How my jaw pain forces me to face unpleasant truths

I don’t know how to explain this to people who’ve never felt it, but I’ve been suffering from jaw tension for quite a while now. It comes and goes, and I never really know what triggered it until I did some deep introspection.

I believe it’s forcing me to confront truths I’d rather not face. Like a harsh and unforgiving teacher, it won’t relent until I learn my lesson. It won’t let me leave the table before I finish eating up all of the bitter truth soup in front of me.

I recently had a situation where I got angry about something, but wasn’t honest to myself about it. I had a fear and I pretend to not feel it, even to myself I couldn’t admit that I was scared. And when I realized that, I got angry at myself for pretending, for not living my truth. It took realizing and admitting all that, until the bitter end, and only then did my jaw loosen up and I found some relief.

So in a way, my body is conspiring with my higher aspirations. It’s keeping me real. It makes me do the inner work even when I don’t want to.

The book I mentioned in this episode: Anger Management Workbook For Men by Aaron Karmin. (This isn’t a book recommendation. I don’t think it’s a great book, and it’s mostly written for people whose anger is out of control. The opposite is true for me: I control and suppress my anger too much. But I did gain some interesting insights from it nonetheless that I mention in this episode.)

Final audio Old testament jaw
So I, again today have had crushing tension in my jaw. Crushing dude, it’s sometimes so bad. I could cry. There’s a part of me. That’s just. Can’t take it anymore now where I’m like, what the fuck? Why, why is my jargon this tense? And it’s not going away. I can’t make it go away. And it’s an incredibly unpleasant feeling and it just gets worse and worse throughout the day.
[00:00:34] And it just drives me crazy. Eventually I had to give up and sit down and try to figure out. What am I angry about again? Right. And I knew that the interesting thing with my like suppressed anger patterns is that when I asked myself, what am I angry about most of the time. I kind of know, but I almost am at a disbelief that this is the reason, you know what I mean?
[00:01:03] So it was like, I don’t want to accept that this is such a, something happened that I deemed very small. And then I, and then all of a sudden I noticed this super intense in this pain in my jaw and I go, wait a second. I have suppressed anger. What is it? And then I think about the thing. And I go, ah, this can’t be this.
[00:01:22] What is it? And then I keep thinking, convict me. And it’s again, the thing. And I’m like, but this is such a tiny thing. It can’t be that I have that big of a reaction. And then it always turns out that yes, I can write. I am capable of having a very strong reaction to it. I really wonder if I’ve always had this and just never noticed it, or if it’s gotten stronger or if it’s a new thing that my body now does, just so that I can’t get away from it.
[00:01:48] Like some kind of a collaboration of my subconscious mind to be like, well, you really never want to miss your suppressed anger again. All right, motherfucker. We’re going to make it manifest in this form. That’s going to be really unpleasant. I don’t know what it is for always headed. If I just it’s the new thing.
[00:02:06] It’s definitely a new thing in my awareness. It’s something that I’ve noticed maybe in the last half year or so, but today I sit down, I. Except the fact that it’s this little thing that I’m angry about. I don’t accept it. I like recognize it, but I’m sort of internally pissed about it. I’m just like, what the fuck, what am I have to do now?
[00:02:29] What do I have to do? Do I have to like, not to do two hours of meditation? Like, how the fuck do I get rid of this? Right. That’s my attitude and energy. Right. And I, as I’m experimenting with shit, I thought, well, maybe a time when I’m angry, maybe I have to like, imagine Steli sitting in this like fucking on the couch and then I’m going to pretend I’m the anger and I’m going to just scream at myself, see what comes out.
[00:02:54] We’ll see if I feel better afterwards, I need some kind of release, something needs to happen. And so I did that today. And as I did that today, A couple of, kind of nuggets dropped out of my mouth that I was surprised to hear myself. I was like, Oh, okay. I didn’t fully realize. The meaning of attached to this small thing.
[00:03:14] And then I bought a book a week ago. It’s like an anger management workbook for men, probably terrible, but I thought, you know, who cares? Maybe I’ll learn something. If not, I’ll just sort of wait. Well, let’s try it. Now. A bunch of stuff in that book are techniques for people that cannot control the anger and their lash out.
[00:03:35] Not necessarily my problem. But there are some nuggets in there there that have been enlightening, but just useful to go through. It’s just interesting for me to go through this. And one thing that I was reading today that he wrote was this like, okay, here are the reasons for suppressing anger. Right. And it was very obvious that for me, It’s a control issue.
[00:04:01] I don’t like to feel my anger because I don’t like to feel out of control and I don’t like to give other people control over me. So if some, somebody pissed me off, I really disliked that I, that whole concept of that. Because that means that you have power over how I feel. Right. I don’t want to accept that.
[00:04:19] That’s true. And so I suppress it, but I also don’t like the idea that I am losing, even if I’m not angry at somebody else, I’m angry at myself. I dislike anger because anger to me always means a loss of control. Right. And I don’t want to lose control. And that’s probably one of the most surprising things I learned.
