Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Did It Bother Me? Getting To The Deeper Question.

Photo by SD Holman
Over the course of the past week, I've been "Sir"ed and given the twice (maybe even three times) over by a guy in the Home Depot near my house. Being "Sir"ed is just one of those things for me so it didn't even phase me but I didn't even notice the guy in the Home Depot.

My girl did. She seemed a bit surprised by it but my reaction to her when she mentioned it was one of, "It happens a lot. I've just become oblivious to it." A few steps after that I realized that I was surprised by my reaction to her.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm constantly trying to make the people around me feel comfortable and by doing that I down play situations, make them seem not so important. I make it seem as if those situations don't bother me when they actually do. My concern for their comfort takes a higher priority then my own. It did bother me. Yes, it does happen to me the majority of the time but the majority of the time I'm not bothered by it. When it does bother me, I have to ask myself the deeper question of why and what's really the issue that's at the deeper level that needs to be dealt with at the moment?

I've been struggling lately with self-confidence issues which is having a huge impact on my self-esteem. Lately all of that energy has been focused on my body and how uncomfortable I am in it. It's bigger then what I'm used to and it doesn't fit into clothes that it used to. It doesn't do the things it used to do when I was younger and an athlete. It constantly aches.

I was a sprint swimmer, a catcher and first basemen in softball and center and left tackle on the women's full tackle football team. I wasn't ever the best athlete on the field or in the pool but I poured my heart into every sport I played. My second home was the gym. Everything I did revolved around a physical activity.

Then the injury happened and I gave away those physical things that I loved, which, looking back, gave me a connection to my body. A connection I no longer feel.

I think it all stems from the frustration I feel over the fact that I can't do what I used to do. I can't go for a jog or a run without doing further damage to my knee. I can't. I can't. I can't. The words "I can't" have wormed their way into my vocabulary and it makes me feel weak. That feeling beats on my self-confidence and, in turn, crushes my self-esteem. Does being strong and being an athlete define who I am? Have I allowed it to define who I am?

The fact of the matter is, I can do other things like bicycle or swim or use the elliptical and I can continue to work out. Something in me gave up when my knee went belly up though.

Why did I choose to lose that connection to my body, to myself?

There it is. The deeper question to all of this. Interesting. I have more to ponder.

14 comments:

  1. A question I'm asking too... though not from the same original question, since nobody is ever gonna "sir" me... but yeah. Why did I choose to lose that connection? hmm...

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    1. It's a complicated question. I'm sure I'll come to other questions before I find my answer, but in the meantime I'm going to continue to try and reconnect somehow. Hopefully by finding the answer I'll find a way to keep that connection.

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  2. I can relate to this so very well. I've struggled with connection to my body for most of my life and am now fighting hard to make and maintain that connection- injuries and all.

    You've asked some difficult questions here- ones I need to ponder (maybe everyone should!). Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. You're welcome. I wish you the best in finding your answer and your connection.

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  3. It’s so easy to get thrown of track and lose the connection your body/truth. The big thing is not to give up. Keep searching until you find that thing that helps you get reconnected.

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    1. Indeed. I'm still searching. These negative views of my physical self have got to stop.

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  4. The breath is an excellent anchor and a simple connection if one is willing to take a moment to pause. I, too, am frustrated, and I see the conflict between my fifty year old and well worn body and the desire to carry on with activities I could do fiercely just a few years ago (just a few months ago), and some activities I would like to begin....if only I were twenty-five again. I can not pitch, swim, paddle or pull a lawn mower cord, all activities I love, for fear of dislocating my shoulder. So, I have to find new activities to satisfy my need to be physical. I am a craftsman for crying out loud, I build things! But not without feeling more of an "ouch" these days. I do not feel 50 is old, but I do notice a difference in my physical stamina having been a laborer. I just have to try things a little differently, more slowly, mindfully. And though I can not haul a 65 lb boat off my car any more all by myself, I have decided that, as scary as aging can be, I'm gonna run with it even if I will never have a flat tummy again. So what. I have earned every ache doing, mostly, what I love. And damn, THAT is a pretty good feeling, even if I have to sit down more often to appreciate it.

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    1. Learning to take that pause and focus on the breath again is something that I'm finally doing for myself. Meditation is a big part of that.

      I like the perspective of earning every ache doing, mostly, what you love. That is a pretty darn good feeling. We've earned those aches and pains through our hard work in this life. It's about time we appreciated them!

      Thank you.

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  5. I recently had an experience with homophobic neighbors and it seemed to really bother me much more than it bothered my girlfriend. I chalked it up to me simply being more sensitive. However, it was pointed out to me that, as a femme, I am granted heterosexual privilege. This one isolated incident of homophobia was magnified for me- and not my girlfriend- because I am generally assumed to be straight until I tell people otherwise. I have unconsciously enjoyed my false heterosexual privilege. My butch girlfriend deals with the stares, comments, etc. so frequently that she doesn't allow it to bother her anymore. This one experience led me to really think about the issue of visibility, and how it can be a blessing and a curse all at the same time. I can't say that I knowingly chose to identify and express myself as a femme. It simply is who I am. But, I can say that I have always chosen to be in relationships with butch women. Not solely because they embody what I am naturally drawn to, but also because I admire the strength and courage it takes to exist in a world that doesn't like people to live in the "grey". It is a beautiful color.

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  6. I don't mean to be insulting in any way, but I am very confused as to what this is about. I just want to understand the problem being addressed.

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    1. To be honest, this post was sort of a ramble through my feelings of why the actions of the guy at the Home Depot, who was basically staring at me with a sort of confused look, bothered me so much. Most of the time I just go about my business and forget about it but that time it affected me. Does that make sense?

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  7. Thank you for explaining. Being a straight male I lack the ability to have any real personal insight into your life, but I feel I've gained some perspective. Just know that I feel shame for the ignorance and insensitivity that may have been thrown your way. The reason that guy may have done that is simply because you, as an individual, were so foreign to him. Its not out of something unusual just that he (or I) could never truely understand your struggles.

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    1. Thank you. It's refreshing to hear those things coming from a straight male.

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