There are times when I wonder if these different hats I wear are really just hats or if they're costumes. And the scariest question is, "Who am I when the costume comes off?" Aside from the obvious image of myself naked, I truly do wonder sometimes...
I have been told this is not uncommon. As women, we tend to become what we do and define ourselves by that. Are we really that bad at compartmentalizing?
I read a quote today - it was a glaring sign to me. "I was made... not to prove myself worthy but to refine the worth I'm formed from, acknowledge it, own it, spend it on others." - Mary Karr
This was a mini-epiphany for me. I agonize far too often about whether or not I'm good enough, smart enough... strong enough. Is what I'm doing enough? Is all I've done, enough? Will it ever be? Am I, enough? My programmed response to that question is "no," and that is what fuels this costumed me. Notice I wrote, "programmed response." This is not the answer that I, the real me buried under all of these costumes, know as truth. I know that I am enough and that we all are when we put forth true effort but what rules my mind is the programming. What I have to strive to understand and relate to on more than a subconscious level, is the truth.
Overcoming the programming is almost a full-time effort and who has time to ponder themselves all day long when they're changing costumes every few hours?
What most often happens is that my programmed mind thinks, "It's not enough. Work harder, work more. Do more." So then I push myself harder and become so mired in the effort that I allow my mind to go on auto-pilot. This keeps me in a perpetual state of programmed thinking... a perpetual state of "I'm not good enough."
Just as in combat - when there is no time to think, we react. We rely on programming.
My challenge these days, has been trying to be conscious and not reactive. Being reactive makes me ill. This illness is what we call "burn out." I'm there. Burnt. Crispy. Exhausted. Often, people will get physically sick or sometimes they'll experience some sort of accident, a broken leg, a car accident or something that forces them to be still. I notice first, this instinctive feeling of wanting to run, to be outside of myself, outside of this fast-paced life I've fueled with my own insecurities. That feeling is when I know that I need to slow down or I'm going to crash.
I also know that I'm ignoring and approaching some massive transformation.