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    Dynamic Duo of Dysfunction

    Once again, my demons have shown up in my living room. And they've shown up screaming.

    As I write this, depression is opening its mouth once more, daring me to stick my head into it. Depression also has a sidekick who's very powerful. That sidekick is Perfectionism. Sticking my head into that mouth means giving myself a break, because tonight, I made a big mistake. Maybe I'm more afraid of that mouth than depression right now.

    They're a rough Dynamic Duo of Dysfuntion, that pair. Because when I make a mistake, what can lead me into depression are the horrible things I say about myself, to myself. That kind of thinking is the root of many an evil. Even after all the work I've done, all the progress I've made, it's clear I have more to do. I mean, I know that. I'll always know that. I'll always have more to do. This isn't the type of thing I'm ever going to be "done" with. Anymore than I'll ever be "done" with working out, or meditating, or enlightenment. 

    The universe has given me an opportunity for my rubber to meet the road. Another test. So far, I've met every challenge, I've met every fear, head on. I have not felt fragile, until right now. Suddenly, the voices are loud, and mean, and calling for my hide. The angry mob in my head are wielding clubs, and torches, and stones. And the fucked up thing is, they think they're helping me. "This pummeling is for your own good", they chant. "This will toughen you up". Yeah. That's worked so well for me before. 

    Unlovable. Unacceptable. No good. A defective model. The neural pathways of Toxic Shame vie for the fuel they need to burn themselves deeper into me. To re-establish their status. All this, triggered by a very human error. Where's my self-love when I need it most? Like, right now. 

    Okay demons, let's have some tea together, once more. Open your mouths wide. Because I'm coming in. Head fuckin' first. I'm not going to bed tonight until I do. So no uncaffinated jasmine sleepy time shit for you. Load up the high octane stuff. Because you're going to need it. And bring your A Game. 'Cuz I'm bringin' mine. 

    What are you trying to teach me, demons? You didn't expect that question, did you? That's because I'm done fighting with you. Someone very wise once said to me, "When you throw punches, you get punches thrown back". And I'm tired of beating myself up. All that did was bring untold tons of pain and suffering. Are you reminding me, yet again, that harsh judgment of myself, of others, impedes my healing and my growth; that such judgment is a wall to connection? A wall to love?

    Are you challenging me to love myself through a mistake? In the past, I've pretty much sucked at that. Are you testing my metal? Tell me. Because I'm listening. Which is something else you haven't got used to. I've been doing that for months now, and you're still surprised by it. Get used to it. There's a lot I need to learn, yes. But this is my fuckin' house. You can trash it, burn it, violate it in every way you can imagine. And I'm still gonna ask you to sit down and have tea with me. Maybe someday you'll get used to that. It would make life easier for all of us in here.

    Maybe you're letting me know you haven't gone away. That you'll never go away. Because you're a part of me. And, as great as I've felt over the past few months, I can't ever forget that. And maybe I did, just a little. Maybe I'm guilty of some hubris. And maybe you're showing me how dangerous hubris can be.

    I'm leaving here in a few days. I'm leaving a place I love. I'm leaving people I love. I'm leaving work I love. There's an awful lot of sadness inside because of that. Maybe you're reminding me to show it. Maybe you're reminding me not to stuff that sadness, that pain, that loss, that grief, like I did back in November. Maybe you're teaching me that that's not me anymore. And you're giving me the chance to prove it. To the only person I need to prove it to. Me. 

    The same woman who warned of throwing punches also encouraged me to "Turn poison into medicine". And I'm doing that, right now. I see the value in my mistake. I get the lessons you've come to teach me. Thank you. We'll do this again some time, I'm sure. 

    Now get the fuck out. I'm going to bed.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights (and wrongs) reserved.

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