This isn’t actually about sports. (Sorry.)
But it is a run-down of my weekly stats.
And the deep, dark stuff I’ve been batting at.
So, this week I spent not a few hours conversing about this post on Facebook. People had other ideas, opinions, and clarifications- which was awesome. There were comments from people I upset. (I have made some updates to the post based on the conversations I had.)
But as I looked at my feed, I realized I had been talking about having a tough week, personally and professionally- and that the ‘professional’ part looked like I was talking about That Post.
That Post was a good conversation and clarification, but it wasn’t the dark, difficult part of my week.
No, this week I floated down to the bottom of myself.
Like a weight on a fishing line.
Into dark depths.
About my work.
I came to rest in a deep place that questions everything I do.
And how much money I (don’t) make.
It’s a nasty place, honestly. It’s where some of my most vehement, painful, judgmental, cruel internal voices and stories live.
[When people say, “My shit came up,” this is what they mean.]
Truths That Hurt
For me it was a story about when I was very young and told the truth (at age 5, to my mother: “You’re fat.”) and learned that when you tell the truth you don’t get what you want and people leave the room in tears.
As a service-provider who tells clients the truth, you can see how having this story play in my subconscious might interrupt the cash flow.
This was also a very painful story to remember. It hurt to revisit it in my mind. I cried and felt grief for that little girl part of me, for how it affects me now, and for my mother’s own wounds.
Lies That Won’t Stop (And Might Be True)
My shit is also voices that say, “You know absolutely nothing about business. Just quit.” “You’re no good at marketing.” “You don’t understand services like other people do.” And many other equally pleasant things.
These voices and stories make me feel like total shit. Because they are assessments that relate to facts. (‘Relate to’ is important. They aren’t ‘based in.’ Small but important difference.)
These voices also spiral quickly into judgments that I am not worthy of having my dream. “You don’t deserve this,” they say.
Untangling Crossed Wires
My shit was also realizing that I have connected my value as a person to the amount of money I make.
My entire life I have lived and worked for good grades. And I have, in my own head, set up the income of my business as a grade about who I am as a person. If I don’t ‘get a good grade’ (i.e. make some ca$h) then I suck.
Uh, it’s pretty painful to have all that floating around in your head.
Wondering if any of it is true.
Believing that probably some of it is.
We shine the light in, we see the mess.
Practicing The Truth (Or, At Least Better Stories)
I know, from years of exploration and practice, what to do with the old story. It needs validation and acceptance, and probably some crying and grief. (Actually, I did do a lot of crying about it.)
The nasty voices also have their medicine. Listening helps. Asking if they need something helps. Offering them patience and kindness turns the sound way down.
But disentangling the notion about my worth from my income…that is taking some time.
There are so many levels at which this message is conveyed and supported in our culture.
Think about all the ways we demean, alienate, and reduce resources for people who don’t ‘produce.’ (Homeless people, people with different abilities, older people, poor people, etc.)
What does it mean to separate basic human worth from income?
I don’t know exactly. I am still looking into this for myself.
What I do know is that I need to separate them (and I think pretty much all of U.S. society needs to separate them, too).
I think about them being two Tinker Toys on a table. They are joined, stuck together.
And when I take them apart and put them on the table separately, things change.
Each piece has its own shape, color, and way to interact.
I am figuring out that when I put these two pieces together, shit doesn’t work so well.
In life or business.
I am starting to feel, and imagine/play with, what it is like to separate my own worth from the number that is my income.
That yes, in fact, I am worthy of basic good and resources just because I exist.
And that ‘what I do for money’ is a completely separate thing.
This is tough because ‘what I do’ – to a great extent – is also who I am.
I offer services from the best of who I am and what I have learned.
It makes the separation harder.
Right now I am still playing with it and trying on the various facets of separation.
This sounds like, “Okay, today I am going to think about work as ‘something I do for money,’ and noticing what happens during the day.
Other moments it is sitting, meditative-like, in the feeling of being inherently worthy (whether I bring in money or have hair or am female or use too many resources).
I don’t have answers. I only have exploration.
But that is enough for now.
Exploration will lead to discovery.
And when I discover, I will report back to you.
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I will get back to some happier posts in the next few days. This week has been tough, but there is plenty on satisfaction and sensuality that is waiting in the wings.