Just a minute ago I saw that a friend shared something nice and relevant on Facebook:
Tonight I am leaving for Goa. I feel frustrated and feel that I am wasting time. I feel angry with myself. I just found out that the place I had in mind for myself in Poone is not so dead as I was told two days ago. I am pissed off that I always base my decisions on what I hear and never check for myself. I thought I learned this lesson in Israel when I found out that taking a bus from Jordan to Lebanon was not so simple as I had heard from somebody (there are no borders between Lebanon and Jordan, you have to go through Syria but I never bothered to look at a map myself). I go on a ‘spiritual quest’ and travel around the world but I am totally oblivious of where I am. I have been for almost a week in Mumbai and still I haven’t looked at a map. I hear travellers talk about cities and I have no clue what they are talking about. Tonight I will just jump on a train and I will figure it out when I arrive, as I always do. This might sound cool and carefree but there is definitely a flipside.
I had an intention to go to Iraq. This was the only destination that I more or less prepared. Well, the only thing that I kind of prepared was a reservation in a hotel that somebody told me to be kind of safe. As always, I didn’t check.
Why do I hate it so much to prepare? Every time I have to prepare something my anxiety level goes up. I feel stressed and fear failure. Eventually I will block and decide to wing it. I will be like “fuck it, let’s do it anyway”. The upside is that I have become really good at improvising and working with what comes up in the present moment. And I am very good at seeing where people block and where the fear kicks in. I can make a living because of that.
What happens is that when I start thinking ahead I can see so many options and alternatives that I get lost. Supermarkets make me feel uncomfortable, restaurants with hundreds of options on the menu too. I fear making the wrong choices and I fear overlooking the good choices. This is also why I hate shopping: I feel shame when I find out I bought the wrong sunglasses in the eyes of my super stylish friends.
Right now my host asks me to go to a Sikh temple. I want to say yes. Then her other guest politely declines the invitation. I realize it is ok to say no and I can continue writing. Now my host just informs us that she will go without us but with her house assistants. Now I am not so sure anymore. I don’t want to miss out on anything and I would like to see how her assistants interact outside (they are very shy and obedient in the house). But I also would like time to meditate. What should I do?
I am in India, for Christ’s sake. I should not spend too much time inside behind a laptop. Can I do both? Come back after the temple and finish this post. And if I hurry I can finish this post even before they leave.
What is the trauma behind all these patterns? When I look at it now, today, it has to do with not having a solid home base. I did not have parents with strong opinions. So I was never really sure if the approval I received was actually valid, I was never really convinced. I became allergic to insecurity and developed over-confidence. I became identified with everything that was optimal: best shoes, best tennis racket, best clubs, best body, coolest friends. This was a way to assure approval, to create an idea that I was ok. Nowadays I follow my intuition more. But I like my intuition to be right, I want my intuition to be a source of confidence. When I get opposing messages the old pattern revives and I feel wrong again and unsure.
I just meditated for 45 minutes and saw another layer. Not only do I have a deep-rooted feeling of being not good enough, I also have a conviction that ‘it won’t work out for me anyway’. Both are connected to a need for love, acceptance and approval. Deep down I feel unfit to be loved. Making a ‘wrong’ intuitive decision like buying train tickets without looking on maps, triggers a feeling of failure, which in my mind confirms the loss of my relationship. I have a voice saying ‘you see, this is why women leave you, boy: it won’t work out anyway’. What happened, and this is rare for me, was that I could see the little boy in my meditation and I could tell him he was ok.
There is not much we can do about negative thoughts than observe them over and over again. Meditation helps to not take them too personal. We are not our thoughts. And by just observing the experience, the experience changes. This will ultimately clear things up. Happiness is a by-product of the clarity.
I feel much better now and look forward to go to Goa and take time and space for myself. Thank you for listening. The pics below are from the Hindu altar in the room of my host. It was nice to connect with a new tradition.
Oh, and I didn’t go to the Sikh temple.
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