Pure Motivation

A weblog about the importance of a Sense of
Self for Health, Happiness and World Peace!

Dependency on work

I found out I am totally dependent for my sense of identity on the outcome of my achievements. Many years ago it was my work as a bassoonist in a top class classical orchestra. At the birth of my first child I was struck by insomnia and I had to work out the problem. I found I was dependent on my work as a musician for my sense of self.

Now 25 years later, I have untangled most of the knots in my brain but I find that now I'm dependent on sharing my knowledge because, "Who am I without being seen and heard by somebody? Who am I without effectively helping somebody?” I haven't grown into the disposition yet that I want to help somebody for the sake of that somebody but I want to help somebody so I can feel good about myself. I want to help somebody so I can be admired, thanked, paid, acknowledged.

Today I found out that everything in my life now is centered around making myself problem free, not to get the love of my mother anymore, but so I can work as I perceive that to be my only vehicle for being seen and heard. I travel a lot so there is a lot of interference in my work activity. I am writing a website but over and over again it is interrupted due to my travels. To a certain degree I could continue my work during those travels but I fear that it's due to my dependency and me getting out of whack every time I settle into a new environment, that in practical life it doesn't really work that way. I have to get into balance every time over and over again both with my sleeping patterns that are disrupted by jet lag and by a recurrent eye-migraine that indicates lots of stress in my brain. The eye-migraine points to the places where have to look into. It actually prevents me from working on the computer because the glare of the screen frightens me and keeps me in fear to get this eye-migraine, not for my own health but because it interferes with my ability to work! It's not a major ailment but it drains my energy quite a lot and besides it's not healthy, it shows that something is off.

As I have resolved most issues from the past (I don't say all) I actually was at my wit's end because I didn't think there was something left. As I was pondering desperately, wondering if I needed help, I remembered how I got all upset yesterday, screaming: "I am so scared that I can't work, that I can't function! Who am I if I can't work? My worst fear is that I have to be at home all by myself and my life will consist only of dealing with all the trivial household things. My worst fear is ‘being average’, to not standout, to not contribute to the world."

I felt that since I had been home from my travels my hands were icy cold every time I was working on getting myself in shape to work on my website.  The moment I thought I was there an eye- migraine popped up. So I was back to zero again. Again I wasn't in a good shape to work. And then the truth dawned on me that after all these years in which I had managed to get rid of many symptoms, there still was this one dependency: my complete dependency on my work as an out-of-the-box thinker in psychology.

I still have to learn that I AM not through my work. I still have to answer the question every minute: "Who am I without my website?" and convince myself with the answer: I am me. I just have to be me. I just have to be: ME. I should not be the slave of my work but enjoy the 'living experience', go out in the sun, read a book, do trivial things if that actually gives me joy and admit it. I am not there for my work! I have to be happy to live my life, I have to appreciate the gift of life!

I don't need a vehicle for my sense of self. I don't need a vehicle as a substitute sense of self. I am my ultimate vehicle and my energy should be geared towards myself, wondering what I want or what needs to be done. I should not wake up, happy that I slept so my condition is good enough to work. I should wake up, happy that I slept so my quality of life is finally better.

And yes I can fool myself for a minute, three minutes, an hour, for three days, for a week or for a couple of months, forcing myself to abstain from working to ultimately do that only to use ‘getting in touch with myself’ to get in shape to work again. The mind is 'tricky'! So I have to be very alert not to fool myself because ultimately I do myself a disservice. It may feel as if I'm more alive when working on ‘my vehicle to be seen and heard’, my website, my blog-entries, ultimately I flourish more if I use that energy to cultivate the plant that's ME.

So I shouldn't have written this article may be, because it feeds my need to be seen and heard, to work towards being acknowledged. Ideally I should actually first ‘be there’ and then choose to work or not. However I was unable to discipline myself and so here it is. It also is an exercise though in being honest to myself, not fooling myself, acknowledging my need and direct it towards true self care.

My hands are still nice and warm…