torstai 29. toukokuuta 2014

Day 403: Shedding the spikes


2011 -

After three days of accumulating self-judgement through various points, I came to a culmination point where I stopped and started to trace back those three days worth of chain reactions. After walking through each point in detail I realized that I had clenched myself into a state, where because I was afraid of judgement I took upon a defensive stance to protect myself from external judgement.

What I realized today as I was walking through these experiences was that the defensive state that had been triggered is a remnant of the armour I have built around myself throughout my life. Four years ago a person told me I reminded him of a porcupine, because it was as if I was putting up spikes and needles to fend off people. From his words I realized that I was in fact aggressively shutting everyone out and I have been walking through this porcupine identity ever since. Today as I thought of this concept of an armour I realized that in order to protect myself from external judgement and rejection I have tensed myself up, not realizing that the judgement is not in fact coming from outside of me but from within – and that the armour has not been keeping judgement out but rather functioned as a lid to keep it in.

According to current leading theories in development psychology when a child is born he/she doesn't yet have an inner “voice” to direct his/her behavior. This voice is in fact internalized from the voices, commands and guidance of the people who the child has in his/her environment when growing up. This development happens mostly within the first few years of a child's life, but major life events may also affect it later on.

The “inner voice” I have constructed – meaning the thoughts, sounds, images, beliefs and reactions that direct my behavior – has become one of judgement, guilt, shame, demands, perfectionism and cruelty. This has been the result of my family environment (where teaching a child was often done by pointing out what was wrong through one's own reaction of anger, frustration, weariness, irritation and/or aggression), school environment (where teaching was based on validation) and social environment (where kids exerted their mindfucks on each other with no support or interventions from adults).

My back, shoulders and neck have been very tense, stuck and painful for at least the past few years, and lately I have been focusing on figuring out the cause for the remaining areas of tension, which are mainly in the other side of my my upper back and both shoulders. I realized today that those are the last of my porcupine spikes – the armor I have not yet shed. They are held in place by my patterns of self-judgement, all the small points where I jab myself mentally and believe it. The key here to releasing the remnants of my spikes is to stop with each point of self-judgement I come across, to realize it is not valid and to correct my line of thinking – to rewrite the lines of code in my mind. For example, there have been several moments within the past few days where I have judged myself for waking up “too late”. This is where I need to walk through my definitions of “late” and “early” and to realize that my definitions, which I base my judgement on, are quite possibly not valid at all. These definitions, for example, come directly from my family without me really stopping to consider what I find most commonsensical, and the judgements are even spoken in my mind with the voice of my mother/father/sister. Thus, I need to evaluate my life and the reality on my own and redefine what is practical in my living.

Because my spiky defensiveness quite frightened me when I looked at my behavior, I went looking for softness today through swimming and meditation. It was interesting to see how after a tiring workout all of my muscles were really tender and soft, except for these tension areas in my back/shoulders. I realized that once I stop judging myself, the need to defend myself will also vanish. I just need to pick up the lid, set it aside, take the points out one at a time, discuss with them until I release them and repeat until I'm empty of all judgement. The spikes are not only pointing outwards, but also inwards.

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