My cage "protects" me. I won't unlock it right now. I'm too terrified. Terrified of my own perceived shortcomings. Fear of failure. Fear of Disappointment*. I'm not going to come out of that protective cage until I am confident enough not to fear that I am failure. And I will continue to see myself as a failure until I can look at myself (figuratively, and literally) and not despise what I see.
On to my homework. In order to build the self perception up, she wants me to make a list of things I feel like I am good at, or like about myself. I can add to the list, but I am not allowed to delete anything from the list, because in that moment, on that day, I felt that it was true. If I have the urge to erase something I have to mark it to show that I wanted to get rid of it but i didn't. On the surface, this seems like an easy assignment, but it isn't. It isn't at all. It is emotionally draining.
Not that I don't think that there is ANYTHING good about me. I do. But to try to name them, recognize them, and believe that they are legit things to be aware of... I always kind of think that i don't have any reason to embrace those things. I don't have a "right" to extol my good points. I always think that i need to blend in, be invisible, unnoticeable. If I don't bring attention to the good things, then people can't look closer, and see the disappointing things. To me, the disappointing things out number the good things. Another way my cage protects me. People can't get too close to me. If you get too close, you will see me for what I am, not as I choose to show.
I have a pretty deceiving mask covering the outside of my cage. I have been slowly letting that mask slip. I think that is a pretty big accomplishment in and of itself.
Until Next Time, Press On and Make Strides
*NOTE: I should clarify here, that is not a fear that I will be disappointed. Its a fear that I AM/WILL BE a disappointment.