Monday, August 24, 2015

Not Deserving

This weekend I participated in an obstacle run (more about this later this week).  It was a physical challenge to be sure - 4.1 miles, 28 obstacles.  But I finished. And as I mulled over the event in my mind this weekend, I realized that there is a growing dichotomy in my life.

 It is almost as if I am living two lives.  In one life - the life that seems to dwell on certain weekends at iaijutsu - I am constantly challenging myself, pushing myself to the limits of what I am (currently) capable of, trying for success as hard as I can for the purposes of bragging rights.   In the other life - the life that I live almost 95% of the time - I am living a life which seems to be headed nowhere in particular at a good clip.  I get up, I go to work, I do the things one has to live.  

I live the life of quiet desperation.

I queried this in my mind because I cannot understand why it is that there is such a difference in these two things in my mind.  How can I push myself for success in one thing (which is seemingly of little import in the vast scope of things) and not transfer that drive, that energy, into the things of my life which I would think would actually make a difference in my life?

I asked the question of Nighean Ruadh in the course of a conversation.  Her response?  "Because for some reason you believe you don't deserve it."


I sat there with that thought flickering back at me, with that sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach where you know something is true although you do not want to admit it.  I know it - in the back of my head, in my heart, I know that thought is there.  You do not deserve to succeed.  You do not deserve success.  Ultimately, you do not deserve to be happy.

Perhaps this is a legacy of the depressed - I think at some level all those who are depressed believe themselves undeserving of any sort of happiness or success - but I do not think that it all. Somehow, somewhere, the thought is lodged in my subconscious that I simply do not deserve to succeed.

Which explains the fact that I can put my time and energy into Highland Athletics and Iai and an Obstacle run:  in succeeding, there is no risk of true success in the rest of my life.  I can safely achieve something with no danger to my subconscious that there will be success in other areas.

But how do I push this into other areas?  This is problem I have to resolve - without that resolution, I will continue to split my life into that which I will do to be successful and that which I will not because I do not deserve to be successful.

And this is simply a life I cannot continue to live.


  1. I have a different view on the issue. In a psychological way you have the same emotions as those kids play video games all the time. The need to succeed. You channel it into something that does you at least some good physically but most Men cannot fill the need int he workplace any longer. The chips are stacked against us.

    1. It's interesting you write that Preppy. I listened to a podcast on The Art of Manliness this weekend by a gentlemen who wrote Oversuccess, a book on why Americans are addicted to success. One of the differences he noted was that the research supports the fact that male and female brain physiology is different and one of the ways it is different is that men are much more responsive to loss of social standing than women are. He stated - and this was back in 2009 when the book was originally published - that one of the great needs was to figure out how to channel the increase disenfranchised feeling of young males especially, before they became so disconnected they acted out in violent ways.

      Not that I have any of those issues. It was an interesting conversation though.


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