I often find myself sitting at intersections, looking upon all of the cars and their inhabitants, not voyeuristically, but humanly, wondering what they're thinking about as they wait for the light to turn in their favor, or peeking into houses with lit windows on early morning runs, catching glimpses of moving bodies, curious as to what they're doing, what they're feeling, of their strife, their happiness. It's during times like these that I feel a deep kinship to my fellow beings. At our cores, we're all the same, wanting for love, connection, peace. We all wear bathrobes in the morning, wake up with bedheads, drink coffee, and relish our rituals to get through each day. These are the things I've had to remind myself of when trying to practice self acceptance, when trying not to judge myself to anyone else's standards.
My fear of vulnerability, of not measuring up, equates to a lack of self worth. If I'm not A, B, and C, then I'm not worthy of love, friendship, attention. Me, at my core, stripped of all the overachieving business, doesn't feel noteworthy. Noteworthy and worthy being two different birds. I want to be noteworthy.
I learned at a very young age, after feeling somewhat invisible, like there was nothing particularly noteworthy about me, that hard work got me attention, praise. The voodoo that is positive reinforcement worked its wonderous magic, so I worked even harder, becoming better at everything I did, better than most everyone else, at the things I chose to put my efforts into. More attention came, and over time this way of existing was solidified. I didn't have to work very hard for it anymore, I had a reputation for being smart and able, and my hard work and thirst for knowledge had become innate. Now, even new acquaintances quickly realize that I possess these qualities, because this is my way of being. It has become authentic. I know no other way.
So, we'll say that at around age 6, I started developing my tendencies towards overachievement. Now, at 40, I exist as that woman. Do I berate myself for requiring that attention, that feeling of love and connection, worthiness, noteworthiness, at a young age and now, as a grown woman? Do I try to strip it all away, put an end to my weekly cleaning of baseboards and making bread from scratch, and just be, in the name of loving myself for whatever raw little person resides in there? Do I stop with the Martha Stewart bullshit completely?
In years past, I may have thought that necessary to "heal", to identify the "authentic" me, but today, and a library full of self help books later, I realize that would be pure tomfoolery. I may as well beat my head against a brick wall in the hopes of breaking it, one mind numbing blow at a time. It's simply not gonna happen. Given that info, I have to ask myself, "what's so bad about Martha?" Yeah, she did go to prison, but criminal record aside, she's putting out some quality information. And, what's so bad about me? I am loved. I am connected. I am noteworthy. I am happy. I can say those things without pause, and that is enough. I am enough. Maybe, just maybe, I'm absolutely everything I was intended to be. Maybe my soul's journey always meant to take me here. Maybe my need for noteworthiness has left an imprint upon others. You're reading this right now, aren't you? Maybe, just maybe you're feeling like your curses have created gifts in your life, and maybe, most importantly, in this moment you are feeling like you are enough.