A job application.
What? 50% more than I ever earned, after six years unemployed?
Self confidence has value in some situations. “She never felt guilty about what she needed to do to survive.” If what is stopping me gaining something is my own feeling that I cannot get it, or do not deserve it, or do not fit here, how does that benefit me? Chutzpah. Or, social blindness: there really are sanctions. Yet disapproval is not one of them, only an act, not a feeling, matters.
I thought of myself as “selfish”. It is a terrifying thought. I have sought self-acceptance in the idea of myself as a “good” person, which Selfishness dents. Or, I am safe from the sanctions of the terrifying Others if I am “good”. Yet it could be liberating, freeing me to take action for my good which I could not otherwise.
My refuge, my place where I sought Safety, is not safe and costs too much. The ideal of Goodness restricts me.
I am good enough, generous or altruistic enough. You can sometimes gain an attribute if you deny it. If you berate yourself for laziness every time you rest, that will make you a hard worker. You won’t get the benefit of enjoying imagining yourself as a hard worker, but you will get the benefits of being one.
Roll it round the mouth, like alcohol- no-one really likes the taste, but they like the effects. Or like a particularly strong cheese I have never tasted before. I am surprised people like this, but perhaps I notice that it will do me no harm. This sensation is highly stimulating. I value stimulation rather than just pleasure- it is freedom, it creates possibility, it gives options.
Am I really potentially violent? I experience myself as “sad” rather than angry, but this is no defence: angry could get violent, but Sad could get violent, and self-righteous about it. No. I am not. Violence in me is wrapped round with taboos. I would go tense but quiet, like an isometric exercise, working in two directions, still. I am “Angry”. Ah. It is hot in me. I need not lash out to let myself know how angry I am, I can use the energy better than that. What would it be good to do?
There is a difference between anger, even rage, and violence.
I am selfish, and that is a good thing. I am also generous, loving, great-hearted, whatever; I like other people to be happy, and work to that end, for it gives me pleasure; and “Selfish” should no longer be a barrier to action or an emotional tension making me uncertain, equivocal, vacillating. “Self-indulgent” has been one of my strongest condemnations, when I do something anyway and feel really guilty about it. This is such a long journey. It stopped me completely, before, but I am breaking through it.
I am Clare, and I am selfish. I want my survival, prospering, flourishing. Ideally I would have found these thoughts in teenage, but then I started doing teenage in my thirties. I may finish it some day.
Tina said, “It’s not you, it’s me”. It is not anything about how I am, other people react for their own reasons and I might not be the most important thing in others’ calculations! She sees no selfishness in me. Some care for onesself is acceptable. You are safe from that cruel word. I would rather take the word which has tortured me, and drain its power. I am ‘selfish’- and I am still alive! She sees no solipsism in me either, which really surprises me, sometimes I think the only thing I ever look at is my navel. Who’d have thought it?
She sees my deep sadness. Yes. I do too. It is not hunting me, now. It chased me through the woods and the ruins, and I never gained distance on it however fast I ran; yet when I pause, it stops too, and we look at each other.