Shadow-boxing with Yourself

by P. Braithwaite

So you’re born into this life and things happen to you. People say mean things, maybe no one hugged you as a child or maybe someone hurt you. Maybe your teachers thought you were stupid or parents made you feel like shit. Either way, if you’re living, there’s a pretty good chance someone, somewhere, made you believe you weren’t enough.

And so, if you’re like me, you go on an eight or nine year spirit-walk. You read books, you take workshops, you commit to healing yourself. You discover that the reason you are the way you are is because everyone else is full of shit! Hooray! What a relief…it’s not your fault.

But for some reason, you still feel like a mess.

Shitty things keep happening, so maybe you seek therapy. You talk it out, and you get mad, and you decide everyone owes you an apology. You become the apology whisperer; you have difficult conversations with everyone you come across, and then you go back and process those conversations with your shrink (whom you secretly hate because she is the keeper of your secrets and must be destroyed).

Eventually, you decide therapy is a communist plot designed to keep you miserable and you say…f*ck this. Or maybe you feel better about your own slice of craziness and you write publicly about it with that same arrogant misguidedness that our former president used to publicly declare the ending of a war we’re still in.

Mission accomplished? Probably not. You’re still a mess.

Eventually it hits you…after you’ve felt and dealt within an inch of yourself, after you’ve chased down demons and shined light on all the darkness…that you’re basically shadow-boxing with yourself. All those people who piss us off and make us mad…are just projections of ourselves. Everything that drives us crazy is something that exists within ourselves, and maybe…it’s not meant to be fixed. We yell across the room at friends, lovers and neighbors but all we’re really doing is bobbing, weaving and punching ourselves into submission.

A mission we can’t really accomplish.

It’s not until after we’ve knocked ourselves out for the thousandth and we’re alone in the ring, we realize there’s no one to fight. There’s no one left to conquer…not even ourselves.

And that’s when the real work begins…

…the work of making peace with what is….you. No one else…just you.

Imperfectly perfect…as God intended.

Good luck.

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