By mid-afternoon today I had called myself fat, ugly, slothful, gluttonous, pathetic, selfish, unmotivated, lazy, scared, cowardly, and weak. I had determined that this experiment I am starting is just an excuse to stew in my own self-perpetuated misery. I was telling myself that hating myself is just another way to not have to brave changing myself. By mid-afternoon I couldn’t see up from down anymore and I found myself wondering at how self-assured I felt yesterday–how certain I had seemed in the midst of all this uncertainty. And, I was questioning which is real: the explorer that I felt like yesterday or the charlatan I’m convinced I am today.
My mid-afternoon meditation session ended when I suddenly screamed and punched the floor beneath my right knee. I had been watching my irritation build at the sound of my dog panting behind me for the past few minutes. I had been wandering away from my breath for the thousandth time in twenty minutes when I couldn’t take the stillness of my body anymore. When it erupted it was violent. I am not generally a violent person. I am not someone who fights. I don’t generally hit things or throw things though I have become more an more acquainted lately with another truth: that I have a tremendously powerful rage contained within me. What, exactly, I am so angry at…well, on that I am much less clear. When I scream sometimes I think it’s at my mother, sometimes at God, sometimes at the mere existence of the world around me.
Today, I think I was screaming at the part of me that barraged me all day with an endless stream of recriminations, doubts and caustic insults. I wonder sometimes if my murderous rage doesn’t actually belong to the part of me that wants to live. If the rage isn’t the only defense it has against the rest of me that’s so keen on dying. It makes sense to me in some way I can’t quite yet explain that my self-loathing would be linked to death and that my violent response to it would be the drive to live. The drive to love. Why is it so impossible for me to love?