I think my reactions and behavior last week was ugly. Not my outward behavior; on the outside I acted somewhat reasonable in regards to the circumstances, but my feelings and reactions to those circumstances created such a self-loathing ugliness like I hadn’t felt in a long, long time. A group that I was a part of, a team that was committed to self growth and community service and giving, had to create a t-shirt design that we all had to agree upon and wear as part of a team-building exercise. One of my team members I had had a falling out with and I felt she was out to get me. She was a big, bossy girl with a permanent snide countenance, a sneer. I had created a quick t-shirt design out of necessity, in response to another teammate’s awful mock up. His design was simply words. One thing that really felt like a punch in the stomach was that I was listed last on the team roster on the shirt design. That was when I made my decision to create my own design, and I put my name first. The margins were off, the spacing didn’t translate from Word into Google Docs and it looked like shit. I had to send 4 corrections via email. I got no reply. Then, pig head comes in with her design and said we could vote on them. Of course, immediately some of the team members voted for hers. I felt a grating anxiety when they were all voting and saying how much they loved her design. I felt diminished, I felt cast out and small. I felt ganged up on. I imagined the energy inside of me like a black, ugly, lava bubbling up from some deep, scarred place within me, this wound that had been scabbed over years and years before but was festering underneath, the scab still bright red at the edges with infection, hinting of the disease still hidden underneath. This small, dirty and negative energy with razor-sharp edges I imagined was balling up and bubbling over somewhere in my left abdomen. It was filled with shame. Shame and self-loathing were at the root of it. All those feelings from childhood and high school rushed back, the feeling of being unwanted and cast aside in a crowd, ignored. I re-experienced that feeling of not wanting to be in my own body because I did not want to inhabit a place that was barren and unwelcoming. No one else thought I was valid, so I felt invalid as well. I felt a rift in myself, a separation, because I could not be at home with myself because I could not accept myself for who I was. All I could feel was blackness, self hatred. I could not attend and befriend it. I could not accept it with love. I could not love this part of myself. Was it my ego dying? I think so. Only the ego can be threatened and diminished like that. I can be so identified with the ego that it takes over and convinces me that we are one. Yet I know the truth, intellectually. The problem is knowing something in my head does not mean that knowledge travels to my heart. I am still recovering from this blow. I had thought I was evolved, I had thought I was learning to love myself and see the god in all. I felt like I had regressed, and lost all the ground I’d rapidly covered in 3 months’ time of transformation.