[00:04:39] In the last year about you? Like how I actually, if you would have asked me, do you feel like I’m somebody who it needs to be in control? It’s like a controller. I would’ve said no. You know what it is though? You know, the country, the question is, why do I want that control? It’s not because I need to have certainty on the outcome.
[00:04:59] That’s a kind of control freak. You’re thinking about where you’re like this doesn’t match you because I don’t think it does. I don’t need to control the outcome. I need to control the narrative. I need to control the perception of who I am. Right. If you said something to me and you hurt me by saying that Sally, you really look ugly in this video.
[00:05:21] All right. As an example, just a random example. And then I, in this case, I was really not that hurt by it, but I do have insecurities recently because since I’ve been sleeping so bad on, I wake up all this, like this, whatever, like my, my, just my phone making faces more tormented in the morning. I’m more insecure about that.
[00:05:44] Right. I don’t look as fresh as I like to look in the morning. And so. Will you set that? I look at the video and I see that, and it triggers that if I let that out, I’m showing you how insecure I am about something. Or maybe if you critique something else about me and I like it really hurts me. I show you how much your opinion matters to me.
[00:06:06] And by doing that, I am now. Losing the image I’d like to preserve, which is the image of strength and the image that nobody can do me nothing, and I’m not afraid of anything. And I can’t be hurt and I don’t care. Right. That kind of like bad ass theory that I like to cultivate doesn’t match how I feel many times about certain things.
[00:06:31] And so what I want to control is not necessarily, I want to have certainty on the outcome of things I want to control. My image. I want to control myself image and my public image, and I want to control the narrative of what happened in the room. Right? And so there was another thing that he, a couple of other reasons for suppressing anger.
[00:06:54] And then he said something that was very useful to me today, we wrote the important thing to realize is that anger is a secondary emotion, which means you’re never. Angry in step one. Anger is always the second emotion. Oh, that’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about that. Right? He’s there’s always a first emotion that then triggers anger.
[00:07:20] Anger is not a primary emotion. It’s a secondary one. So what emotion could that be? Fear, embarrassment, guilt. Overwhelment their emotions that will within the right context, trigger as an secondary emotion than anger as a defense mechanism, which then made me go. What was this small thing that happened that I know made me angry about myself.
[00:07:47] This was not something that I was angry at somebody else. I was most of the time. This is another thing. Most of the time, I’m angry at myself. Why? Because I’ve cultivated this. Narrative that everything is my fault. If you showed up at my door and you shot me, I’d be like, well, I didn’t protect myself. I wasn’t smart enough.
[00:08:04] I’m not, I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t like, I would not think about you as fuck. Romina is an asshole. I’m like, I don’t care about Romina. I mean, I can’t control the people out there. What did I, how did I respond to this? But anyways, so this morning I was upset with myself about a small thing. I could not understand why it was so like almost the imagine if the tension in my jaw was basically.
[00:08:31] My anger punching me in the face. I was laying in the corner, bleeding and crying and Gordon, this is an overreaction. I don’t understand why you still punched me. It was not a big deal. Right. That was kind of the, that, that was how I felt. I was like, motherfucker, why don’t you stop? It was not that big of a deal.
[00:08:51] I get it. You know, when I then though asked. What was the primary emotion I had that made act in the way that then I got angry about it, then I instantly got it. I was like, Oh, that’s why I’m this angry with myself. Yeah, I get it. I get why there’s a big part of me that would go nuts over this. And so I’m still learning.
[00:09:19] To understand myself better in the context of what makes me angry. What are the things that make me angry? Because a year ago would have told you pretty much nothing. And today I think it’s probably a good amount of things that I’m not yet aware of still learning. And I’m learning slowly. Right? Thank God for my fucking jaw.
[00:09:42] It really, dude. I don’t often feel desperate, but this jaw thing makes me desperate sometimes like the last couple of days, the last two weeks or so I had this a few times in an intensity where it was like, Jesus, shoot me already. Let me just jump off this building because I am over this. I just can’t, I can’t handle this anymore.
[00:10:04] What else? I’m doing so much, but then this is also. So typical for me that I would develop a physical reaction to my anger. That’s so unpleasant that I just cannot ignore it. Right? This is so like me, this is such a, of course it’s my own body of my subconscious mind and whatever the fuck is doing this.
[00:10:25] So of course it’s very me, but it’s very me. And it’s very mean I’m just so harsh. This is so harsh, but it does force me. Just this thing is so strong. I just can’t ignore it. It’s the unpleasant truth. I just cannot ignore it. And so I just have to eat the suck burgers and eventually face it in step.
[00:10:46] Hopefully I’ll get better at this hopefully, but yeah, it’s, it also shines a light in very unpleasant places. Right? Like the thing that got me upset. It’s something I’m ashamed about that I’m ashamed of. This is who I am after the life I’ve lived. After the things I’ve sacrificed after the things I’ve learned after all, this is still the way I am.
