A New Reason to Smile

Like I said the other day, I think we forget sometimes, just how much power we have in creating the life we desire. Sure, there are a million things we can’t control, but the one thing we can control is how we think and therefore how we feel. I know it doesn’t always seem like that. Especially for anyone who battles with depression, anxiety or any other mentally challenging disorders. And I’m not saying it’s easy either, it’s not, but if we ever want to truly be content in this life, we must find a way to change the way we think.

That is the only way to change the way we feel and the negative belief system that has been ruling our lives. After all, a belief is just something you keep thinking over and over again; that doesn’t make it true.

You might be thinking, “Sure, that’s easy for you to say, your life is great!”

And I would reply, “Then, I must be doing a pretty good job of convincing myself it is!”

Hicks always says, “Fake it until you make it!” and that is literally what you have to do, almost every day.

Do you think I wake up every day happy and excited?

Well, I can tell you that is very rare.

For me, depression is like an evil villain lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on my good mood at any given moment. I never know when it will hit me or what the trigger will be. The only thing I do know for sure is that its visit is inevitable.

Every day before I open my eyes, I take the first thought that comes to mind and should it be a negative one, I take a deep breath and say to myself, “Not today” and then I reach for the closest positive thought I can find. And I continue to do that until I have moved my train of thought over to something or someone that makes me smile.

If that doesn’t work (and sometimes it doesn’t), I may surrender to the moment, but as soon as I have a chance to release those emotions, I take it.

Whether that be writing, painting or simply taking a moment to blubber about it, we all need an outlet. I have a friend who whenever they get upset, they go running and I have another friend who whenever they get upset, they go for a drive.

The point is, we are all human and part of being human means that we are emotional beings. There is nothing we can do to change that.

And emotions are meant to be expressed. It is when they are not that we find ourselves spinning out of control.

Which is why having a support system or at least one person who knows you as well as (if not more than) you know yourself, is detrimental in winning the fight.

We all need that one person who is understanding and supportive, but also not afraid to call us out on our shit!

Something I think we all need every once in a while 🙂

The minute you turn from the ones who care for you, you surrender completely to whatever it is that is causing you to feel that way.

Whether it is a person, a problem or an illness, when you turn away from the world and crawl inside yourself, you are giving up your power to change your circumstance.

You become, the title of one of my favorite Perfect Circle songs – Weak and Powerless.

Maybe this will only last a few months, but there is always a chance of permanence.

Darkness in a world full of color.

The longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to find the light.

Why?

Because every thought you think, results in an emotion and every emotion another thought that leads to another emotion…you get the point.

“when you are feeling insecure you start to think the way you are feeling. Then, you begin to feel the way you think and feeling becomes the means of thinking. When this occurs, the mind becomes immersed in the body and you begin thinking as a body and not as a mind; it becomes your state of being.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza

So when we wallow and believe me, I can be the queen of wallowing sometimes, we begin to validate the negativity we are experiencing.

The story we tell ourselves is incredibly important. It forms the way we see the world and ourselves. As well as determines what we attract into our current reality.

This was a huge revelation I had back in 2016 and it has been my savior over the past few years when it comes to pulling myself back from the downward spiral of emotions that can pull me away from my path.  I wrote a post about it that you can find here, What is Your Story?

Obviously, I have not yet mastered the art and perhaps I never will, but at least I’m trying.

And some part of it must be working, because I am seeing evidence of it more and more as time goes on.

Take for instance that last few months or even all of last year for that matter. It has been an emotional roller coaster for me.

My heart has been broken, friends have let me down and in many cases, I have let myself down, but despite the disappointments of the past, I am still going strong!

I have learned that although it is natural to feel defeated at times or get caught up in someone or some event in our lives, if we dwell in this place for too long, we may let something amazing walk right on by.

Life has a funny way of working itself out and it is way too short to hold on to the people who do not value you or cling to the mistakes of the past. This life is about moving forward, not backward.

Sometimes what we want and what we need are completely opposed to one another and that is just all there is to it.

How do we know the difference?

That is a tough question to answer, but I’ll give it a shot based on my own experiences.

First of all, you should never have to beg for love and/or attention from someone who truly cares for you, because to those who truly care it is something you will never have to question. Words are merely words and leave the lips of the deceitful just the same as they do from those with good intentions.

The difference is that those with good intentions validate those words with actions. We all make mistakes and behave in ways we are not proud of, so I am not saying you should dismiss anyone who doesn’t put you on a pedestal – that’s a bit extreme!

It is okay to give someone a chance to make amends, but be careful about letting them off too easy. The word sorry is over used and over appreciated in my opinion and it is again just a word. True amends are made by going the extra mile, not just apologizing for what you did wrong.

The day you embrace this knowledge you will find that you hold not only yourself, but everyone-else in your life to a higher standard.

And I assure you, when you least expect it, you will cross paths with someone you may have never seen coming, had you been too busy chasing after someone else.

And the same advice is relevant with circumstances too.

Just like people, opportunities will come and go in your life, you just have to try your best to ensure you are going after the right ones and not spending too much time trying to make the wrong ones into something they are not.

We are all in this together… some of us just weren’t meant to walk next to one another.

Image courtesy of suwatpo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Embracing The Darkness

How can you truly appreciate the light, without embracing the darkness?

For is it not the contrast between that enables growth, change and the prospect of something more?

Throughout my life I have battled with depression as I have expressed here many times before. It is something that for me is always just below the surface, scratching to get out.

Most of the time, I keep it at bay with my writing; poetry mostly.

Which is why I am sure to tell everyone not to read too much into those words.

They are merely a compilation of hope, insecurity and fear that has usually already fizzled before my fingers ever hit the keys.

As I do with inspirational memes and random thoughts, I share them, because I know somewhere out there, they may be just the words someone needs to hear.

A voice to help them feel less alone, to let them know that even the strongest people can feel weak, neglected, and lost, to assure them that just when they think they will never feel loved again, that they will and if that love should fade, they will continue to find it again and again and again.

And I am not just talking about the romantic kind, those of you who have experienced depression understand that. For us, there are moments when all we can see is the darkness. All we can feel is the deep penetrating pain that for me is best described as the complete lack of love.

You honestly feel, even if only for a short time, that your existence on this earth is meaningless. You feel as though everything you have worked so hard to achieve and all the people whose paths you have crossed along the way, wouldn’t think twice if one day you just disappeared. So then, you begin to think about disappearing and if you stay in that place long enough, eventually you might.

I think we are all quick to assume we know the reasoning behind someone’s actions and it is usually rooted in our insatiable need to be offended. We all struggle, some more than most.

And many of us keep it well hidden. If not for the depth of my words, the majority of the people in my life would never know that behind these eyes is a lifetime of suffering.

They would not know that I am prone to believe that everything ends, that everyone leaves, eventually…or how deeply in my heart I wish that someone would prove it all wrong.

Nor would they know that for me, feelings of abandonment and uncertainty are the first to trigger the storm. No matter how much I try, there are somethings that I just can’t shake. But what is of the utmost importance, is that I do try. Over and over again, I try.

Because I know, that it is how we deal with these struggles that define the person we become.

The older I get, the more I am able to control the darkness, but every once in a while it takes me before I see it coming.

It is in those moments, that it must be embraced. For I know that after the clouds have cleared, I will rise anew.

Each time, I am stronger than the last and much more me than I ever was before.

The darkness takes me to a space I keep locked away from the world.

A dungeon filled with broken pieces that have not yet found their place and perhaps they never will.

Each time I fall, I seem to delve deeper.

Just as each time I rise, I seem to stretch higher.

And it is because of this that I am grateful for the darkness.

For without it, I would be unable to appreciate the light.

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Another Foolish Blunder

If you’d asked me why I bother, I’d tell you honestly that I really don’t know.

It should be common knowledge by now that I am not meant to lead a normal life.

Nor am I meant to love or be loved in the usual way.

I’ve said it once before and have found no truer words to describe the disappointment of late.

“…this feeling of constantly searching for your place in a world that will never understand you.

You are different and that is all there is to it.

There comes a day when you realize that you are among the strange. Unique to the composition of your current reality.

The intensity by which you feel will frighten even the bravest of lovers. So you walk alone.

