I have been known to stomp through this world with a chip on my shoulder on occasion. The “Why Me?!” mentality creeping in and taking over. Ready at a moments notice to fight for my existence, my piece of the pie. At times almost baiting and daring others to “come at me, bra!”.
I think when it comes down to it we are all capable and ready to lash out if we feel fear. Fear I am going to be hurt. Fear I am going to lose something. Fear you are going to take something that is mine. Fear I will not be given or recognized as I deserve to be. Fear there won’t be enough for me. As humans we have evolved to a certain degree (allegedly), but that instinctual kill or be killed survival of the fittest lives quietly within most of us. Biding its time, assessing situations and waiting to pounce. If threatened we are capable of lashing out even at those we love.
You can disagree with me. I won’t be offended. This is my opinion based on experiences and observations. I have been hurtful to those I love when threatened in some way. Whether perceived or reality. I have behaved in ways that make me question myself. Unkind words, storming off, arguing, posturing or angling myself in public…..the list is long.
But what about the battle that actively wages within us all? The one that leaves us ragged and broken and emotionally stunted. The one often sparked and fueled by a cycle of shame and guilt. The inner war that contributes to our sensitivity and perception of our outer world. The internal skirmish that influences our choices in relationships, health, career, money. The strife capable of shaping or deconstructing our lives minute by minute.
To what degree is the way we observe, relate and engage to our world and the people in it dominated by our inner turmoil? I recognize that my interactions and reactions are often filtered through the percolator of my internal conflict. How I feel about me.
Are our barometers altered by our experience?
Who ultimately wins the Us Vs. Us battle?
Do we control our own destiny with this soul strife?
I think we have seen a vast array of outcomes from triumph to destruction.
Sometimes it feels impossible to climb out of the hole that we dig for ourselves. We convince ourselves that we belong in this pit and so rather than fight our way upward we launch a spiral further downward. Behavior choices dictating our feelings of disgust and horror at who we have become. Hopelessness compels us to drive ourselves deeper into self loathsome. And the cycle continues. Until we self destruct or resurrect ourselves by learning to stop the internal hostility. Courage, dear heart- C.S. Lewis. I have visited this cavernous pit. It is lonely and terrifying. It is easy to get lost and turned around. That is when others guided my way with their lights of kindness and hope. Those same others I traipsed on and snapped at loved me right out of that hole.
I try not to wage war on myself anymore. I try to pick up healthier tools rather than self annihilating weapons. Though I don’t always succeed. But I haven’t gotten lost in a while. My internal scuffles aren’t as intense as they used to be. That weight of “Why Me?!” I ditched a while back. I aim to keep my fears in check and in touch with reality. Reset that hyper sensitive gauge in my brain. My super duper survival gauge that perceives lots of harmless happenings as threats.
For me I woke to the fact that my internal shit was driving my external experiences, really my life. I got tired of that. Thankfully.
Wherever you are on this journey, friends. Know that you are not alone. All of us are in some way experiencing the Us. VS. Us battle that contaminates our daily living and our Us. VS. Them or Us and Them perspective. I know that too.
PS: Check out the link for Sarah Wilson’s book about anxiety “First We Make the Beast Beautiful”. It is a wonderful read!