Yesterday I colored my hair to hide the grey. I have a very dear friend who has never hidden herself from her natural color, and as she ages, this beautiful grey grows into her personality. Over our usual Sunday morning breakfast, she asked me why I don’t just let the grey grow out. From her perspective of the world, I know she’s only beauty and a special kind of maturing growing with every strand, but I see a woman who feels totally unready to grow into the natural steps of my grey.
There’s such a contradiction in that, because in other areas of my life, I believe that nature should do exactly what we need it to and so should our bodies. I’m not a fan of botox, nips or tucks but I am a fan of washing away the grey. I never got to explain why, but as I washed it away and turned my hair into a glowing shade of reddish brown, I realized that the grey made me feel unkept, as if I didn’t put enough love and respect into my appearance.
How ironic then, that for the first time, at the age of 41, I also realized that my sabotage has been doing the same thing for most of my life.
In my late teens I had my first taste of spiritual awareness and met my saboteur, through meditation, before I had even finished high school. She was a weak, petrified of everything, ate food as a way of numbing out the pain she didn’t even know she had and didn’t know how to relate to the world around her. It was kind of like being forced to love someone you don’t have a choice to. I’ve never had an abusive step parent or bullying half sibling, but I can imagine it would be very much like.
I may have totally misunderstood how to learn to love the saboteur, but forced love seems to be the in thing with the self help tools of meeting this part of you, that lurks in the shadows.
Force yourself in front of a mirror and say things to your saboteur that you would never say to someone who hate, are afraid of or totally misunderstand. “I love you saboteur.” No I don’t … well, I didn’t for most of my adult life, because I was always trying to love this part of myself, who kept coming up to hurt me just when I felt ready to move to the next level of happiness.
In November last year, I had an all fall down and felt like an absolute fake in the world, while trying to motivate and encourage others to live their own Project Me story. I hit that point where I could have deleted this blog, hidden away from the world, bathed myself in shame, eaten myself into a coma and give the saboteur free reign. I did for a few days, but then something interesting happened. I started to find empathy and it wasn’t aimed at the saboteur. It was aimed at the rest of me, having to endure the pain & disappointment the saboteur created in my life.
I loved my dad. He was an incredible man, who I miss every day. I have been missing him more, of late, and it took me a while to understand that I had to drag up some unpleasant memories, in order to befriend and truly love this side of myself, who would always be the bully.
That was my dad. It was just in his nature to hurt first. He would insult the new outfit any of my sibling put on, and think he was being funny. If I cooked a meal, he would show me up the next day and cook something better. He called us fat and would go buy doughnuts on the day we said we had started to diet, but all the time, I saw love in his eyes when he looked at me.
It was only after I delved deeper into my relationship with my dad, because he had been diagnosed with emphysema and ways dying before my eyes, that I started to do two things. I felt genuinely sorry for myself and knew and that he would never change, but I also knew that behind the bully was someone who loved me unconditionally. We are all just trying to protect what we think is most important in the world, and sometimes we don’t understand why. I never got to understand why my dad used the tactics he did, but I did totally turn our relationship around before he passed away. There were days when I wanted to turn back to hating that man (yes, there were times when I hated him … well, I hated the bully in him) but I had come too far in my own self awareness to allow that saboteur to set me back in the relationship I was building with my dad before he left.
The day before he died, he must have been petrified and he asked a family friend to call me to his bedside. Just a few months ago, that friend told me he had said, it’s because she’s the only one who understands me.
With tears streaming down my face as I live through the reminders of the real life saboteur I got to love, without really understanding, I also revel in the pride that I didn’t sabotage myself for the first, just a few days ago.
I know my triggers … financial stress, family drama, disinterested men, work chaos, to name a few. On top of all of that, I have my dream trip in a month’s time, no flights or visa and my passport is stuck at home affairs. That’s truly a reason to sabotage!
On Friday I felt the usual saboteur tactics kick in. The anxiety build up in my body, that I wished I could stretch into myself and tug it out of my body, but I had to sit in it. By the afternoon, I would have gotten to the point of, what I thought was personal self love, and told myself that life was too stressful, so why add the extra pain of trying to eat healthy through it. There would be less stressful days, but for today, I could eat myself better.
No I couldn’t!! NO, I didn’t.
I thought I had never stat with that frustration in my life before, but I had. I did it with a very beautiful relationship. I thought that it was impossible to love the saboteur, but I had done that before too. I thought the saboteur always won the battle, but my self love and love for the saboteur had won a totally misunderstood love for my dad … so I didn’t eat myself better. Instead, I sat in the fear, the mess, the anxiety and go through the day.
Just one day!!
Some things eased up, while others linger on, but then I got through that day too and the next. Not with ease, but with consciousness and determination to love that totally misunderstood side of myself, who hurts for reason I may never know!!!
With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour