Daily Archives: December 15, 2013

30 Days of Brené Brown — Day 14: #universality #inadequacy #healing #group #ACOA


Welcome to Day 14 of “30 Days of Brené Brown.”

Here is today’s quote:

Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.
― Brené Brown

Or, this shorter and wittier take, which I admire more:

We’re all alone in this together. –Lily Tomlin

It’s all true. We feel alone, but we’re not. We feel as though no one gets our pain, our perspective, our feelings of inadequacy and less-than -ness, but they do.


We all just have to be willing to take that step and trust the person we’re relating to when we say, “I feel like a loser sometimes…” and hope to Sweet God on High, that the person we’re sharing with isn’t Biff Tanner:

So, yes, we are alone until we open up. If you watched that clip, you can see the elder McFly laugh and try to “join in” when Biff’s friend mocked Marty, but it was fleeting. He wanted to belong, even if it meant making fun of someone else, which was against his inner goodness and character.

Opening up needs to happen with like-minded people; and they will come into your life in ways you won’t be able to imagine.

How? You must believe and be ok with the truth that you are “small,” not in an inadequate way, but in a “humbling” way: that you are a soul with lessons to learn from life experiences (“lessons”) both “good” and “bad.” You must allow them all to synthesize in order to grow.

When those lessons happen, and when you’re paying attention, their messages will line up for you, like ducks in a row, and then you will see that it all makes sense. Your challenges are not personal.  This is how the Universe, energy, fate and life work.

Taking the “inadequacy” route and the “victim” path will help you find other people, but they might not be The Best People to find.

Ultimately, we want people who help us grow, feel good about ourselves and thrive. You don’t want people who remind you of a problem or who sit and stew with you, right? Those stewers keep you in the problem.

Soul bearing and stewing are a “tear in your beer” song apart. It might feel good and help you get your stuff out, but after a while, you should want to take a shower (or have an “aura combing” as we did on the retreat) because it’s actually misery.

Short and sweet: A healthy person does NOT want to be miserable all the time. (You should see the face I’m making as I think about all that; it’s like I encountered a hairball in my closet.)

So yes: Helpful People exist, but you won’t heal until you open up and allow your humility to show you that you don’t have all the answers. Who wants to have all the answers?

Those Answer Guys. You know I hate ’em.

We get through this stuff together. Like The Breakfast Club. Even Dick Vernon, the teacher in that movie had his moment of self-awareness. The best character of all? The Conscience?: Carl the janitor.

"I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends."  (c) universal pictures

“I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends.” (c) universal pictures

The other lesson is that those other people on this planet who are still asleep: their antics are NOT about you, it’s about THEM and it will NEVER be about you and it will ALWAYS be about them. As much as it might pain you to realize that you don’t matter at all to them and in fact you matter so little that they do this stuff automatically as if you’re not even around, it’s the truth.

Here’s the good news: no one thinks about you as much as you fear they do. Here’s the bad news: no one thinks about you as much as you wish they would.  –Dr. Phil (I love that dude.)

They are still learning; sometimes they are us. We are they, they are you and you are me and we are all together. Remember that as you sit on your cornflake, waiting for the band.

I have a phrase, “The lessons will continue until we learn them.”

Woo-woo confession: I had a consult yesterday with an Angel healer because I’m really trying to figure out my purpose here on this planet. My mom was not my purpose. She was an agent of my purpose. Trying to save her from herself was not my purpose no matter how it was foisted upon me. It has taken me a very long time, 45 years, to accept that; so now, the question is: what IS my purpose? I’ve had inklings and thoughts and feelings and impressions and grand piano crashes, but it helps to throw money at someone else who can help you figure it out.

Sometimes we just don’t want to give ourselves the benefit of already knowing.  Or if you’re singing from my sheet of music: oftentimes you were told that what you saw or believed you saw wasn’t happening or real, so you condition yourself to not believe what’s going on, to push it aside and ignore your gut reactions and your intuition. Then you learn to rely on others (the deniers) as your barometers of truth and fairness. Sometimes you can be led well, other times you’re tossed off the track.

The consult was validating. The message was clear: my purpose is as a communicator, a healer and a teacher — because I am a seeker. I was told to write the memoir. Keep writing, but the best use of my talent and my life’s purpose is to create a book that has a practical application and which isn’t just about spewing my story. That was a huge interest of mine — to not sound like some inadequacy-nursing, lunatic adult child who never got her act together. I don’t see the point in ranting if I can’t be of service and add value to what I’m trying to impart. It’s just who I am. But I was stuck, so I really needed some guidance. The guidance was: share how I’ve survived the world I came from and how I’m thriving despite it.

The only way my work will benefit and serve others is for me to share my history and show its all-too sad commonality: there are a LOT of ACOAs out there. Many are afraid to come out. They needn’t be. What happened to us all is Just Awful.

So when I reveal and illustrate my feelings of “aloneness” I will relate to the audience that so dearly needs to hear that peace is there, that our truth is: it’s nothing personal despite the pins and daggers and shooting pains (physical and emotional) that feel like they are personally aimed at us.

The “imperfection” Brown speaks of: it’s in us all. We are all imperfect; that’s what makes it so great!

It’s because of that imperfection that we might repress, deny, or fear which allows us to be suck jackholes about or toward other people. It’s hard to admit we’re imperfect; if we don’t, we aim outwardly at others and it’s all projection. It’s along the same lines of “I know you are but what am I?!” playground smack. We can’t see in others what we don’t possess in ourselves. (Don’t worry, I’m not always deep like this at cocktail parties, but I am always paying attention, I can’t stop it now.)

So it’s a tightrope for us all: be careful of how you bemoan your life; for there is always a lesson it it.

i've done this. have you done this? i've been the demon, the kid and sometimes, the cookie. it sucks.

i’ve done this. have you done this? i’ve been the demon, the kid, and sometimes, the cookie. it sucks.

The thinnest line of all is when we consider another person The Selfish / Wrong / Jerky One and don’t see ourselves and how Wrong / Inadequate we are being as we label that other person*, “The Problem.”

So remember: the next time you want to mouth off about someone else’s imperfection, selfishness, hurtful behavior, arrogance or whatever, make sure you’ve got a mirror handy solution, or a drop of self-awareness, or allowing a  smidge of vulnerability to admit you’re hurt too. If that’s the case, that you feel that way due to personal history (you better get a handle on that history) that’s really why you’re mad.

Thank you.

*drawing and then seeing that cartoon shook me up a little. there are exceptions and it’s when life feels tragically unfair: when we are neglected, abused, cast-off and blindly hurt by other people, most often by our adults when we were children. this is the cruelest cut of all — i swear it’s not personal. but catch it though — see where that hurt and abuse repeats itself in other areas of your life: are you letting in more Biff Tanners into your life without noticing it? i wrote this post about when i’d done that. (click on the red.) or worse, are YOU continuing that cycle? if that’s what’s going on: get help. find help. use the help and then you will become the help.