This past month has been a roller coaster I thought I had left behind a year ago. I thought that I had come to terms with the problems, confronted them, and made considerable progress in letting them go… but as with any pattern, the boomarang found the familiar path right back to my heart. Reaction? Defeat. Of course. I found reason for it, justified it, and time and time again… succumb to it. Let it consume me once again, feeling the sense of failure, after years worth of research, work, discipline, and learning to trust and to be compassionate with myself. And in a month, it all came crashing down to failure. Once again.
But all is not lost. as much as each low feels like complete lost hope, there are a few reasons why and how hope comes back into my heart.
1) Communication. When I am on a low point, which I am continuously working on becoming much more mindful of, the hardest thing in the world in that very moment is to admit and talk about it. Just acknowledging that things are not ok for me in this moment…. helps. My tendency is to push people away. Wanting to become invisible while still trying to be productive… I have noticed that in trying to cope, I push people away. In attempts to move forward, I continue with the task at hand, trying so hard to ignore the self-talk in my head, loud, booming, and extremely hurtful self-talk consumes every part of me so I am barely seeing anything. Eyes have become laser pointers, and I act as if I have an invisibility cloak on. Attempting to co-exist with the others, to do my job, whatever it may be in that moment, trying not to be in the way, trying not to draw attention to myself… But it’s an illusion. I am not invisible, and part of the shame is that deep down, I know people know I’m a mess… but I keep trying. It’s difficult to even continue this way, let alone finding the ability to speak to someone about it…. But, it’s when someone looks me in the eye… they say my name… and they ask “Are you ok?” The answer is so clear, yet my entire life I have lied in response to that question. I never wanted to be the person who brings sadness, turmoil… it is the absolute last type of person I want to be… so I lie and pretend so that people wouldn’t worry. But I am only fooling myself. It hasn’t been until I went on pilgrimage, when I decided that I made the choice to only, ONLY speak my truth…. I’ve noticed that now saying “No,” that just in admitting it, releases some of the tension and I’m able to start to breathe again.
2) Identification. The self-talk is virtually the same each time. My ego knows exactly where my weakest points are and goes for the jugular every single time. Within seconds I’m in a state of helplessness that feels miles down and impossible to climb up… so I sit. I give up. And I let it rip me apart.
What I’ve noticed recently, is that what the self-talk is getting at is my sense of identity. Who I am as a person. Rocking the feeble structure of self that I had as a teenager. The past few years however, have been a journey in strengthening my own sense of self, one that can not be shaken. Sometimes however, I break apart into the sad little raft I used to be, a form I remember all too well, and still partially identify with. The trick? To remember. I remember that the judgement I am getting is from my ego… it is not who I am. It is attacking who I am, but it is no match. After reading “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, I am constantly going back and back again to get reminders. Reminders that I am not my thoughts. That concept alone has helped infinitely. My roommate and dear friend has helped me develop a few mantras that I draw upon in the moment, these help distance me from those thoughts and have helped when the line becomes so thin and taut that just a tiny tug could break the fragile string. Who I am is not the negative voice in my head, but the heart who is hurt by those thoughts. Reminders of this helps me find hope.
3) Compassion. Because the self-talk is so hateful, a kind of harshness that debilitates me, feeding my deepest fears… A stream of accusations of failure, unworthiness to be loved or even to love, stripping of the dreams I hold in my heart, and then the shame and guilt that fills every fiber of my being…. it all hits me at once. Once the floodgate has opened, all of these are fair game. The biggest challenge always has been telling those thoughts no. Someone I love could be holding my hand, looking me in my puffy red eyes and telling me those thoughts are not true, but we both know that it’s me who has to tell those thoughts “no”… and it takes an effort that overwhelms me. One that I am still working on strengthening. Even now, that effort to believe in myself is a ten year old versus a meaty warrior…. but it’s better than the helpless infant it was before. Although I still feel the opponent overpowering, the strength is in the power to say “No, those thoughts are wrong.” And, “I actually am not a failure. I am following my path. Not anyone else’s but my own! I live to love. And although the dreams feel far far away, it doesn’t mean that the future doesn’t hold them in some manifestation? No one on earth knows that. So why not keep them in my heart to fuel my passion? I may not know yet what my purpose is, but I am getting closer to it every day. And for that, I am thankful.” The strength is in compassion, and allowing yourself to treat your own heart as you would a dear friend… someone you love. Taking your own hands, looking into your own eyes, and telling your heart… I love you. Because only then. Only then, will you be able to soften, open, and be able share that love in the way you always wanted to.
We hold so much inside ourselves, but we are not alone. The last thing that we are is alone. It’s miraculous. It’s beautiful. And it’s what I’m learning to fill my heart with instead of the fear. It’s a lifelong journey to be who you are… and that helps me move forward every day.
The story of how a hamster taught me the true meaning of freedom.
new video everyone! please help me out by reblogging this and i will lovingly stalk the blogs of those of you that do ☺ thank you!
such an inspiring story dan
I am so surprised at the life lessons I learned from this.
Check out my collaborative blog on creativity and artistic endeavors with photographer, artist, and dear friend Augusta Rose.
Our 3rd day, in the Auberge in Pamplona, we met a man who told us this nugget of truth…
"I don’t collect things, I collect the places I’ve put my feet in the water."
I was thinking about him this morning, how our paths crossed for one day our entire lives. It’s humbling. I wonder how many more places his feet have bathed in the year since we met him?