View from the Dragonfly’s Back

MomsGetReal Soulfeeder Chris Wilcox

Dragonfly fossil, NPS.gov
Dragonfly fossil, NPS.gov

I spent the last week in Boise, ID – which is also where I spent my life from December 26, 1992 to December 24, 2011. Most of my dearest friends are there. We celebrated my birthday, I spent time with my sister, I worked my proverbial (but not physical) butt off and I found my psyche wanting to get sucked back into a vortex of Who I Was.  Which is not Who I Know I Am Now.

It’s interesting to have a front row seat for an apparent split-personality moment when your own brain is saying, “But Chris, that’s not who you are anymore.” But they were  – my old habits, fossilized.

So – here’s a little background.

When I moved to Boise, my only friend there was my fiancé (who became my ex-husband eventually) and I was a shy girl with a quick wit that I shared with a very small circle, self-deprecating to the core and the first to make the sarcastic comment. My family knew me as The Screaming Child Attractor because of my self-proclaimed disdain for non-quiet, ill-behaved children.  I had an ugly view of the world because, in all honesty, I had an ugly view of myself. I don’t know if I was in love when I married my ex, but I know that I definitely wasn’t in love when it was finally over – and I know it’s because I wasn’t in love with myself either.

One more ex-husband and 6 years of being single later, I felt stronger. I felt like I knew myself after a few years of studying and self-journeying, and I felt like I had to leave to grow. So I held 3 garage sales, filled a Penske truck with all that was left of my belongings, put my dogs in the car and, with the endorsement of the amazing company I work for, left for our Fort Worth office to work. I set up a new home in Texas and felt my roots grow quickly because I wanted them to.

I learned a very important thing about myself about three months into my time here. Wherever you go, there you are. And the issues I thought I had overcome were still waiting patiently for my attention. As one of my friends pointed out last week, I was my only company.  And I had only myself and time to answer the question, “what the hell am I doing in Texas?”

As you probably know, the location had nothing to do with it, but Texas became a safe place to ask myself other questions that I couldn’t find my way through to ask myself when I was surrounded by the environment that created them. The top one was “why do I feel unworthy of any love – even my own?”

I’ve spent a lot of time untying that net of worthlessness that I’ve trapped myself up in for decades. I have been weaving it into a new net that’s a healing space for myself. I visualize every thought as a thread, and while some of the thought threads were glowing with light – like “I have a good heart and I know how to be a good friend now,” others needed recycling, like “I’m a socially awkward, babbling idiot – no wonder I can’t get a date.”  It was a process to get to the point where I could recognize the threads that needed recycling from the ones that needed to be replicated and applied to other places in my thoughts (more on that later), but I found to my fascination that simply being in old places made the recycled pieces of that net attract tar.  And I nearly got stuck in it.

I know that triggers are real, but I’ve never had a front row seat for mine in a way that I did last week.  I found myself second-guessing myself more, and reacting from a space that was full of ego – if being aware of it is half the battle then at least I have a good sword in my hand.  As the week drew to a close I found that I was able to let the thoughts come up and honor that I was able to see them for what they are and let them go. It was a fight to get there, though.

I recognized, at the end of it all and with a little help from my friends, it was a fight for me.  And I was worthy of winning it.

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