School v. Process
A pattern I need to write about is how I experience myself in relation to school. I’m experiencing difficulty in situations where school work becomes my only focus.
What I experience: an exam is approaching. I feel as though I don’t know where to begin studying: all the information seems relevant and I can’t pick out the important points to focus on. Because all the information seems relevant I become overwhelmed by the vast quantity of information I need to study.
When I begin to study I fear that I haven’t absorbed enough information in class and through the readings, that I’m incapable of understanding the material and that I’ll do poorly and reveal the fact that I’m not capable of achieving good grades.
I used to rely on stress and motivation to begin studying, but those things are gone and now I feel nothing moving me to begin the arduous process of beginning to sift through the material. I procrastinate and then my world feels like it’s closing in and I have no control. I stop blogging, become possessed and banish myself to my room with my books where I get very little done.
Eventually I move myself to begin, but now I feel I haven’t left myself enough time. I become overwhelmed.
So I move myself to begin studying well before I normally would have, but I can’t focus, I read and re-read the same paragraph and I don’t absorb the information, it reminds me of being a horrible student in grade school.
At the last minute all becomes clear, I cram the day before, well into the night and then early the next morning right up to the exam. Everything turns out fine. But I have not been blogging, I have become doubtful, I wonder whether I can do process, become self-critical and destructive and basically waste days on end with this pattern.
March 19, 2010.
I don’t know how long ago I wrote that, but, the semester is winding down and the rest of this month and in to next month is going to be a good test for me with this pattern I’m working on. These last couple of days I’ve been struggling with a paper. I feel like a child within this wherein I can’t believe how I’m reacting to this. I don’t want to do it, it’s hard and boring and I feel like my whole body gets irritated, my eyes can’t see clearly and want to shut, my mind gets all foggy and I can’t think. I get so frustrated I want to cry.
So I breathed through this and did sf on it today and yesterday. Today I ended up talking about it with my parents in the kitchen. I shared my experiences and how I felt like a child who was resistant towards a task and then I talked about my paper topic and listened to their suggestions. I was honest with them and the whole interaction was very helpful. I went to a coffee shop and applied their suggestions and practiced breathing and I finally had my first breakthrough wherein I began to form an outline and an introduction as well as the beginning of the first argument.
I have placed much importance on this particular paper for three reasons. 1) It is the longest paper I’ve ever had to write, and I haven’t proven myself to be a great paper writer because I haven’t been able to get past this childlike point. 2) I really want to impress this teacher because he was a politician, and I want to impress him so I can have a letter of reference, and I want him to remember me so that I can use him in the future as a connection or affiliation. 3) My grades are really good in this class, and the paper is worth 40% so if I mess it up I can bring down my GPA and lessen all the work I have done so far.
I’ve built this paper up to be something daunting and huge and important. This creates huge resistance in me and I’m surprised at how physical that resistance is. Simply because it is hard and I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to push myself to apply myself because I don’t see a point in it. But there’s a huge point, and that is self direction. The paper is important and so is doing well at school, but I have to let go of the ideal of perfection I’m trying to attain. The most important thing here is that I practice my application, and as long as I do that my grades will be good because I will be effectively applying myself at whatever it is that I am doing. I will always and consistently do my best if I am effectively applying myself.
So I will continue to breathe and apply sf on this point.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to define a term paper as something daunting and hard and undoable for me. I have never ‘not been able’ to write a term paper, I’ve always done fine, so this is obviously my mind. I do not participate in these thoughts of ‘not being able’ to do something.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that term papers cause stress and anxiety that I cannot cope with. I cause these reactions within myself when I do not apply myself. Regardless, these are destructive reactions that I stop within myself as they are not life here but rather patterned behaviours of the mind as me. I stop.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that because this paper is longer it will be more difficult. The only real difficulty I’m experiencing is living and participating within my resistance to facing myself and changing.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that I will not be able to push through this point because I have not done it before. There is no precedent set, I direct myself in the moment.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to attach importance to this particular professor because of self-interest. I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want to use him and his status to further myself. I stand alone and take responsibility for me and what I need to do to stand.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want the paper to be done and over, without taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal. Much like the difficulty I’m having with committing to actually applying myself within this process of self-forgiveness and self-realization, I just don’t want to do the work. There’s no way out but through. I recommit here because I have proven to myself once again, that it is necessary to do the work, and nothing is going to move me but me. Doing the work is the whole point here.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear facing myself within this point of taking self-responsibility for myself, wherein I face myself and my patterns and resistances, becoming one and equal to them, thus directing them to change myself. I breathe through and forgive myself for the my acceptance and allowance of the physical discomfort I experience within my practical application of process.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear that what happened last semester will happen again, wherein I was not able to push myself to manage my time and I ended up cramming everything into the last moment and afterwards I felt broken and abused.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to place achieving good grades at school above my process of self-realization.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to believe that I can only do one thing at a time, that I need to completely and utterly devote myself to school or process, but not both. This actually makes me ineffective at either. I can do both and I can do it properly through self-direction, discipline and time management.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to become overwhelmed by projections into the future with regards to school and finances. I stop thinking about final grades, creating expectations which allow for fear of failure. I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear failing to meet my imagined state of academic perfection.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to imagine failing and fearing that outcome. This is another projection and I stop my participation within it. I am here, as long as I am here and present in self-direction, I will do fine.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to participate in thoughts of the future, specifically with finances, wondering how I’ll ever make enough money to support myself through all that I need to do. I will support myself to do whatever I need to do. Right now I’m in school and things are the way they are. One more year of school and I will have a full-time job again. I’m doing all I can now to support myself and I’m fine.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear debt, being buried in debt that I will never be able to pay off, that will prevent me from self-realizing or being able to direct myself. I am using fear of debt as an excuse to not face me. Who am I in relation to debt? I feel crushed, completely helpless. Ok, here I have to remind myself that I am required to be in some debt right now. It is manageable, I have dealt with it and placed it in the most inexpensive place and have used the resources available to me to manage my situation and I am ok. I am directing my financial situation well and I am the directive principle of me within my financial situation concerning debt. I am no longer living the pattern of feeling as though I am not in control of my finances.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to feel overwhelmed by bills. I have proven to myself that I am capable of keeping track of my bills and paying them on time. I am responsible for my finances and deal with problems as they come up.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to re-live my past experiences of not having enough money and feeling very insecure in the world. I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to re-live fearing for my health and fearing the fact that at any moment an event could take away what little I had. This can happen to anyone at any time. I remain here, stable. I will continue to concentrate on becoming stable in the world.