Maybe I should have knocked on wood, or crossed my fingers, or whatever one does to ward off the evil eye. I said it, then wondered if it was true, or if I’d be punished for saying it.
“I like myself,” I told a friend. We had been at our meditation class and after hours of inspiration and inquiry, I shared this insight – “I just realized,” I told her, “that my old stories, the ones about being fat or stupid or unworthy of love, they’ve expired. I don’t think that way anymore. I like who I see when I look in the mirror.”
Maybe I should have added “these days” or “lately” or “at this moment.” Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a bold pronouncement. It felt transgressive and I immediately wondered if I should take it back.
And then yesterday, a dear friend got upset with me. And when someone gets upset with me, I panic. And I immediately want to say the thing that will make it better, that will smooth it over. You can have anything you want just don’t be mad at me. Please.
And when she didn’t answer her phone, I texted. And texted again. And then nothing. All night there was nothing except the ache in my stomach, terrible like a rock, and it was hard to sleep and hard to wake up and hard to ignore the terrible, horrible ache.
But here’s the thing: Where I go in my mind is like a superhighway to the darkest dark. I’m a horrible person. I don’t know how to be a good friend. I should just be alone. I should be blotted out and erased.
And I thought about what I said last week, and maybe I spoke too soon. And maybe what I should have said was, “I like myself most of the time. Except when I am triggered. Or pissing somebody off. Or making mistakes.”
And that puts me somewhere back at square one all over again.
Update: Just want to share that I had a beautiful conversation with this friend today and I am not only feeling relieved, but more connected to her for having had this process. When we are in tender territory, our minds can go crazy with stories… most of which aren’t true. I will remember this next time.