Self-Rediscovery, Shifting and Solitude.
Earlier this month, I attended a zoom event which discussed self-love. During the event, it was expressed to participate if there's anything you would like to share. I hadn't "labeled" the current season I am in however when I spoke it, it came out naturally. Self-Rediscovery. We then led into a topic of identity. I found that I needed that moment. I shared with everyone my experience with feeling extremely uncomfortable correcting people on how to properly pronounce my name. I never thought it was hard to say, and I felt that if you can read then you should know how to say it. The discomfort stemmed from the response that I would receive when I have corrected others in the past, and it appeared that I was rude about it which were no intentions of mine. Having those people pleasing tendencies, I never wanted others to feel uncomfortable or become upset. For years I have allowed people to butcher my name followed by telling me "Oh, it's the same thing as Vivian.". No beloved, it is not. I grew up disliking my name because I knew that there was a problem in pronouncing it. It was evident that voicing it was a concern of mine. It was almost feeling that I was ignored because when I introduced myself, I ensured that you heard me clearly by emphasizing the pronunciation. It has been frustrating having to explain it constantly. Referencing the event, I recognized in that moment that I will no longer allow it and feel shame in expressing it. This is the beginning of my self-rediscovery journey.
I had big plans for myself this coming fourth quarter, but that came to a halt. Real quick! I thought this was going to be my "live. laugh. love" journey. I planned to travel and accomplish some of my goals outside of work. Even though I wasn't 100% sure what that was going to look like, but this was the time that I was going to figure it out. Unexpected and unforeseen events occurred last month that has shifted things in my life. I was overwhelmed. On August 22nd, I was involved in a car accident; thankfully no one was injured but what struck me is where my mind went to first. Anger. Not relief, but anger. I was angry at the other driver, not once did I think about how my life was spared, or how their life was spared. All I could focus on was my "big" plans that I had set because that meant that I couldn't participate. Not having my car has been an inconvenience for sure but it hasn't been entirely bad, I mean I been here before I should know. What that meant was having to rely on others and being on their time. I didn't like that feeling. I don't like it at all. I felt that my mentality on the matter was valid yet immature at the same time. I felt that I was being a brat about it. I felt entitled and what I wanted needed to happen now. Thirty days. I undergone this process for thirty days. One of the weekends I spent isolated in my room, I picked up one of the books on my shelf, "Think Like a Monk". In Chapter 7, The Mind the author states, "the monkey's mind is reactive, but the monk mind is proactive.". There's a comparison in relation to a child and parent's mind, "when the childlike mind is fully in control it's because our monk mind has not been developed, strengthened or heard. The child gets frustrated, throws tantrums, and we quickly give in to it. Then we get mad at ourselves.". Despite being told that circumstances as such are a part of life, I considered what I could learn from it by shifting my mindset was the first thing leading into the next segment, solitude.
Every time I am faced with a challenge, I search for what God is teaching me or has been trying to get me to understand that I may have not realized before. I wouldn't necessarily say that I was forced to embrace solitude because I practice seeking solace all of the time but this time it was different. I made a decision to resign from graduate school. I have put it off in the past, toying with the idea because I wasn't sure what the outcome was going to be. I felt that I needed to obtain my master's because that's what I was "supposed" to do and that it was the only source in securing my future. Education was my way of "getting out" so I held on to it for so long and the thought of letting go of that developed fear. I thought about how I felt disinterested in what I had been studying which was shocking because initially I thought I knew I was sure about this and maybe it would come back around until I hadn't. Before, I had shared with a friend of mine that I would feel guilty if I resigned but then I didn't feel guilty about it at all. I'm always looking ahead, and I have trouble being present and I felt that God placed this car situation in my life for me to slow it down and think it through by not acting on impulsive decisions but most importantly cancelling out the noise. A reason for my indecisiveness is based on seeking consult from others to gain their opinion but the feedback is different because it's from their perspective and not mine. Another teaching moment during my thirty days of confinement, one day, I looked at myself and was completely disgusted. It's an insecurity that I have ever since I was sixteen and sometimes it feels as though it is never going away. I felt that I couldn't fix it because when I have made attempts to in the past, I wasn't successful in achieving that goal and not exactly knowing what the goal was except I knew I wanted to feel better about myself. I grew tired of it. In that moment I knew that things needed to change. What I can say is I feel better knowing I am following through not only physically but mentally, that's key. I went back to what I have done prior and that was sitting with myself with the help of prayer, journaling, podcasts and books. What steps are you taking to do the inner work?