Did you ever get picked last in gym class? I did. Often. Sometimes, I didn't even get picked. That was the worst. What an excruciating feeling — standing there, watching people pick their teams, knowing that I wouldn't get picked. I can't think of a worse feeling. Wanting to play with people, and them not wanting to play with me.
I experienced the same kind of crushing feeling of defeat when I'd ask my friends to do something, and they said "no". I wanted to play with them, and they didn't want to play with me. Well, that was my story at least — I don't know if they did or didn't, but that was less important. What mattered most was that feeling, and doing something to avoid the pain of that feeling.
So that's what I did. I grew up and learned how to avoid that. I learned how to keep from needing anything from anyone. I learned how to suppress my own desires (for friends, connection, intimacy, sex, love, kindness, reassurance, etc.), and instead, to provide for that myself.
I learned to use performance as a measure of love and to keep out that pain. If I focused on how well I was performing, I never had to really address the feelings underneath. Just work harder.
I exchanged the pain of rejection for the comfort of self-sufficiency. But I'm not meant to be self-sufficient. Love is a fundamental part of being a human being. In order to let people love me, I have to love them. I have to be willing to allow love. I have to be willing to allow them to break my heart.
That's what I've managed to avoid ever having happen. I keep Bay out. I kept work colleagues out. I keep my friends out (and the closer they are, the further out I keep them). I keep YOU out.
I've been playing for a top-tier coaching team. The top 4 percent coaches in the world. I'm committed to this game. I want to play on it. But, the person creating the community, Rich Litvin, saw what I was doing. He's open to me joining, but not from this place. I've got to step past keeping you out.
And then today, Bay shared with me that he's a yes to her.
And there I was. Right back as a little kid, standing in the field, watching my best friend go off to play a game I wanted to play, while I stood and pretended that it didn't hurt.
But it does hurt. It hurts a lot.
I don't want you to know that I'm hurt — I want you think I'm invincible.
But I'm not. I'm hurt.
That little kid is crying, because all he can hear, is "you're not good enough".
I'm not really sure what else there is to share. I often work with clients that want to do, do, and do. And that's pretty predictable, because that's what I know to do as well.
I want to write this post out in such a way that it ends with a compelling point, and it motivates you to do something. I could easily do that. It wouldn't be very hard. I've been doing it all my life so far.
But that's bullshit. Doing something is just a path away from the hurt. It's a distraction from what's real for me in this moment.
So there you go.