Continue with embracing self.
Fear of not being included, invited, etc within social/work groups is something I face/fear a lot. Sometimes I see groups as already set, already established, already formed, something I cannot just walk into, this is sometimes true, but often not. And the more I avoid, the outcome is certain, isolation. Sometimes its a sad realization, the formation of the groups is designed to restrict membership, meaning, for whatever reason only certain folks are allowed, even there I can see its not a personal attack on me as such, it just I didn’t qualify for their acceptance criteria. It could be based on a common language, shared social habits, may be the folks are going out for drinks and me being not a drinker, its normal to be not invited, or it could be a cultural group whose language or religious norms I am not familiar with, so naturally they may group without inviting me etc.
But I always see those situations as deliberate acts to outcast me, now that’s a problem. With a billion or so Asians around, finding familiarity with others is a key factor to survival, the group unit, the more familiar the better it is. Obviously the family unit is the starting point, which is also created out of established familiar factors like same culture, language, histories, religions, similar wealth and education, even same region etc, in this “the others” are seen as complete outcast, not a chance in hell for them. Yet you could qualify with all those factors and still could be excluded for being a single or unmarried person in some social circles.
We’re indeed a strange bunch. Growing up, it was all about ethnicity, “Tamil” or “Sinhala”, I was just born into former, I didn’t pick my ethnicity, but viola it defined a large part of my life, sometimes even life or death, as over half million died in the 30-year bloodiest war between these two ethnics in Sri-Lanka. (side note: the leader of the Tamil group who died in the war came thru the portal, cool to hear his perspective).
True, many a times, I didn’t have the acceptance factors to qualify for social groups, but there was one thing that certainly kept me away, that is, my own barrier I created for myself, where I became my own barrier. I am not sure how I have created this, was I born like this, was it pre-programmed, was it developed over the years, is it a kind of an energy I carry, is it how I look, or my moods? or facial expressions? Obviously nobody wants to hang out with a moody person, don’t I smile enough? do I look pissed off?
Mood yes, I can see a lot of that, often I am in a bad mood or some kind of a cranky mood, less cheerful, as if I carry a sense of an unwillingness to have fun, unwillingness to be playful. as if I am stuck in a sense of depression or permanent state of self-rejection, “they rejected me so I will reject myself for ever and ever more”, kind of attitude. Or why bother to live, might as well die, why bother to socialize, might as well hide and die. She divorced me, so why bother to live, just die away. etc etc.
But I was like this even before the marriage and divorce, even during happier days I was a social barrier. I wasn’t having fun with simple things, I am stuck in some eternal fear of some kind, as if I am frozen. And certainly not relaxed, during body massages I recall them saying “relax, relax, you’re tense” etc, it indicates a problem as to why I have become my own barrier. Am I living a cursed life? who cursed me? Did I curse myself? Why am I accepting a curse? Is it not having children, a family, a wife, a house/home, have I allowed those to qualify me for as a walking-dead, for a cursed life?
Or is it fear, am I petrified of getting hurt, so much so that I don’t trust anyone, and certainly not myself, not even to have some fun in life.
I commit myself to relax, embrace the word fun, enjoyment, and walk this process to undo the fear that I have become, living a petrified life, turn it around, step by step, dig into the details, walk the forgiveness and correction.
Long process indeed…to be continued.