So sometimes I think I may have a split personality or maybe an alter-ego. I don’t know. . . something. I don’t black out and find out I’ve done something terrible or anything. I haven’t formed any fight clubs that I’m aware of at this point. But in some ways, I might as well have.
Let me ‘splain… Every day I start out with all good intentions. I do some yoga moves, drink a bottle of water, peek in on my sleeping kids and hubby and smile and silently wish them a great day. I hop into the truck, play some meditation kind of music or something that makes me happy. You get the idea…. It’s all good. Ease on into the day.
At some point in more days than I care to admit something switches. My crazy surfaces, we’ll call it my Inner Biznatch. I’m not sure what sets her off. Traffic jams, interacting with an office finger-pointer, dealing with an automated customer service system (“I said ‘Yes’ muthacussa, YES!”) Whatever it is that gets her panties twisted, I am shocked at how quickly my inner zen is shattered and appalled at myself as I speak how fast I break the four agreements. (I try to honor the agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz to take nothing personally, be impeccable with my words, make no assumptions and always do my best.) Gone. All gone in one, “I’m about to split somebody’s wig up in this b…”. Then my zen scrambles to stay alive. Glung, glung, muthacussin GLUNG!
I realize I need to address this. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t replant my loving-kindness seeds and cultivate an authentic spiritual practice then keep effectively trampling all over the sprouts. So I have set out to see if I need professional help or if I can get a handle on this. Bottom line, I can’t make progress if I keep on the cycle of losing my cool then giving myself mental beat-downs. I have to keep my glung whether I’m in my coveted yoga class or in my despised cubical. I have to keep it whether I am eating a soul sustaining, leisurely meal prepared with love for my family or eating a super sucky lunch at my office computer, keep it whether I’m driving to someplace wonderful on a beautiful day or just got flipped off by someone who cut ME off on my way to work in the rain. I can’t spin around like Wonder Woman and quick change into my cranky pants because I’m frustrated or because somebody is giving me a slice of their nasty.
So first thing’s first. Who am I really? Which side is the real me? What if my Inner Biznatch is my real deal? Thing is I’m honestly a bit of everything. My dream job on most days is being a part of a holistic wellness retreat center writing, massaging, and teaching in a space complete with an herb garden and an apiary (wayiBEE) with a bunch of like-minded folks offering their magic. I would LOVE this. Other days, I could see being Terry Tate the Office Linebacker, laying out my coworkers for killin’ the jo’ and not making mo’. Both are true, my zen and my rage. But my rage, I treat like the proverbial red headed step child. And maybe that’s the problem.
My Inner B is misunderstood. She is abused and reprimanded for speaking her truth. Stifled and starved, she gets a little rammy. So something small feels a little bigger than usual because she’s already lugging around a ton of baggage, baggage she wasn’t given the opportunity to drop. Hand her one more thing, look out below ‘cuz here come a slice of Nikki’s Pain Cake. But after I dish out that slice, I’ll pay in guilt for all the damage. Yep, that’s the cycle. Have something that should only be a minor aggravation get doused with a decade’s worth of suppressed anger and watch the fireworks.
My biznatchery was a lifesaver in my hyper self-conscious teen years. She was my champion that got me through some awkward times. But then she got too familiar. And I started not to like her. So I shunned her after all she did for me. I got it in my head that part of controlling my temper was never getting mad. All those little angry bits got shoved in time out and left to calm down only I never went back to check in once it all settled. Well lately it seems all these angry bits have come together and found their advocate in my Inner B. And she is tired of being shunned and ready for some revenge.
Now that I’m starting to really look at this I see my Inner B really just needs a friend. She can be kind of likeable. She is pretty funny with some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth when she gets going. She is just a little misguided. Her aim is off. She misfires a lot. Her energy is really powerful. It just needs a better outlet. She needs to be accepted by me, brought into the fold, and listened to thoroughly. She needs a hug. This is going to take some time, as I’ve pretty much denied her for most of my grown up life. I can see getting kicked in the shins the first few attempts. She hasn’t gotten any love. This is going to take some work.
I have implemented some office coping mechanisms to take the edge off while she heals. (Most of my issues arise in my place of work, probably because I don’t like my job or cubicles in general… they are unnatural but that’ll be another post…) Each morning I remind myself of my values. I do this by putting them at the top of my “To Do” list every day. Yeah, I can hear the “Um, yeah…weirdo!” now but it is what I do and it forces me to get my day off to a mindful start.
Music is another must have. Of the laid back, happy variety. I used to put on songs from bands like Rage Against the Machine when I felt angry, like my anger needed an anthem. Someone dumps their work on my desk and I play Killing in the Name and all my fury feels a bit more acceptable and starts to grow. Not the best plan for me. So I’m finding it better to tune into a positive vibe to simma’ down these days.
I’ve also started to do yoga at lunch. Amazing what a few sun salutations and a headstand will do for a body. (I’ll have more on this in a future post.) Having access to some good snacks too can’t hurt. Chocolate and popcorn pacify her. When all else fails, I appeal to her sense of humor. This little nugget may be like letting one of my many freak flags fly but sometimes I make pretend I’m on a sitcom like “The Office” when I’m interacting with people who make my bit**switch finger a little trigger happy. I’ll even look at my imaginary camera and shake my head when they walk away. Sounds a little nutty but it works, for me anyways. If I get caught doing it, they will have glimpsed some of my crazy and probably leave me alone for a little while at the very least. A winner either way!
These things have been helping me shield new baggage while I work on addressing the old stuff. I’m doing some fall clean up. Sorting through it all and sitting with it for a bit. Recall the memories, why I decided to hang on to a piece of some previous resentment this long, and then say goodbye. Some remnants of wrath I may recycle into something useful to me now. Some I may not be ready to let go of, so I’ll dust it off, throw a little love at it and put it back for the next baggage claim day.
Funny that I have a lot of grace for most people in my life and not so much for parts of myself. For so long I beat myself up for not being an ideal human by some misguided standards I unknowingly adopted. No one is without anger. No one is always the perfect embodiment of happiness and bliss. (And people who are always all chipper are seriously annoying right? Can I get an “Amen”?…. sorry that was what she was thinking… she’s so crazy..) Bottom line, we all get a little salty sometimes. As I’m seasoning, I have come to embrace that. We all need a bit of flavor. Everything in moderation. A little briny brings out my sweet. So I have some catching up to do with this old friend of mine. We’re gonna chew some fat. And a little bit of salt is just what it needs.