I got up this morning, late, after a restless night’s sleep.  As I’ve been doing for the past 4 days or so, I wrote my Morning Pages before meditating.

I began my Morning Pages by saying “Look, I’m not in the mood.  I’m irritated.  Whatever it is you want to know about me or want me to say, forget it, it’s none of your goddamned business.” 

I forced myself to keep writing, though.  I started to write about what exactly I felt bad about.

I wrote about feeling like a loser.  I wrote about how, in social situations, I often don’t know what to say.  And then when I do say something it comes out in a crazy sputter.  It feels as though everyone else is standing in the room looking at me, all being “normal” and I’m tripping over my words, saying stupid inane stuff.  Many times after social evenings I reflect and then berate myself for some small comment I made that was completely off-topic or not as compassionate as it could have been, or maybe it was too bubbly or too loud or just simply too indescribably dumb.  I thought about this as I wrote.

I wrote about relationships that I’ve hurt in the past because of my stupidity, some which are still damaged and no amount of apology on my part will repair them.  I wrote about other relationships that I’ve hurt that I don’t care about and should.  I wrote about still other relationships that I haven’t hurt that I don’t care about but should.

I wrote about things that I hate about myself:  the ugly frown my face has when I’m thinking, my bowed legs, the way I feel incompetent at work, the way I hate my own writing, and here I want to be a writer…..  etc. etc.

This is the stuff that goes through my head when I’m feeling grumpy and irritable.  I know that now, because my Morning Pages don’t lie.  I cast this huge and endless stream of guilt and belittlement on myself regarding a host of random issue, from insignificant to significant.  It’s all fair game in my self-accusations.

I know I’m not alone with my complex web of negative emotions triggered by both real and imaginary things.  We wouldn’t have self-help feel-good books if no one else went through this.  I can’t explain why we humans (in general) aren’t born with an innate understanding of how to be at peace with the world and ourselves.  I only know that for me it’s a daily effort to keep all of this under control.  I can’t just, for instance, meditate one time and then everything is fixed (as in take a pill and it’s all gone).  It reminds me of what AA people do.  I have to stand up every single day of my life and say “Hi, my name is Jane, and I’m not at peace.”