Mindfulness Sucks

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I don’t mean that mindfulness … sucks. It’s just that…what you learn about yourself can be overwhelming.

It…sucks.

I started meditating twenty months ago. At the same time, I began studying mindfulness. Consequently, I’ve learned a lot. As a result of this new self-awareness, I’ve had some tough realizations about myself. The good news is that I can make the necessary changes. Although it may be difficult and challenging, I believe I have the willpower to make the changes.

The Difficulty

The difficulty comes in forgiving yourself for what you didn’t know. Or worse, forgiving yourself for what you chose not to confront. Maybe at the time, there was good reason not to. Maybe you were lazy or avoidant. Nevertheless, you (we) did not address said issue(s).

However, if you want to grow, these things can’t be let go. Inevitably, you have to deal with it.

Or, there’s no growth. The monster that haunts your past will inevitably haunt your present as well.

Fear

I’ve always been scared.

There is an irrational fear of what people think. I may have said differently, but this is one of those realizations mentioned previously.

I’d imagine others thoughts like:

He can’t command any authority”.

“He can’t support a family.”

“He’s not very smart.”

“How can he be in charge?”

“He’s not sexy.”

“He’s ugly.”

“He’s not successful enough”.

“He’s awkward.”

Worse than that, I came up with a “cover” for each. A way to compensate for each thing mentioned above. It took so much energy. But here’s my responses to the imaginary feelings others had:

He can’t command any authority”.

Then I don’t give a fuck about what you think. I only care about my way.

“He can’t support a family.”

Then I don’t want a fucking family. Fuck it.

“He’s not very smart.”

I’ve got a postgraduate degree motherfucker.

“How can he be in charge?”

If you don’t listen to me, fine I don’t need you.

“He’s not sexy.”

Yeah? Look at how expensive my clothes are. (And, I’m gonna act like I’m hot shit until you believe it.)

“He’s ugly.”

I love being the center of attention.

“He’s not successful enough”.

No? Take a look at my car.

“He’s awkward.”

I’m gonna talk a lot.

I never confronted the actual issue. There was fear what I (or you) would find would be so terrible, that I couldn’t live with myself.

I did not realize (at the time) that I’m not responsible for what people feel about me. And so, I tried to change who they would perceive I was. I was not clear if any of these ideas were actually thought by anyone. However, the belief in these thoughts caused me to behave like I was under full assault at all times.

The Narcissistic Behavior Cycle

I Don’t Give a Fuck About Your Life

Well that is a little extreme, but I guess I’m like that…dramatic. You must know this if you’re still reading.

I have an exaggerated sense of self. As I’ve mentioned, I have concealed my “weaknesses”. I tend to believe the I am special or unique. This is the definition of a narcissist.

I know, you’re surprised.

Sigh.

Have I hidden weaknesses by trying to meet others needs? Yeah. Do I set myself apart from others acting like I don’t need anything from them? Yeah. To an unhealthy extent, do I believe that I am responsible for the outcomes of people’s lives? Yeah.

This is codependency.

I have traits of both Narcissism and Codependency. It could be said that these are disorders of the ego. Nevertheless, the expression of these traits have had a huge part in how my life has played out so far.

I have cared about people’s lives to an extreme. I put all my needs aside. But there came a day when I realized that there was no trophy. I would not be admired as a hero and legend for all time.

I have needs, damnit! And you can’t meet them! I didn’t tell you of course, you should just know!

At this time, I’m out. Thank you for time.

Also, if you want to know about what I want or need out of relationship? I need you to worship everything I do, all the time. Or, let me solve all of your problems. Otherwise, I’ll feel like you don’t love me. This type of behavior comes from not feeling you’re good enough to be loved.

That’s all. No big deal.

But, let’s get real, you can’t ask this of anyone.

Codependency Behaviors

Immobilization and Guilt

Perhaps the narcissist in me wants to point out: I did not do any of this because I am a bad person. I did everything out of fear. I was terrified that what would be found would be so unacceptable, I would be banished from the human race.

Again, enhanced self-importance.

The solution is to examine a black-blooded lump of coal of a soul. After that, realize that it’s not so bad. And if anyone doesn’t like it, it’s okay. Be okay with it. Know its not for everyone.

There is another casualty in this. Individual needs and desires. When all energy is expelled to contain other’s perceptions, it can be an obsession. Personal, individual needs fall by the wayside.

We aren’t putting energy to the thing we really want. And, thus we are unfulfilled. Immobilized. And so, the cycle continues.

Even if you try to break the cycle, the guilt from the realizations you may have often will lead you right back to the cycle.

Okay, Okay. Mindfulness Doesn’t…Suck

One of the benefits of mindfulness, is its ability to put you in the here and now. Your focus isn’t on the past or the future, its on the present. Considering the past is good, insofar that you are using the information to change, grow and learn. The future can still be shaped. Nonetheless, we are in the here and now.

Paying attention to our feelings and understanding why they may exist is crucial. Facing it is scary. It takes and investment of time and taxes our energy. But, it’s worth it to understand.

What I’ve Done (And Will Do)

Many things became clear in these self-awareness, realizations. One is that many important people didn’t know how I felt about them. My brothers had no idea the beaming pride, the tender affection and admiration I had for each of them. Others needed to know that I had treated them poorly.

And so, I began to write letters. Some of this is selfish, I admit. However, it did provide some value to the receivers.

At work, I’ve found the similar self-realizations. Acting to control what others are thinking of me. I don’t want my team to see a human that get’s stressed out. They should see someone successful, always having the answers and decisive – well, the narcissist does. This irrational fear sees that I am trying to gauge their silent judgements.

It’s exhausting.

I am working on a mechanism to help with this, like the letters in my personal life.

The Solution

Here it is, connect and be vulnerable.

This may sound a little anticlimactic. However, but not to the narcissist. This idea is revolutionary to the narcissist. Share yourself.

Connection happens in the messiness of life. Tell others how you feel, share. At the end of it all, the most important things in our lives will be the personal relationships.

Wouldn’t it be great if we felt like we were able to be our open, authentic and real selves?

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BA in Psychology and MBA from Kent State. ENTJ Myers/Briggs and my love language is acts of service. However, I don’t think any of those things should provoke you to read my blog. Hmmm. I want to talk about things we all think about but, can’t freely talk about.

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whatarewe?

BA in Psychology and MBA from Kent State. ENTJ Myers/Briggs and my love language is acts of service. However, I don’t think any of those things should provoke you to read my blog. Hmmm. I want to talk about things we all think about but, can’t freely talk about.

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[…] But beware, even mindfulness comes with a price. […]

Maja
5 months ago

I can relate to this so much. Nobody warns you that self-awareness comes with the price. Not even psychologists (because similar happens during psychotherapy). Talking from my own experience…
We share a very similar story, even though I’m more borderline than a narcissist (but well aware of my selfish traits).
Thanks a lot for sharing this story.

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[…] or am I moving backwards. With the help of a therapist and talking to some people, which are going through a similar process, I believe this is just the part of the process of moving […]