The engine to my guilt and people pleasing: Eva-Lena

The landmark series part one.

My head is spinning with thoughts and my body is full of emotions. This weekend has been full on, on so many levels and I can feel in and with my whole being that today is the beginning of a new era. I have left the past in the past and I am completely dedicated to the future. “Where do I go from here?” is the question, and backwards is the only answer that it is not.

I have been doing Landmark Forum over the weekend, basically questioning everything that I know, and how I know to act. For three days, 39 hours I have learnt a lot about myself and others and I have gotten access to some tools that I will use for the rest of my life. I am not going to lie though, a lot of it didn’t sit well with me, but instead of doing what I always have been doing, up until now, I didn’t try to get my point across and change the whole forum to fit into my reality. Even though I believe that some parts would be better changed I have realized that if I am going to change everything that doesn’t sit right with me there will be no energy and time left for me to live a passionate life. This is when choosing gets tough, and it has taken me 26 years to realise that I have to choose what I want change in this world. I have to choose what I want to focus on and then just let the rest go and leave it for someone else to change. Someone who will make it their life’s passion. Because there is no point doing it half arsed.

I realised that I cannot fit everything I have learnt about myself in one post, so over the next couple of days I will share all of what I have learnt this past weekend in a few different themes.

Enough of the justifying.

I have connected some really cool dots about my past, and I actually think that this is true. According to Landmark we all carry with us a couple of strong suits from our past. Basically you can track three big realizations in your life that since have defined who you are and how you act in this world. The first moment of definition happened somewhere from when you were borne til around six years old. You realised that something was wrong, or you had done wrong. Second is in the early teens and you realise that you are different, and last in the late teens and early twenties you realise that you are on your own.

These strong suits is, from what I gathered, based on negative experiences and for the rest of your life (if you don’t learn how to distance yourself from them) they will work for you as a form of defence mechanism to avoid you from ever feeling what you felt then ever again. I thought about who I have been in the past and what could possibly have helped shape that person and realised that my constant people pleasing and fright of feeling guilty must have started that day in after school care when I stole glue-tag of the paintings in school, to make a ball out of it. Later a teacher, Eva-Lena, ran in to where I was sitting screaming in front of everyone “WHO HAS STOLEN ALL THE GLUE-TAG, MY PAINTINGS ARE HANGING ON THREE QUARTER”. I felt this lump in my chest, as if I needed to vomit. I had done something wrong, and an adult I didn’t know was angry, with me. I felt ill. I panicked. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t confess to her, she was so scary and angry. Later when mum picked me up from school I cried and cried and believed that I could never live without this feeling again. This was who I was now. Guilty. It was unbearable for me. I felt like I had failed everything.  When my panic didn’t slow down and couldn’t stop crying mum made me call my own teacher and tell her what had happened. I remember mum dialling the number on the green phone in their bedroom and my teacher Inga picked up. When I confessed she said thank you so much, what a brave girl you are for telling me. The guilt escaped my body. I could breath again. The day after in class she told everyone that I had been such a brave person for confessing and she praised me in front of the whole room. She then asked if anyone else had taken glue-tag and mostly because everyone wanted to get praised they all put their hand up. It made me feel so free, telling her, but obviously that teacher yelling made me never break any rules in school ever again.

So… that moment is the reason to why I never studied for myself and needed all teachers to know that I was a good girl. I needed to be far away from ever being yelled at like that ever again. And until I graduated high school I had the best grades in all subjects (except maths because it is obviously too logical for me). To be honest I have no idea what the moral of the story is here. This pain I was in there obviously made me work with the rules I was given and it effected me in a way of being too cooperative in the rules of society. What I missed during all of these years was to figure out how to do things for myself and figure out what I actually was interested in, instead of just being a perfectly created student. I was a robot in school, programmed to do well. And I did. But when school finished and I had no one to please, I lived in chaos. It is crazy to think that a moment like that can have so much impact on a child, but I honestly think that it makes sense.

Figuring this moment out has cleared up a lot of things for me about myself and the way I’ve been living in this world. Just by knowing this I feel free to choose if that moment is a moment that I want to be the engine or the fuel to my way of living, and the answer is no. Eva-Lena is sitting somewhere in Sweden, having no idea how great her impact on me has been. I never knew her, because she was never my teacher, but in a way she has been following me my whole life. And to be fair, she caused me a lot of guilt, but I also have got to thank her for my good grades. Good grades that I will never really need in life.

I am now standing in the possibility of being free from trying to justify myself to authority. I don’t need everybody to think that I have done the right thing, I only need to know that I have done the right thing for me. From now on I will not dedicate my life to look good in front of others, I will dedicate my life to what I am interested in. so… where do I go from here?

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