Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Joy of Un-Becoming

My pal Ann Catherine rocks. We don't get to see each other much, but we chat a bit on Facbook. Last year, she gave me the most wonderful gift.

She gave me the gift of an idea. This idea is something called unbecoming. 

At first, I thought it meant being ugly physically, haha! But no, unbecoming means to let go of who you once were as you rebuild a new life. That's the short version.

I do feel that we keep some of out innate traits and characteristics. I feel we have some roles in our human lives that are difficult to shake. It's all very complex. I can't know another person's path. I also struggle to even be an expert on my own path. 

All I know for sure is that I'm doing my best. I know what I like and enjoy. I know who my true friends are and what matters to me. The rest is just details, I know.

But, I've un-become so much. I have lost track of who I am at times. At the end of the day, I don't even have many dreams (the big kind) left. It used to all bother me, but now, I just expect to shed and un-become further.

Here's a summary of sorts of some of the things I no longer am...of course, there's more, but that stuff is private, only for my heart to know. I'm giving you the highlight reel:

*I'm no longer focusing on being a life coach, author, and speaker. I let go of my online business. 

*I'm no longer a punk rock chick or purely a rocker. These days, I dig Americana and outlaw country music. I always will love rock music, but I do not feel the need to have my physical identity and appearance a certain way.

*I gave up other careers over the past two decades, in other areas such as non-profit, legal, bodywork, energy work, intuitive consultations, besides coaching, writing, consulting, and other work. 

*I'm no longer a person who "works," since my autoimmune conditions have made it impossible. 

*During the past year, I've attended six funerals. I'm no longer a person who has a mom physically. I’ve lost other folks in my life too, not just through death. 

*I used to have a big dream of relocating one day, maybe in retirement, to California. I'm okay with it never happening. I dig living in Detroit, Michigan. 

*I used to really study and enjoy New Age teachings. Nowadays, I can't stomach them, even though the book I wrote has some of them within it. 

*I used to be more politically active. I’m into helping wildlife and environmentalism, but I always have been. This is the extent of my activism. 

*I used to give and give and now, I'm burned out. I have learned to say “no.” 

*I had to give up a few of my athletic careers over the years, due to injuries, Epstein-Barr virus, chronic fatigue, and my body giving out. 

*Many of my family are deceased. I lost my uncle in 1991, my grandma in 2001, my grandpa in 2004, and my mom in 2015. I'm not close to some of my extended family. There's family members who won't or don't talk to me. I used to feel I had to “fix” these things, but no longer guilt or shame myself about most of it. 

*I used to be a good Buddhist student and now, I only casually study. 

*I used to eat raw vegan, but over the years, I've switched to a pescatarian diet. I still don't eat dairy and gluten, however. 

*I have changed my hair a bit. I used to have Bettie Page bangs. I grew them out two years ago. I feel more like my true self, not a clone of some indie girl. 

*I used to take classes for personal and professional growth. These days, I do guitar ones. 

*I used to want to be highly successful. These days, I'm just happy being able to function, have my healthy habits, and enjoy making music and art messes. 

*I used to be a person who really worried about what others think of me. I still do a bit, since I'm human. It's not as much now though.

*I have become a person who watches her calories and logs it all. So far, I've lost 25 or more pounds. As of this writing, I have only 5-10 more to go and I'll be where I'm my best. 

*I used to knit and crochet. It hurts my wrists too much these days. 

*I've become a person who art journals. I've returned to writing poetry. I write songs, haikus, and six word stories. Stuff like that.

*I used to regret not having gone on to graduate or law school. I'm at peace with it now.

*I used to be a person who numbed out online. I spend very little time on social media now.

*I used to like to buy things to feel better, especially for awhile after my mama died. I'm no longer that person.

*I used to think affirmations and positive thinking wound fix anything of mine. I no longer believe this. I don’t feel I need to be “fixed” any longer. 

*I used to be hard on myself and blame myself for everything. I'm no longer this person. I’m gentler with myself. 

I have been digging deep to excavate my true self. There's been a lot of rubble to dig myself out of at times. I've had to sit on top of the rubble pile to regroup. 

As I regroup, I see in the distance the foundation I'm slowly building for my new life. It doesn't scare me at all to step into that next phase of my life without any of the roles, labels, and dreams I used to have. I'm just tired. I'm having to recover my health. So, things have been slower for me than I want when it comes to fully moving forward. 

Some days, I'm exhausted. Sometimes, my grief over so much loss overwhelms me. At times, I feel a deep heartbreak about having "failed" so many times in so many life areas. Other days, I'm feeling like a strange pile of protoplasm that is filled with soggy tears dripping all over the place. 

I keep on getting out of bed. I've learned to appreciate life's simple pleasures and the small victories such as showering, getting dressed into real clothing, making a real lunch, or sitting to play guitar. 

It's not like I hope for things to ever get easier. I'm not waiting for life conditions to be perfect before moving on to do what I desire. I try each day to let go of some of my shame about failures. I try to turn the volume down on the voices of my inner critics. I keep on keeping on, at times, doing very crappily with housework, laundry, music, art, poetry, and cooking. I don't always keep all the balls in the air. I don't have the energy…and, that’s okay. 

I still feel the sting of others' judgments. I know it's human to judge. I don't expect others to be perfect. I know that some don't know my whole story. I know some feel I'm a slacker or loser because I don't work outside the home and I don't have kids. I mean, what do I do with all my free time? Haha! 

Ugh.

So, I'm naked here and vulnerable. I've not even shared it all. I've not shared much of the darkness I've had to wade through. I've not shared those things, but they were there. I faced much of it on my own, aside from a few close people supporting me. 

Un-becoming is hard work maybe? The thing is, much if it is effortless. Stuff and people sometimes just fall away. You shed more and more of your false self. Your body will break down. Maybe your mind bails too? Maybe your spirit falls apart too? What do you do? What can you do, really? 

All I can do is get out of bed, feed myself healthy things, and feed the squirrels. I go to the dentist and doctor a lot. I get counseling and coaching. I write, meditate, do yoga, shower, cook dinner, play guitar, read books, clean house, drink tea, help others, rest, cry, daydream, take handfuls of vitamins, get intravenous nutrients, B12 shots in my butt, sing, write songs, get angry, vent, clean house, and get dressed most parts of my days out of my pajamas. 

I still don't make my bed. 

Un-becoming is becoming it seems.

Much love,

Lisa Selow 


(Copyrighted 2016)