To be your own worst enemy

Humility is when you take life lessons from pi...

Humility is when you take life lessons from pieces of copper pipe. (Photo credit: f2point8)

I realised recently that I believe that my very existence in life causes the people I love pain and suffering. If you asked me if that is even possible for anyone, logically speaking, I’d say no of course it isn’t, to conceive of the idea shows some twisted sense of logic. How can just existing on its own cause others pain? So my trained mind rejects it, and most of the time nothing like this is at the forefront of my thinking, until something happens to remind me, like money problems and all series of related issues that follow from that for example.

I suppose I must have taken on that belief very early on, and I can see now where my saviour program comes from considering that. I’m actually attempting to save people I love from the damage of my very existence, which if true, is logically also impossible, because I can’t actively help or save anyone and not exist at the same moment. The dilemma is I want to exist and the reason, contradictory to that is that I want to often as a result of those who I love as well. I want to exist to be with them.

I’ve always had this notion of somehow wanting to save the world too. I’ve never known how, but if there was a way, I’d sure want to try. The complexity though of even pursuing that is that I don’t feel I’ve got what it takes to do any sort of saving of anyone and myself included. I’ve proven often to myself I’m no good at either. Its clear though that the expectation I place on this is always at minimum an overreaching one, so even if I did something that was beneficial to myself and others, mostly, except for rare occasions, it would never be enough for me.

So on top of all this I’ve just felt like a burden, and as a burden it pains me to ever ask anyone for help, its like the last thing I want to do but I often find myself in need of it too. So there’s clearly some big emotional delemmas going on, and what’s also weird is I like to offer help a lot to others.

The issue with help is that I often view it as a sign of my own incapacity when I’m the one seeking for it. So if I get to the stage where I’m needing help for something that I am personally passionate about, I often take this as proof I’ve failed to be able to accomplish that myself. In the past I’ve dealt with that in a couple of ways. Firstly of course is I just won’t ask for help. If I feel I have little choice, I do ask and when help does come my way, to minimise the guilt or self judgement that rises up for me, I disown it. What I mean is I take a step back, its either not help for me directly, so its for someone or something else, or if its a project I initiate and there’s interest in it, I give it away, I wash my hands clean of it.

Consequently all my little ideas that actually require others, and I’m full of them mind you, get scrapped mostly before they even surface, they remain unfinished and shelved indefinitely, or just given away and mostly for nothing in return, because that’s how much they are worth to me.

So in the end, after years doing creative things, like music, art, writing, some project ideas, I’ve got little to show for. For example, I’ve recorded and did my own mastering of 15-20 songs, each I spent days and days on, they were part electronic / part instrumental with vocals, drums, various instruments etc. I lost and just threw out any recording I had left of them. Not only that I’ve made hundreds of songs on guitar I cant remember how to play, as I didn’t place enough importance on them to write them down in any way. I spent too, close to 5 years of my life doing drawings and paintings (did visual arts at uni), I gave them all away, threw out a lot too or just lost the rest. I had poetry and stories in multiple notebooks with me since I was 16 years old, a good 20 years of writing it was – a full suitcase worth of paper written on. Keeping it just reminded me of my failings and besides it was actually growing mouldy, so a few years back I burnt it all. I have a story too I’ve been writing for about 15 or more years, I’ve stopped at about half way done and just don’t go much further. I’ve set up a few websites around business ideas, change ideas, wrote proposals almost got funding for one once too, but I let them slide. The only thing I’ve really kept up consistently is paid work and this blog, the rest is for me like dust in the wind.

What’s odd though is I look at my accomplishments as so lowly, often people see that as humility, but its actually not at all, its just that I find it really hard to see the merit in what I produce, I don’t know what you call it, but its not humility, if humility is being humble to your feelings, being able to feel fully – I’m rather avoiding feeling all those things I mentioned by minimising and often reducing to zero the value of my creative pursuits.

I suppose there’s some changes happening. I’m just reminding myself now  that a project I did initiate at work which I feel is positive, involving a gift economy is being introduced, even though I did stand down managing it (same reasons as above), it is still going ahead, so I’m not completely allowing myself to be driven by fear, most of the time but perhaps something has shifted in me to have a thing I feel passionate about come to fruition.

What’s funny is it’s all about recognising what’s unique and valuable in us and opening a forum for that to be shared or given as a gift to others. So its about creating a community of sharing and learning skills and passions at work. That’s it in a nutshell. Anyway last year that idea got 10k funding to assist implementing it and over the next few weeks that’s what will be happening.

So you can see the crazy thing here is that I actually have a very hard time valuing my own input to the extent that I’m almost certain I’d not have something to offer  others would find useful or of value to them. So its going to be a strange exercise as not only am I going to have to speak to potentially a packed seminar room of corporates about how each of us has unique and valuable gifts to share but will also have to be hosting my own sharing sessions over the coming weeks, on what subject at the moment I’ve got no real leads.

On a completely random note, I’m listening to this album by Mastodon right now, I really like it.

6 thoughts on “To be your own worst enemy

  1. Kathara

    Come to the dark side, we’ve got cookies…

    On another very random note, this weekend at the library I had that exacte same Mastodon album in my hand for a while, trying to decide whether I was going to borrow it or not because the cover looked cool, which usually means the music is terrible.

    1. David Wall Post author

      Vegan cookies? A friend introduced me to Mastodon yesterday, my closest reference was Mars Volta, but it’s more metal, less psychedelic, hmm but actually it’s different altogether 🙂

  2. Mary

    You had me at “Humility is when you take life lessons from pieces of copper pipe”

    Then I just fell in love with every new sentence. Its a humble, perceptive and emotional, this post. It gets me in my own hurt heart places that echo your own.

    I am cheering you from the sidelines Dave – go for your dreams – they are unique and beautiful and no-one else can bring them to fruition.

    I can’t wait to see what you create as you challenge your fears. Thank-you for baring your soul so eloquently.

    Your sister,

    1. David Wall Post author

      Thanks Mary for you kind words, I’m also cheering you and AJ from the sidelines 🙂 I love what you said here: “– go for your dreams – they are unique and beautiful and no-one else can bring them to fruition.” I really got last night that God holds us up in high such high esteem, like he’d be saying for all of us, all the time: “look at this soul I made, isn’t she awesome, look at what he can do, no one else can do anything like her, he makes me feel so proud, I have so much hope for her, I can’t wait for him to grow and discover all the amazing qualities he has…” It just hit me, I felt so sad about how I see my contributions in such low esteem. Then the obvious contrast of my daughter being so incredibly a visible sign of perfection in every single way, just floored me, I got just how wrong I am seeing everything I help bring into the world as so worthless. She is so full of worth, a worth I can’t even imagine, as she surprises me everyday with how amazing she is.

  3. Amanda

    Dear David

    I really like what you’ve written and have been looking at and acknowledging the painful effects of little self regard in my own life. I’ve noticed that I see very little if anything good in myself as a consequence of some of the same causes you’re mentioning here. It really is one of the most painful diseases on the planet to not like ourselves.



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