Odds Are, You're a Bitch & You Don't Even Know It
Growing up, my mother gave me an endearing nickname, one that expressed deep gratitude for my loving character, warm heart, and generosity of spirit; she called me her little bitchola. She’d say it with a smile, and follow up with: “You’re not trying to be mean. You were just born that way.”
Of course, she was joking, but there was some truth in her statement. While my mother will attest to how I am the most kind, loving person she knows, she also will attest to the fact that if I’m too tired, too hangry, or too hormonal, I can become outright mean and moody.
But here’s the truth: We have all behaved in ways we wouldn’t care to write about in our memoirs. Everyone has a side to their personality that is divine perfection. It expresses itself as deep compassion, love, wisdom, and generosity; but there’s another side that people don’t want to admit: It’s a little perverse, dirty, greedy, moody, selfish, or superficial. We may not express those thoughts to others, or maybe we don’t take actions in response to them, but we can’t be naive by pretending they don’t exist.
The way that I like to think about it is: There is an energy in me that is bitchy, and when I listen to that voice, I push people away, act moody, and isolate myself. When I’m present to that energy, meaning, I’m aware she’s in there - just begging me to not answer that text, or sit quietly at a party in a funky emotional state, I can hear her banging around in my head, but I don’t have to follow her directives. I can make a different choice. I can choose love instead of fear.
Each of us has a wealth of energies within us: We have the divine love of God, and we also have self-hatred, doubt, and greed. We are complex, hurt, and deeply wounded. We are doing the best we can. Here’s the key: We mustn’t let our less desirable energies fly under the radar, or else they will unconsciously direct our lives. We must catch them when they surface, because the truth is, they’re only surfacing in response to a deep fear or wound.
For example, I withdraw and isolate myself when I feel stressed or anxious. I don’t want to be mean, but I am in the process of releasing negative patterns and behaviors that no longer serve me. The crabby energy in me wants to hide in her shell, not because she doesn’t like anyone, but because she’s hurt. The mindfulness journey is teaching me how to deal with hurt in healthier ways, but it takes a lot of inner-work. It takes a commitment to healing, to apologizing when I’m wrong, and to seeing the places within myself that are in need of light.
The energies within us that we would deem as ugly or unlikable, oftentimes, developed as a way to protect ourselves.
People become stingy because they grew up with the programming that there wasn’t enough, and they had to survive. People grow mean and cold, because they’ve been hurt, and so they’re unwilling to be vulnerable again, in an act of guarding their heart. When these energies surface, we mustn’t chastise ourselves, rather, we must acknowledge that they were born of past circumstances, and we can release them without judgment. We can become present to them, recognize when they give us directives, such as to send a not-so-nice text, break up, or withdraw from someone we love. We can tell them that we hear their pain; we know they’re afraid of getting hurt again, but everything is okay. There’s no need to behave out of fear. These energies within us need to be soothed, not ignored, or treated as a reason to feel ashamed.
It’s easy to for people to believe that they are so nice, so kind, and to think that when they’re not acting nicely, it’s because the other person “deserved it,” which excuses their behavior. However, turning a blind eye to the many energies within us only means that we’ll act out of them unconsciously, and they’ll direct our lives. We’ll be unable to see our partner’s point of view, unable to reconcile with a friend, to apologize, or to show up for life in a different way. Our less-than-lovable parts of ourselves are here to be loved, and that is the only way that they can be integrated - through acknowledgment, acceptance, and then having the courage to make a new choice. This is an essential step in the process of self-transformation and healing.