Monday, November 08, 2010

Goals, Smoals

Forgive me a moment while I express some emotions that aren't really that positive, but should be expressed nonetheless.
I've heard all the theories that we are what we think, the things we focus on are the things we manifest, negative thoughts yield negative results, blah, blah, blah. The variations of the same message are endless. They even include the story of the Cherokee elder, which I love.
One evening, an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. 

He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, greed, and arrogance. The other is Good - It is peace, love, hope, humility, compassion, and faith. ”

The grandson thought about this for a while and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

 To which the old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I was listening to an audio presentation by Brian Tracy called "Goals" this morning. His basic premise, which is not a new one, is that without goals we are directionless. You know, the old adage, "If you don't know where you are going, you're going nowhere."
So as Tracy goes on and on about the process of getting clarity about what you want from life and doing one small thing every day to work toward those goals in all areas of your life, all I can think is, "What's the point?" I can set goals until the sun rises in the west, and tell myself I am going to work toward them every day, but in the end I know I will just give up. It will require more effort than I want to give or I will be more inclined to sleep than to exercise or go to class. I will get to work at my dream job and the computer will be sitting there, drawing my attention away from the things I want to achieve and before I know it, I'll be right back to square one -- feeling like absolute shit.
Clearly, I'm having an issue with self-confidence at the moment. It's been quite a battle for a long time. The disparity between the confident, ambitious, dependable, capable person and the person who simply feels like the only thing left to do is to give up is growing wider and wider, as my ass does the same. It is so frustrating. That higher self KNOWS that setting goals and achieving them and getting recognition for them builds self esteem, but the lower self asks herself again, "What's the point?" I suppose I believe that no matter what I work for, no matter what I achieve, it will never last, it will always be stolen from me and in the end, like all things, it will never, ever be enough.
Inside me somewhere right now is a voice crying out, "Challenge those negative thoughts! Ask them what right they have to be in your life? They aren't true and they sure aren't helpful." And when I "hear" that faint voice, still fighting for life, right now at this moment, all I can feel is tired. I just want to close my eyes and forget about these struggles, to slip into the nothingness that doesn't include goals or ambitions, the place where there is no fight left. I am sad to say that at this moment, that is the place that feels safe.
Truth is, I know that in that place I go much deeper into darkness, into the place where the attempts to feel alive become desperate and more risky. Risk is the only thing that brings a spark of life in those moments. Then comes incredible regret, that insatiable desire to just be "normal," the resurfacing of the struggle, even stronger and more insistent than before. The addictive cycle, the clinicians call it.
As I sit here, I struggle with a dozen things: whether to go to a meeting or stay home with my husband who I am sure will be too tired to deal with me once he gets home, but not too tired to be irritated that I chose something else over him. I struggle with my lack of desire to fix a healthy meal and my guilt in ordering some overpriced takeout that is not healthy. I struggle with the need to go to the gym, fix dinner, get ready for the meeting, take care of my pets, return program calls, and again, the desire to just lay down and say fuck it all.
I know I won't feel these things in an hour or two, but I do know they will be back. I suppose my true desire is that I live at peace with myself and my decisions and that I be happy with life no matter how much effort it takes. I'm not there today and the best I can do is acknowledge that and get up and do the next right thing and realize that nothing is going to go wrong today that is going to kill me and if something does kill me, the struggle will be over and I can quit bitching.
Grateful to be alive one more day. Grateful to be honest with myself and others. Grateful that my life is filled with all kinds of feelings, and I can experience them as they come without overreacting.

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