I have cleaned the kitchen, taken a shower, organized papers, contemplated book topics and titles, read email, checked facebook...all in an attempt to not look at this questionnaire (again...I've read through it, gotten overwhelmed, and put it aside).
I didn't do anything wrong (I have not earned any additional income, and of course since I didn't there was nothing to report), and yet the questions are like pointing fingers and each finger is telling me that I'm wrong, I'm fucking my kid up (with money shit), I'm horrible with money, I don't have anything helpful to share with the world, I'm not employable, I'm a mess, and anything else I can sneak in there to mean I'm just not fucking worth it. And I certainly don't deserve any help from the state. Even though everyone thinks that I get to spend all these blissful moments with K, now that I am "home," this is really what is going through my head most of the day, sadly.
I'm educated, literate, skilled, and resourceful and, in one glance at some state-issued paperwork, I am reduced to scum, in a heartbeat.
So what am I letting go of here?
Why am I so worked up? What is this questionnaire symbolizing? I have to go that route, because I'm one of those people that believes I can make something *mean* something...usually this is done in a negative slant first, but I am capable of turning it around to mean something else. So what does it mean?
When I left my secure, reliable, somewhat manageable job I knew the demons would come. I knew that I would hear in my head the protests of leaving a safe job, of leaving something predictable and something I'm capable of doing (proof to the world that I can do something valuable). But man, I did NOT expect the dialogue (more like lecturing, I think) to be so loud!
- Why have you done?
- Who do you think you are?
- You're a horrible writer and even if you are any good, who wants to read about your life?
- You're destined for a life working in an office, answering phones and doing data entry, so you should give up any other ideas. Oh, and you have no follow-through, so good luck with any and all creative pursuits.
- There are MILLIONS of other people writing, thinking, making money at stuff you are excited about, so there's no use in trying.
- You're ruining your family, both biological and chosen.
- It's your fault that you are broke.
- You'll never get ahead. Or out of debt.
- You can't bring another kid into this hellish life (btw, I don't think my life is hellish, but that demon voice inside seems to!)
- Your friends will leave you soon, since you are a sad-sack and a non-contributing member to society.
- Your friends want to hang out with someone successful, rich, and generous and you are none of those things!
- Your family is tired of helping you.
- You don't follow the rules correctly (this may seem small to some, but as a proud rule-follower, this is one statement that can really knock the wind out of me) and therefore don't deserve anything.
- You want too much.
- You want too little.
- You are asking for impossible miracles.
- You'll be homeless soon.
- You are straining your marriage.
There's something hanging on inside of me that is very, very afraid, if that's the kind of stuff that comes up for me. I can imagine the grip of the demon, knuckles white, grasping for every single bad thing I've ever thought ONCE in my whole life, to get me to go back to safety and security. Even the rule thing...this paperwork scared me so bad that I lost sleep, went to a job interview offering an unsustainable wage, and considered working weekends (basically eliminating seeing my kid and husband at the same time).
So I know I gotta let that fear of insecurity go...I know that I need to keep trusting in the Spirit/Source/Universe...It's a constant practice, right? I want to just declare to this Safety Demon that I understand its concern...I know it sees really horrible things and wants to keep me/us from those experiences (again)...I know that my safety has been taken away several times in my life and all this little monster is trying to do is prevent further damage.
But here's the point I'm making: Clinging to safety doesn't make me feel secure. Asking and receiving does, though. Giving people a chance to connect to me and give to me makes me feel more secure. Working hard to strengthen my friendships, and offer what I can makes me feel safe. And ultimately, feeling like I can contribute to people/the world, makes me feel safe and valuable, too.
So Security and Safety Demon, here's the deal. I can't convince you that I am valuable. I can't show you a paycheck (just yet) proving that my words and my ideas help other people. I can't for all time, say that we'll be financially taken care of (yet). But let's work together.
How about you only alert me when I'm in danger of harming myself or others. You can help me write more compelling stories and blogs, you can help me make money through Amazon, coaching, speaking and inspiring others. You can spend time acting as my intuitive bodyguard, speaking up only when I am doing stuff that's really not a good idea (gambling, debting, ignoring paperwork, etc). You can ask me quietly and nicely, if I have considered all my options. You can even prevent me from heart-breaking, soul-numbing, underemployment because that's ALSO not a good idea, security-wise. And moreover, when I get those pesky letters from Unemployment, you can calmly tell me that all I need to do is answer the questions to the best of my ability (that's all I can do, anyway) and then wait for a response. When the worst case scenario happens, then you can help me get out of it, but until then, I don't need you just hanging around causing me grief and creating more fear. I have plenty of that without you. Thank you for you service, but I'd like to put you to better use.