9 months ago


Pivot Your Perspective

Pivot Your Perspective pivotal until my early thirties. It became so much a part of who I was, so core to how I operated in this world, that it was both seen and unseen. It was omnipresent. At the time of the pact, I was little, maybe five or six, so my sphere of control was limited. But I owned those things I could, in fact, control. I will clean my room. Iwill go to school. I will get good grades. I will figure this out, because I know there’s a way. I know now that I wanted to push the feeling of desperation far away into a corner. Later, my healing came from going into the corner, sitting with the desperation, and getting to know it from a place of honor—for it served me and was the reason why I was able to learn what I have learned. Many people consciously or unconsciously choose a behavior to latch onto in these circumstances. I chose to be obsessive and compulsively organized and clean. My room was always perfect. I focused intensely on my grades, always trying to strive for perfection wherever I could. It wasn’t that I wanted to be perfect, perfection was just a necessary outcome. You get perfection from doing something else. That something else was my focus—I needed to do the best that I could. I have a phrase that came out of that period: I never leave something worse than I found it. That motto drove me relentlessly forward in school, and anytime I had troubles, I was deeply distraught. A “C” grade meant something different to me than it would for anybody else—it said I was not going to pull myself out of my chaotic family situation. 6

Introduction It meant there was a flaw in the plan, and my safety was jeopardized. My plan worked to keep me safe, and I worked intently on my plan. The flaws started to appear in my early twenties. It began with exhaustion. Striving for perfection is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week endeavor. It requires a high degree of mental and physical commitment. Around the age of twenty-three, I hit the wall. What came next was a series of life events that served to break the trance I was in and bring about some interesting pivots. First, circumstance brought me to an excellent therapist. It was the first time I felt heard, and it was the first time I was exposed to tools that enabled me to start adapting and modifying the rigor and strictness of my motto. I began to see myself apart from the circumstances. I had a long way to go, but the idea of the self as core and the environment serving to provide experience was seeded. The idea piqued my curiosity; I wanted to understand more. Life does not give you more than you can handle. When you are in the middle of it, however, it certainly does not feel that way. As a result, I started to party a little too hard, and that brought about some hard lessons. I know now that those lessons were essential for my learning. I had to hit rock bottom because my promise to work hard and move forward had such a strong hold over me that it had to be crushed or nothing would change. Yet there were still elements of fear within me clutched tightly to retain control over, no matter how PAGE 7

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