For almost four years, I’ve been guided by my friend and spiritual counselor Tricia Barrett, who I first met when she was running the green juice detox cleanse at the integrative medicine practice where I worked. With a boatload of life experience, hard earned wisdom, and a Master’s in intuitive medicine, Tricia has gently and relentlessly refused to let me stay blind to how I create and recreate my own suffering.
You know those scenarios you repeat in your life? The same abusive, alcoholic boyfriends who take all you have to give, give little in return, and then walk out on you? The same co-workers who steal your brilliant ideas without crediting you and then get the promotion you deserve? The same way you attract mentors who help out, and then when you succeed, reject you and break your heart? The same way you set a goal, get excited about achieving it, start going after it, and then give up before you go there?
You get the picture.
Meet Your Blind Spot
Any time something happens repetitively, chronically, over and over again, you can bet there’s a blind spot underneath it. You may be tempted to fall into victim mode. (“There he goes again – another asshole who just uses people!” “There they go again, my lying, cheating, stealing co-workers who lack integrity!” “There it is, happening again, those mentors who get so jealous of my success that they can’t be excited and then have to reject me.”)
You may blame everyone else and think “Poor me! Why do all these crappy things keep happening to me?”
But the only thing those scenarios all have in common… is YOU and something you don’t see – your blind spot.
My Separation Story
One of my own blind spots revolved around a story I had recreated in my life over and over and over again. In fact, I’ve blogged a lot about it, because it taps into one of my core childhood wounds, the feeling of being rejected because I was “too smart,” “too pretty,” “too whatever.” (You can read about the loneliness of leadership and the poem dedicated to the outsiders that I wrote when I was 14.)
Over and over in my life, I have played out the same story. I get shut out when I succeed. Others got jealous if I made straight A’s, got the guy, won the award. Then in med school, I got chastised for being too vigilant with the care of my patients and making the med students look bad. (They have a term for it – “gunner”- which always hurt my feelings because I never set out to make someone else look bad, only to do a good job and care for the patients.)
The pattern continued until I played this separation story in my mind like a record. If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself. Nobody else cares about doing exceptional work as much as I do. And most painfully – unless I dim my light and dumb myself down, I’ll wind up rejected.
Sheesh! OLD STORY!
How We Create Our Own Suffering
With Tricia’s guidance, I was able to finally see how this story is only true because I keep calling in evidence to prove my separation story right. The truth is that I’m surrounded by bright, sparkly lights that are unapologetically radiating and attracting people like moths to the flame. My tribe is full of people who don’t have a jealous bone in their body and want nothing more than for me and everyone else to succeed.
The separation story is a figment of my ego, who I lovingly call Victoria Rochester and who you can read about here. Victoria likes to make herself superior, convince herself that nobody can do as good a job as she can, and assert that she can’t shine her light around others because they can’t be trusted. Because of Victoria’s often unconscious behaviors, she recreates her own suffering, since those who feel like they’re inferior to her have no interest in sticking around! Rejection follows, and BOOM. She’s just proven the story right – again.
The Solution Is Simple
The minute you see the blind spot, it’s like this glaring, gaping wound, red and raw and impossible to miss. But until you see it, it festers, inflaming your life and creating repetitive suffering. Once the blind spot is illuminated, you can’t help but to change your behavior. You realize the stories you’ve been telling yourself simply aren’t true. You’re no longer the victim, but rather the creator of your life. It’s all about taking personal responsibility for what happens to you, rather than blaming everybody else.
Ever since I saw mine, evidence that my separation story was true disappeared. Beautiful new people appeared in the void it left behind. I am surrounded by people I admire, who are happy to teach me, as we share space as equal sparks of divinity walking around in flawed human bodies. I have eased my own suffering because my dear friend Tricia showed me a blind spot.
What’s Your Blind Spot?
What is repetitive, chronic, and hurtful in your life? What keeps happening – over and over and over? Do you keep attracting the same screwed up relationship patterns? Do you continue to overgive and wind up feeling like a victim? Do you keep making yourself less than or better than? Do you continue to get passed over for promotions at work?
Here comes the part that requires fearless living. What might you be doing to create your own suffering? If you step out of victim mode, what’s your part in creating these stories? Are you brave enough to illuminate your blind spot and take ownership of it?
Please, my dear, be so brave. While it may feel painful to have your blind spots illuminated, the freedom you feel coming out the end is worth every zinger.
Here with a flashlight,