What a journey.
I am not giving up.
I continue to learn and try to practise what I learn.
I feel calmer at the moment which is a feeling I lovingly welcome! hahaha.
I have been a bit quiet again but not due to sadness. On the contrary.
I didn’t want to post too much about this before I truly felt this calm and pretty good feeling was here to stay for a while and not just a high from a therapy session, or anything like that.
For a while now I have been contemplating a few ideas that have come into mind, feelings, theories etc.
And although I’ve mentioned them to people a few times, have thought about them, and have thought I believed them, I never really have been able to deeply feel them, nor ‘live’ them as such.
So here it goes…
I think I may be or, better said, I am becoming quite a bit more spiritual.
Now, please don’t be put off by this or straight away think ‘oh here we go…’ because that is what I first thought too.
For some, this may not necessarily be their ‘cup of tea’ subject, but honestly, hear me out before building a conclusion.
I do not consider myself a religious person as such. Yes, I have mentioned in a previous post I believe in God, and I have my own little relationship with him.
However, this is not what the post is about, although in my specific case when I mention a higher power, that is who I mean. For so many other people though, what I may refer to as a higher power they may refer to as anything or anyone else, male, female, non- gender, the universe, the stars, angels, spirits, it, Mother Nature etc.
The point is, I truly believe there is ‘something’ a little more than ‘us’ within us.
I truly believe that. The more I look into it, research, read, ask, listen, etc., the more convinced I am. And, the more I sit still, again, the more convinced I am.
I know we all have something inside of us that is always there keeping us alive, living, breathing, although some of us see it or feel it more than others. And some of us may never even get the chance to, nor ever see it that way.
You know when I mentioned in my post ‘You’re not it’ to breathe and feel yourself there? That is exactly what I mean.
I commit to living a life of love and not fear. I commit to love myself not in an ego based way but in a deep level way.. To accept myself and trust in myself and act, live and speak from the heart.
That is my commitment to myself.
Remember this is my own personal journey and I am not telling anyone what to do. I am simply sharing what keeps me afloat.
I have been doing a lot of Meditation, basically sitting in silence and just letting myself be.
I have also been practising Mindfulness. Although I criticised it in past posts, through time I have come to realise that even though it is not easy, it is a positive thing to practise. I guess when I was first introduced to it I was not ready to understand it at the level I needed to understand it.
A true example is ‘smelling the roses’. That line made me want to punch the therapist who suggested it to me in the face and plant a rose up her you know what.
But years later, I totally understand what she meant. Today I describe it not as ‘smelling the roses’ but as ‘being’. As I said, depending on where you are at with this battle it can seem impossible, but I would describe it as stopping, taking that deep famous breath I have started to talk about and feel. Feel your intake of breath. Feel yourself taking it and filling those lungs with it. Feel your feet on the ground. Hear any sound that may be heard. Really look at that object in front of you. You don’t need to like it, but yes you can really study it and suddenly, voila, in those few minutes you have got out of your loud mind and have brought yourself to that instant. I know it takes concentration, motivation and above all energy, but it was only a couple of minutes was it not. Maybe tomorrow you can add a couple of minutes again by doing it a second time during your day. And although it will not cure anything, it is giving you some bloody space from that loud mind of yours.
It’s reminding you that you are not lost. You are right there where you are.
I also have come to realize (after many failed attempts) to fully understand and grasp the concept of ‘you are not your thoughts’.
In my particular case, I have, all my life, felt so much less than anyone else. Especially women.
I have always compared myself to everyone.
Those who I deemed perfect, I wanted to be like them.
Then I formed the theory of ‘well, grab whatever you admire from people and go forming a new self’
Of course this sounded like the perfect solution to leave this hated version of myself aside and become someone I liked.
If I ever mentioned this to people, many would act surprised. They would say they couldn’t see what about me was so horrendous that I wanted to change.
To me, those people were being very kind and just saying stuff to be nice and trying to make me feel better.
So in trying to be a more ‘personally liked version of me’, I completely lost sight of me. Any version of me at all.
It has never had to do with situations but me as a person. I simply felt I was never enough. If someone paid me a compliment they were being nice. If someone said they loved me, I believed it only to a certain point. ‘yes you think you love me but if you only knew what I’m really like inside, what a failure I am’, etc…
However, I, on the other hand love with no judgement, but could never get to believe anyone else could do the same towards me.
