I subconsciously create my life mostly to avoid painful experiences from the past. My parents divorced when I was little, probably around 4 though I actually just realize that I don’t know for sure. As my father moved away a few years later, I would visit him mostly on holidays or school breaks (and mostly arranged by my mother not initiated by him), so it is no surprise to me that my interpretation of this experience was that “I didn’t matter.” Interestingly enough, if I saw that from my mother’s perspective, it would be obvious to me that I mattered a lot, but my father broke my heart. To fight the shameful notion that “I don’t matter,” I made choices in my life to avoid experiencing it at any cost. I chose environments and circumstances that allowed me being numb and not dealing with the pain that not being important caused me. In fact, I am a Capricorn, but am extremely social and often times, not really because I enjoy people so much but mostly because I can’t stand being alone. When my phone doesn’t ring, something inside gets triggered. I remember my mom once telling me that if someone wanted to talk to me, they could initiate the contact. I would be terrified that I would be easily forgotten and used to think she was so mean to put me through that. In fact, for years, whether it had to do with a relationship or friendship, I was often the one who called first. Even now I have friends that I regularly check in with though they never check in with me. I have very little in common with most of them and our paths have crossed long ago with no intersection on horizon, yet I nurture those relationship with everything I got. I thought of it recently and considered: what would it look like if I gave myself freedom to just let some people go, to let them be only a part of my memory but not continue to be a part of my present given that the only time they were in my life was when I dialed their number. With all the new social inventions of Facebook, Skype, Viber and alike, it takes everything I have to just keep contacts alive with people who have moved on long ago. They are glad to hear from me, but nothing in their life has ever had them get in touch with me. I was dealing with this phenomenon in the last two days triggered by an event that had me feel really angry. But I was done being angry so as I dug deeper, I realized that what lied underneath the anger was real hurt of being irrelevant and left behind. I shared this knowledge with my husband to just get to the bottom of it all and realized that most of my decisions were made to prove that I mattered. In fact, working as a private coach is completely a response to wanting to matter in someone’s life, even though I am not personally related to them. Having spent over 6 years training, assisting and leading events at Landmark was all an attempt to make a mark. In fact, I was often accused of talking a lot which is all an automatic response to wanting to matter, to be heard, to leave an impact.
I believe all people want to make a difference in the world. I am no exception, though my motivation behind was a fear of not being important. As I thought about this newfound knowledge, I cried like a baby because my whole life occurred as an illusion created to fill the void of a little girl whose father didn’t show her she was important. So what can I do? For a start, I am taking on a practice of designing my schedule making sure that the REASON behind what I am doing is created from what I want now, not a default past. So, before I take an action from the space of “I should”, automatically and without asking, I will take a moment to breathe deeply and to create an intention for what I am about to do. This doesn’t mean I will start avoiding things or people. I will honor everything I want to do as long as I can come up with the reason to do it that serves me. Otherwise, I promise to myself to let it go.
Nothing in life motivates us as strongly as our desire to avoid the pain and being in the situation we dislike. I am grateful for my life and that it got me this far. Going forward, I choose consciously the path I walk on. Love, Marija