“That’s right. I said it. You. Suck.”
This guy was a dick, I thought. And then I heard another, collapsed voice followed by a pitiful sigh.
“I suck. I really do suck. I don’t deserve to be here. I’m not worthy. I should just leave.”
Ewwwwww. I really didn’t care for this voice.
I was four days into a meditation retreat. I was “witnessing” a dialog between two voices — Two voices that lived within me. Two voices within me that I didn’t like. Two voices within me that I wanted to keep locked away.
THE BULLY-CRITIC AND THE WUSS
Deep within me is a voice, a belief that no matter what I do it’s just not good enough. A part of me thinks I suck it big time. It’s insatiable. It’s the critic of all critics. The sniper of all snipers. He’s a big bully and a total dick.
Sitting across from him was another part of me — this pitiful, collapsed, sorry excuse for a voice — and he took every punch the bully-critic threw. Funny thing is, I disliked this voice even more. I couldn’t stand to be with this neutered, emasculated part of me. I wanted to hide this from myself and the world. Especially the world.
So another voice emerged to disprove them both. The voice that says, “I do not suck. And I’ll prove it to you.”
I DON’T SUCK AND I’LL PROVE IT
Now here came the big one. It was like that moment in Fight Club where the main character realized HE was Tyler Durden.
Right then and there I could see how my ENTIRE life was seemingly a series of events and actions all designed to try and prove one thing:
I do not suck.
Oh the list is long — the clothes, the friends, the cars, the guitars, the girls, the tweets, the stories — you name it. Chances are it was easy to trace any one of those back to this voice who was busting his ass to prove one thing:
I do not suck.
If I sucked I wouldn’t be loved. I wouldn’t be accepted. I wouldn’t be special. I would end up alone and ultimately a failure.
There was work to do. If I was not going to suck, I needed to fortify myself to criticism from others. I needed a constantly updating strategy and impenetrable defenses. I needed to make sure that I found that balance between being special, but not too special.
As I sat there on the cushion “watching” all of this unfold, I realized “not sucking” is exhausting. I was so f’n tired of trying to prove that I didn’t suck. I could feel the weight of the constant vigil, the constant assessments, defenses and judgements. I wanted out.
So I asked myself, “What if you did NOT have to prove anything to yourself or anyone else ever again? What if you could do this AND you would still be loved and accepted?”
Hmmm. Wheels began to turn.
I felt a huge weight begin to lift. But, is that even possible? No way. Not ever.
I mean, what would I DO? MOST of my life was somehow oriented around this directive of being okay with myself and others.
Could I really just, let it all go? Could I really just ACCEPT who I was — as I was?
What if I didn’t have to DO anything in order to be loved or accepted? What if I could just BE myself and THAT was enough?
This was exhilarating AND terrifying. Even though I was exhausted by playing out this soap opera all of the time, I was more scared of NOT doing it.
- What if I really was a failure?
- What if everyone I loved left me?
- What if I ended up all alone?
And then there were the practical issues…
- What the hell would I DO with my life?
- Would I turn into Marlon Brando and get super fat?
- Would my life have any meaning or direction?
What. Would. I. DO?
HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED FROM A GIRL WHO POOPS HER PANTS
My daughter Be is almost 8 months old as I write this. Each day, more and more of her essence shines through. Even though she can’t speak words or do much more than roll around and crap her diaper, WHO SHE IS speaks loud and clear.
And she owns my heart. It’s a cliche but she is the light of my life. I have yet to meet another child who is loved this much and she doesn’t really DO anything. She’s just herself. She’s just Be.
She radiates pure joy. She embodies curiosity. She is love. She is play.
She hasn’t yet developed an inner critic or loser. She hasn’t yet developed a script that she’ll need to DO something in order to be loved.
And so as I struggled to figure out “what to DO”, I realized that I just needed to remember who I am underneath it all. I just needed to trust that BEING me was enough.
(And I’m even trying to remember it now as I work to get this writing “just right” so I can prove that I’m blah, blah, blah…)
There’s nothing to prove. To be myself means I’ll tap into that naturally happy and curious essense. And I know I’ve gotten off track when I’m being a total douche that’s trying to prove, you guessed it, that I don’t suck.
Is it easy to remember this lesson? Not really. But knowing that I don’t really have to DO (or build or effort) something is a big relief. I was already born happy and curious. I just need to remember to sack up and be me.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How is your life arranged to disprove any notion that you may suck?
How is bullshitting yourself affecting your love life? Your sex life?
How is this exhausting pattern steering your career towards a dead end?
How is this pattern affecting your ability to do what you really love?
If this story resonates with you and you’d like to actually do something about it, here’s what I want you to do:
Click here to fill out a questionnaire and request a time for us to chat about working together. We can discuss how I can help you ditch the bullshit charade without having your whole life implode.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.
PS Please take a moment to forward this story to anyone you feel will benefit from not sucking anymore. 🙂
PPS FOR THE LADIES
If you’re tired of dating (or marrying) wimps, please contact me to learn more about a program I’m developing just for you. Again, click here to fill out a few questions and I’ll hit you back. Talk soon.