“Let your discomfort and pain push you into something new. Let your discomfort lead you into inventions” Sunday Adelaja
Alphabet of Abundance
Day 7 – “I use my conscious intention to manifest my dreams“
I love our dining table with its bowl of fruit in the centre. It is where I like to do most of my work as there is plenty of space to spread myself out, and it is a sunspot. The sun beams in from the window at the back of the house, warming everything up. It is cosy, comfortable and calming.
Our task today, was to look at the Law of Discomfort through the people in our lives. We were asked to write down the names of people whom we feel awkward around. Now, there are plenty of people that I could name and shame because they anger me and get under my skin. I can also name the people I feel extreme amounts of love and adoration towards. And I can name those who I know will let me down. Over the years I have learned to manage my expectations of these people, in terms of their contribution in my life and, I am ok with that.
I have been in awkward situations, but to list the names of people whom I feel awkward around left me rather stuck.
You see, I have worked hard on myself over the years, and I have the tools to filter out those people who make me feel uncomfortable. I have the acting industry to thank for that. You meet a lot of people in the creative arts world and you learn very quickly how important it is to trust your instinct.
The first thing I notice, when I meet people, is the way I feel around them. I pay close attention to things like; are they warm, do they have an inviting smile, what is their sense of humour like, what words do they use, are they natural, where do they focus their eyes, are they listening and the biggest thing for me is do they use my name when talking to me. If someone uses your name when speaking to you, you can be sure that they are listening and are tuned into you.
In the past I would always equate a negative encounter to a shortfall in myself. If I experienced that someone was rude, arrogant or nasty towards me I would always think, that somehow it was my fault. As a result, I would always say yes to things and never challenge anyone so as not to offend anyone.
My sister and I loved kicking about with my cousins, but I was not a fan of the bullying we would receive from them. We were ignored when certain friends came around, almost like we never existed. Every week my sister and I would make a promise to not go out with our cousins if they asked us. And every week when our cousins had no friends to play with they would ask us to come out. And, we would go and be humiliated again when their mates would turn up.
There were also times when I would feel guilty about not visiting aunties with my mum or the temple on a Sunday, and so promised myself that I would make a better effort next week. Only to feel totally let down by the aunties as they struggled to get their heads around my choice of career. The temple as lovely as it is, would always leave me feeling uncomfortable. I loved the food, I loved the prayers, some of them. I was not keen on the gossips for whom this was community and salvation. Being the eldest added more pressure as it was down to me to represent for my brothers and sister.
When I got to university this manifested in bad friendships and connections. I learned about energy vampires, gas-lighters and emotional abusers and I started to look inwards. I started to understand why I was allowing myself to be treated in this manner, and why I felt huge amounts of guilt for not being the perfect person. It was because somewhere deep down inside, I believed I was not the perfect person. I always felt like I had to “play the part”, that I could not just be myself, because myself was perceived as odd and not normal in our family.
In 2010 I broke the cycle and I fully embraced who I was with all my quirks and weird and wild ideas about the world. I learned I had a voice and the right to use it. I stood up for myself and what I believed in and I stood up for others too. I was not ashamed to say I wanted to delve deeper into philosophy and religion or buy a telescope so that I could stargaze at night. That I wanted to tell stories of the world by dressing-up and acting in huge theatres, that I could not stand drinking alcohol and…that I wanted to become a vegetarian. The last one was perhaps the biggest shock for everyone.
As I sat there leafing through my mind at all the times I had replaced my awkward “Yeses” with “No thank you’s” , and how frequently that had started to happen, I felt a huge sense of pride and humility. It felt empowering to know that I had learned to put myself and my feelings first. Instead of finding more people to write down, I just felt incredibly grateful to all those people who caused me discomfort enough for me to want to change it. When I recognise that feeling I can move to s safer place. A place where I am in tune with that inner voice that keeps me safe.
I reached into the bowl of grapes in the centre of our table and lifted out a few. I put one in my mouth and bit into it. I signed off the task with a text saying, “Day 7 Done”. Gratitude never tasted so sweet and juicy.
Have you accepted that you need to listen to you feelings? That you are important.
Have a wonderful Saturday.