[00:11:10] You know, I’m ashamed of that. It’s Jesus. You’re this piece of shit. This is so such a small person still so tiny. Oh God, it’s not pettiness with me. It’s something else, but it’s just. Embarrassing. Right. It’s like embarrassing to accept. What’s really going on. I’m like, ah, and then of course that embarrassment, I think embarrassment is a big trigger for me.
[00:11:34] I don’t want to be embarrassed. Right. Publicly exposed. And on voluntary way. And to me again, this is not something that happened in, when I say embarrassment, I’m embarrassed because I know what I was thinking and feeling not because I did something necessarily super embarrassing, like I’m the pro at never doing embarrassing things.
[00:11:53] I’m great at that. I do think a lot of embarrassing thoughts and have a lot of embarrassing emotions. And I did not know that a lot of this, I did not fully know. Nobody told me I didn’t feel feelings. I didn’t feel what I was feeling. And I just came up with a cool narrative. It was really going on with me and it’s kind of worked, but yeah, suppressed anger now.
[00:12:14] But don’t you think it’s also something where, because now you almost say, Oh, I am this person who. You got upset about something or angry about something that you think you shouldn’t be angry about. But, so I have, like, I have something, you know, maybe similar in, in my own ways. And then I very easily go to the place where the fuck I am still this person.
[00:12:35] Oh, this and I almost go, Oh, Oh, this is who I really am. And now it’s coming on. Right. But it’s more like, I’m just, okay, now I’m in that. But I go back to. The other version of myself again, but it’s all a part of, you know, one, one of the pots that make who I am and what I am. Right. But it’s not like, no, I’m not saying I’m like a total.
[00:12:58] That moment is not now my identity. My full identity. It is just that I have many parts in me that because I never accepted them. And because I never looked at them and because I created schemes around them, I thought didn’t exist. And now as I’m discovering them, Yeah. I’m like a lot of very unpleasant discoveries.
[00:13:23] They are very deflating right now. Thank God. I’m so overblown that even if you deflate me a little bit, there’s still a lot of air in me. Right. So it’s not like nobody needs to worry about me and my ego. Like I still think I’m the shit, but I also feel crushed at times hit how much I’m not the shit, you know, I’m like, Jesus.
[00:13:46] And coming back to the anger part, there is part of me that wants to face myself with greater truth, but then also with greater compassion, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to challenge myself, but I also, I don’t want to be, as we’ve talked about before, I want to be the, like an encouraging debt, not a punishing one.
[00:14:06] And that’s the way I want to be with myself. I want to challenge myself and I want to encourage myself and I want to be able to tell myself the truth, motherfucker know. You fuck this up. I don’t even know if I could ever probably anybody could develop into anything, but it’s hard for me to believe that there’s a real risk that I’ll turn into this.
[00:14:23] You know, this kind of person that’s telling himself convenient lies and buys them easily. It’s hard to believe that I would go down that path, but when I do discover an insecurity and meet a fear in me and embarrassment in me, It is so far away from the personality that I’ve lived. That is a very hard gap sometimes for me to cross and to integrate.
[00:14:54] Right. And then now what’s happening is I’m not angry because I’m a little shit I’m angry because I didn’t live the truth of that little shit because I covered it. Cause I pretended like I had a fear and I didn’t speak it. I pretended it wasn’t there. And then I get angry at myself. For that. Right. Or I had an insecurity, but I compensated and pretended that I was super confident in a situation.
[00:15:21] And after like, you would think mission accomplished, right. It all worked out well, but afterwards my jaw starts fucking hurting because there’s a part of me that’s angry because I can ah, well, motherfucker, you’re talking about being more honest. And then is clearly a case where you chose not to, because it was inconvenient.
[00:15:42] And when it comes to that shit, there is no mercy in me. It’s just no break. There’s no, well, we’ve come a long way. Maybe we’ll cut some Slack, give him a couple of times where he can still do this. Apparently like mentally I’m really ready to cut myself Slack and to be like, ah, you know, whatever. I, I try, I’ll try better next time.
[00:16:02] But I inner anger apparently disagrees. Because I sit there and I just, I’m just trying to be a regular, productive, human, making it through his day. And then my jaw is hurting and I’m like, why? It was not a big deal. Just give me some mercy, give me a break. And that. Is not working. So then I have to do, and I have to deal with the truth of soup.
[00:16:32] I have to eat all of it, although I hate it. And only if I finish it up, does my jaw started feeling better? And it’s crazy. Like, it’s crazy how unpleasant this. I mean, this is insane. I don’t know how to describe to somebody how it feels like it’s so unpleasant and it gets worse and worse and worse. And then.
[00:16:53] When I do the work today, at least. And once I did eat up all my fucking broccoli truth soup, it was because it was yuck. Like it was not yum. It was a yucky, yucky soup once I finished now, no, it does hurt once. Once I finished it up, it was like, ah, funny, my jaw. Does not hurt anymore. And then I want to go fuck you, you little bitch, but I’m just so happy that my jaw is not hurting.
[00:17:24] So she’s shutting the fuck up. Just go away now. Don’t come back. I’ll I’ll I won’t do it again. Fine. Even my subconscious programs are unpleasant pieces of shit. Like it’s just like a song. Isn’t the way I treat myself here, mercy list. But you know, it’s, I dunno, that is where I am.

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