What the actual f**k?
Let me explain. Many moons ago, I was living with a ridiculously unsuitable man. Now on paper, it looked like a winner, we travelled, he was adventurous, he had no life plan to settle down and do mundane things, he had a magical knack of earning good money doing remarkably few hours, he had a Volkswagen camper van…I was amazed that he could love someone ‘like me’…y’know…winner.
In reality, he was a bit crazy batshit, emotionally delayed, and had a tendency towards wanting to disappear off across the world for months at a time…particularly when reality got rough. Added to this, he thought my career as a massage therapist was only a couple of degrees separated from prostitution (well hello patriarchal stereotype from crazyville)
So as you can imagine….the first few years were a ball, I was young and daft, my self worth was apparently quite low (no shit Sherlock!) the next few years were tiring, frustrating and starting to get a bit strained, and for a good portion of the last years Cognitive dissonance creates gruntfuttocking was my internal mantra whilst the rest of my brain shouted “HELLO!!! SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT CRAZY LADY!!”
I’ll break it down.
Cognitive dissonance (noun) a state in which there is a difference between your experiences or behaviour and your beliefs about what is true.
Simple so far.
I knew that being with Batshit Boy was not good for my soul, it wouldn’t make me happy in the long term, and I would probably turn into a crazy husk of a human being.
But… I loooooooved him…(even though I didn’t like him all the time) and I was scared, because I didn’t think I could be okay on my own, I had been ground down to create a story in my head that I was only whole when I was with Batshit Boy (damn you Mindscrubbing Patriarchy!) If you know me, know my character, you’d know that was bullshit, but I had survived emotional water torture and that was the story I had fed myself at that point in time.
So I used to walk around chuntering to myself, muttering under my breath, making it all okay to be in the situation. ‘Rationalising’ something utterly irrational. I called it Gruntfuttocking. I would actually find myself audible talking to myself when alone.
Weirder, I was so trapped that I developed this yawn, every time Batshit Boy was talking to me or around me I would be all flip top head yawny (yawning is classic non verbal communication used by animals. It says “F**K OFF! I am showing you my big dangerous fangs so you know I could rip your head off, but I don’t want to, cos I’m scared, but if you test me then I might just, m’k?”)
It was a daft word, it felt surreal, like something from a Roald Dahl book, like I was trying to make light of the fact that I was really unhappy, that I had trapped myself I a seemingly gilded cage that others would give their eye teeth for, and I was having to work really hard to maintain the facade that everything was just brilliant.
And here’s the deal…I didn’t just do it in relationships. (FYI you’ll be delighted to know that NOW (after plenty of personal growth work) the man I married is emotionally adept and a total Unicorn – yay!) I did it in business too.
Come on now…level with me…I’m not alone huh?
We tolerate situations, relationships and individuals that we KNOW we really shouldn’t, because we’re scared. Scared that we might jump out of the frying pan and in to the really burny hot, hot fire. That if we jump, things will be SO MUCH WORSE!!
We don’t leave the awful studio or clinic because being a sole trader COULD be so much worse. We dare not raise our prices, even when we’re in debt, because our clients might not pay us. We keep those yucky friends that make us feel stupid and unlovable, I mean, who else would hang out with us after all??
But what if our tolerations became our manifesto of what we would wish to see in our world? What if we were to list out all those things that we are fearful of, and started to feel into what the reverse could look like? The positive side of the coin, the anti awful, the bliss at the end of the tunnel.
Then taking those desires, asking ourselves, what would it feel like to remain stuck, undervalued, in fear, controlled? Stoically, asking ourselves what would be the worst that could happen if we took the leap, or even just the first tentative step. To gently coax breath and light into the dreams we hold, celebrate no longer tolerating those awfuls.
Feeling into the flip side of all that we see in front of use can be challenging. Of course it is, if it wasn’t then we’d all be living la di dah rockstar lives. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to try, to dream, to hold faith, to celebrate ourselves when it may feel lost on others.
Often when we are looking to shake up the status quo in our lives, when we make a choice to change, we think we need to act on our businesses, or get a new job. That changing where or how we work is a panacea for all the dissonance we are gruntfuttocking about. From experience and the countless recollections of hundreds of people I have spoken to, more often than not the biggest change in the quality of our lives occurs when we embrace both our internal landscape (how we think, feel and believe about ourselves) and our external landscape. If you would like to chat about how this may look for you please get in touch.