Until I came to a huge realisation.
‘I am not enough’, but to whose standards? My own.
‘I am not as good as’ but to whose standards? My own.
‘I am weak’ but to whose standards? My own.
I have the highest standards for myself. Absolutely nobody else, but for myself.
And that has been my mistake for as long as I remember.
It has been my curse for as long as I remember.
I have been my own curse for as long as I remember.
My belief about myself has been my curse for as long as I remember.
My thoughts about myself have been my curse for as long as I remember.
And that, my friends, is what needed to change! Not me, but my thoughts and beliefs about myself.
Thoughts need not be your reality.
All the ‘positive thinking’ hocus pocus, I used to think was all a sham and scam from clever people out there to get the vulnerable to believe them and follow them like a cult.
Because the reality is not every day is a positive one, right?
Well no. Not every day is a positive one. But the issue with those like me who find it hard to see light and positives many a time cannot even find a positive on a positive day.
And that is where my realisation comes in.
In my case again, always reminding you this is my own personal journey, we learnt many of our thoughts about ourselves because of situations, events, people etc.
We have come to conclusions about ourselves or our lives due to outside influences.
Especially, from times when we were young, or from years of vulnerability.
We grew up following rules set by others (good or bad, well intended or not) but that is the reality.
Then one day we come to a very painful halt when we start to question some of those beliefs. And so by questioning beliefs and thoughts we start questioning ourselves. Because we believe those thoughts make us who we really are.
We are not our thoughts!
I challenge you to consider this.
I challenge you to consider going back to basics and strip yourselves bare of what you believe you are right now and start again.
I challenge you to do an experiment.
Please read this question carefully and think long and hard about the answer. Then, answer it with pure honesty.
Why are you not who you want to be right now?
To that answer, ask:
Why is that so?
And to that answer, ask one more time:
Why is that so?
And now, after peeling a couple of the onion layers ask yourself:
At which layer could I have veered in a direction to lead me to who I want to be?
Really think about it!
Where in my life could I have stopped going down a path of beliefs about myself and changed directions?
In my case it goes back to when I accepted what was said or insinuated about me which in others’ opinions was their truth but not necessarily mine. However back then I did not have the confidence, capability to form beliefs on and of my own so I took what was said to me and about me as Gospel.
Well, those beliefs have not been good to me and I see that now.
So I choose to retrain myself in thinking differently. Especially when it comes to what I think about myself.
I am good. I am strong and I can totally be my own true self.
And please believe and trust me when I say it can be done and you can do it too.
Granted, it will take time and practice. But right now is a good place and time to start don’t you think?
Please know my thoughts now and beliefs about myself are still not all strawberries and cream, butterflies flying over meadows or lovely ones hahaha
As I said, it takes time and practice and I need to still continue practising. But I am definitely getting there!
I will give you a recent simple example:
I was recently ‘reminded’ I was doing something wrong, or not well enough. Instantly I went to think Gosh they’re right I never do anything right. I always choose the wrong way of doing things. My mind filled up with the usual self loading and gut punching thoughts. And I had a very black moment and felt I would sink deep into the horrible and lonely place of depression. And out of nowhere, maybe about half an hour later I suddenly had these thoughts: Nope! You are not doing it wrong. You are doing it YOUR way. You are doing it the best way that works for YOU. That does NOT make you wrong. To YOU it doesn’t. Others may do things differently but that does not make them right or wrong, just different from you. You alone know in your heart why you are doing things this way. And that is good and acceptable and totally you.
Dig deep for the strength to stay true to YOUR self, not other selves, unless it serves you in a positive way!
We are all our own individual beings and there is absolutely nothing wrong or bad about that. Quite the opposite! Imagine how boring and sad life would be if we all thought and acted the same way just to keep up with the other!
Be YOU! Accept YOU first of all! Acknowledge YOU! And be patient with YOU! At the end of the day you own your own story, do you not?:)
So find the strength to own your own story and write it as your heart tells you to!
This is what I am doing and the peace of mind it gives me I haven’t felt before!
And the truth I choose to believe is that that Higher Power I mentioned at the beginning of the post has a lot to do with this internal journey I have stumbled upon.
‘Something’ has been giving me the extra strength to keep fighting this, even at those horrible times when I felt I was near the end of my tether!