of what low emotional intelligence I have, but I don’t know how to improve it. Certainly avoiding all of these encounters isn’t working. I managed to go through with the Facetime call last night and ended up enjoying talking to him. But it feels like I either blow up and destroy everything or drop it and pretend I wasn’t bothered. I did the latter yesterday. When I’m in the depths of my emotion, it feels too unsafe to acknowledge it, but when I calm down, I don’t want to dredge it up again.
All of my mindfulness and yogic practices go right out the window when it comes to interacting with other people. Just trying to take deep breaths when I am left alone in a room with a new person is a great challenge for me. Trying to calmly articulate what has me upset with someone? I might as well try to speak a foreign language fluently. My emotions just feel so big. My prefrontal cortex is short circuited and my aggressive little lizard brain takes over. And I don’t know what to do with that. I truly become unable to find the words that I need. My only options appear to be lash out or recede into myself.
Maybe today, I’ll try to find some kind of exercises to improve emotional intelligence online. Even that idea makes me laugh at myself though. I always want some kind of textbook to teach me how to be a person. When in reality, what would really probably help me more would be to make an effort to stumble through my messy emotions and actually tell my boyfriend how I’ve been feeling. I’m always so afraid of embarrassing myself or seeming stupid that I avoid all of the life experiences that could help me grow. I need to accept that some things must be learned through practice, trial and error, and taking the chance I may look silly at first.
No one else expects me to be perfect besides myself. If I were a baby again, I’d never learn how to walk or talk for fear of those initial trips, tumbles, stutters, and babbles. I must continuously remind myself that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s necessary even. There is no cause to hold every personal error against myself. I’m the only one who cares. Once again, I’m the only thing holding me back.
For the last few months, my yoga practice has been feeling stagnant. As a result of that stagnation my yoga teaching is beginning to suffer as well. I’ve also been going through a very tumultuous time mentally which hasn’t helped. I had been so excited for the class I planned for my students this morning. However, I felt my instruction was lackluster and becoming almost robotically mindless. Whether it was just my imagination I can’t say, but my students seems to pick up on the vibe I brought with me to class today. I don’t feel that they enjoyed themselves very much.
I feel like I am held to a very high standard as a yoga teacher. Whether it is the perception of the general public or just my perception, it has still been hard to deal with. I feel I fall so far short of the ideal I’m trying to live up too. And this lack of confidence bleeds into my teaching. Not only that, while I look online for class inspiration, I am bombarded with images and videos of practices far more advanced than my own. Which is exciting, but also disheartening.
At the studio where I teach, the students are generally older and so I can’t make my classes very intense. I also don’t have time throughout the week to go to other classes or even follow along with more advanced flows online like I used to. I have come so far in my personal practice. I am now able to do things with my body I never imagined possible. However, now that I’ve gotten farther than I thought I ever would, it’s hard to keep my practice progressing. I’ve become complacent with where I am now. Yet I still want to push my body and my practice to discover new heights. Perhaps I’ve gone as far as I am able to on my own at this point. It would be nice to find someone to guide me from here.
I wonder if other yogis feel or have felt this way before. I think part of me thought that after becoming certified that I would be able to give myself all the answers. But that certainly isn’t the case. I still feel lost and unsure of myself in my practice as well as my life. Our practice always seems to reflect our life, doesn’t it? I am at a loss as to how to overcome the roadblocks in both. And part of the reason I am unable to resolve either seems to be my unwillingness to face things head on. I know that is the only way that I’ll ever be able to keep moving forward in my practice and my life as well. Yet I just want to stay safe inside my shell for a little while longer. I wonder if that’s okay or if it’s actually more of a danger to stay here.