Knowing in your heart that no one is coming to save you. That job is entirely yours.”

I am a prisoner to my own mind these days.

A fault that is purely my own.

For I thought perhaps something had changed.

For a moment it felt like maybe there was more to this life than just being strange.

But…thinking like that will only leave you weary

And I am already exhausted by the hope for something more.

Insulted by my own foolish blunder.

Angry at myself for acting against my better judgement.

Allowing myself to be vulnerable.

After all, I should know better than that.

And So I Spin…

If I have learned anything over these past few weeks it is that this crazy life is just too short not to go after what you want. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us and the longer you wait to secure your fate, the greater the chance that what you want may vanish before you find the courage to hold it tight.

I woke up this morning with doubt in my mind about something I was absolutely sure of the day before. It is amazing how something small that someone says can plant the seed of confusion in your mind. Has something changed?

Did I miss a fork in the road? Or is it just the painful impatience of wanting what I want right now and not knowing for sure if I will ever have it.

It has been said that the joy is in the journey and I agree, but when you have a tendency to misread things for your own peace of mind, only to find out later that you were merely another meaningless face in the crowd, focusing on the joy in the process becomes the hardest challenge you have ever faced.

And so I ask myself a question, impossible to answer, “How much of this is all in my mind?”… Rooted in insecurities and self defeating patterns of the past.

Most of it I am sure, but the mere knowledge of that doesn’t seem to stop the cycle.

And so I spin…and spin…and spin.

Until I find a moment of reflection such as this.

For a moment, I stop, but only long enough to find a distraction from my over active imagination.

 

 

The First of Many

In working on phase II in the Insane Roots memoir series, I have gone back and revisited some of the most devastating moments in my life. Some of which, were so damaging that I had almost completely blocked them out of my mind.

Breaking down the walls has been challenging to say the least, but it has also brought back a great deal of beautiful memories as well and reminded me of the many milestones that have had an extensive impact on who I am today.

As you can imagine, my journals as a teenager were centered mostly around boys & the fact that no one understood me. It’s hard not to laugh at myself, but it’s all about perspective and back then I had very little experience with life.

And for that reason, I don’t think I had a very good idea of what love really was back then either. Mostly because I realize now that I didn’t love myself and until that happens I am not sure you are really able to love someone else fully. It takes a lot to allow yourself to be vulnerable to the possibility that the object of your affection may not return the gaze. 

My past relationships were no cake walk, let me tell you!! With the exception of a very small handful of the men I have dated, the majority of them treated me like dirt.

They claimed to love me, but if they did, there would be no way in the world they would have behaved the way they did.

It wasn’t until well after high school that I can honestly say I felt real love and it was reciprocated at that! It was clear then that all those who had come before were merely practice for the real thing. And although that relationship didn’t work out as planned, it worked out the way it was supposed to. 

I was shattered for a while when we broke up, but I think anyone would be after having been with someone for as long as we were together. 

Eventually, I put myself back out into the dating pool again and well….Ya it didn’t pan out the best. So…almost 3 years ago, I  took myself back off the market (“closed for remodeling” as I called it). 

I knew there was something in me that I needed to repair before I was ready to get back out there again. I was clearly attracting the wrong type of men and allowing them to treat me like the ones in the past did.

Again, it was my own self worth standing in my way. I didn’t believe I deserved a different kind of relationship; one where the love goes both ways.

I also think that deep down, I am still battling with the feeling that perhaps I just don’t believe that anyone could actually love me. I mean all of me…right down to the crazy! 

I know that it’s silly, but even now there is a lump in my throat as I think about it. And it causes me to overthink everything…this constant state of worry that breeds unhealthy habits. 

Habits of self defeating behavior, the need for reassurance & fear. 

Sometimes I really am my worst enemy! 

I’m stopping that! 

From here on out, I am going to focus on the fact that I have someone with whom I love spending time with & perhaps it will grow into something more & perhaps it won’t. 

Maybe he’ll feel the same or maybe he won’t, but either way when I am with him I’m happy and for now that is enough. 

Overthinking where it’s going just leads to unnecessary pressure and a ton of needless worry! 

I’d rather be thankful than fearful, so that is just what I’m going to do!!