This was me last night. Had you walked into my bathroom and gazed into the tub, this is what you would have seen–just my nose, mouth, and chin above water.
I was in the bath again, but this time it wasn’t to dissolve anxiety or wash away angry feelings. No, I was cold and a hot bath sounded great.
I’ve started taking time in my baths to practice meditation. I’ve not yet practiced it outside of the bathtub, but there’s something peaceful about sinking into the water, below ear-level, and letting the world’s sounds muffle.
And last night, I sunk further in. My eyes were covered. Most of my body was, too, and I let myself float.
I took deep breaths, and then steadied them. I listened to the vibrations caused by the heater turning on and off. I listened to the muffled sounds of water running in the pipes beneath the floor. I listened to the sounds of my own heartbeat, and the air moving in and out of my lungs.
And then, when the water was starting to grow cool, and I decided to sit up, I was surprised to find that the world above the water was much more quiet than the world below. So quiet in fact, that while still in the bath, I called to the bedroom, “Are you still out there?”
Yes, he said.
To me, this illustrates perspective quite well. I thought that my submerging in the bath would mimic a sensory deprivation experience as best it could, and it turned out that it was a noisier, clunkier world than above the surface.
How true for the inner mind of a codependent.
This morning’s meditation talks about how we are changing, life is changing, and the future will not be like the past.
In the closing prayer after today’s reading, the author writes, “Help me not judge or limit my future by my past.”
I do this more often than I care to admit. And right now, this is obvious in my job search. I just celebrated two years at my current company. And in that time, I’ve outgrown my position. I’ve become too good at my job. And there is no upward movement available–I hold the highest staff position in terms of compensation and responsibility.
It’s time to look elsewhere.
And that’s where the self-sabotaging and limiting behaviors emerge. I may be a highly-functional BPD who can uniquely carry on long-term relationships, but my job history is a bit more punctuated. The shortest stint I’ve ever had lasted exactly four months. I seem to average about two years at most positions, with some exceptions of longer terms.
So, here I am at the 2-year mark and I feel the need to move on. I hired a professional resume writer. I met with a career coach. I applied for several jobs. I landed a handful of interviews. And then…nothing. It’s been more than six weeks since I last applied to a job and while I’ve seen several positions of interest, I am paralyzed by very self-limiting thoughts.
I’m just wanting to move on because I’ve hit that two-year mark. This is habit, not necessity.
My boss would be upset if he knew I was looking. He may give me a bad review because he feels hurt.
The family I work for is soon to lose an important family member. To leave now would seem callous and uncaring.
I have so much freedom in my current position. I’d probably be a horrible employee somewhere else where I don’t have as much control over my comings and goings.
What if I fail at a new job and get fired?
I know I don’t earn what I’m worth, but it’s all about how you manage your money, not how much you have. Right?
With these thoughts running through my head, I’m not applying for any jobs, despite seeing several positions of interest each week.
And so I stay in a position in which I feel less purposeful, less fulfilled.
At the very moment when I need to squelch the self-sabotaging behaviors born from past mistakes and self-limiting beliefs, I reinforce them. I make the past more important than the present, and even the future. And in that way, I stay stuck–stuck in the past.
But I’m not the person I was 10 years ago, or even nine months ago. I am changed. I am valuable, committed, highly-skilled, and increasingly able to regulate not just my emotions, but my time, attention, and priorities.
As the author writes, “Times are changing for the better. Continue on the path of trust and obedience. Be open to the new.”