Patiently (not really) waiting for my boyfriend to come home I can't wait to hug him and see his smiling face and just be in his presence. But as I too smile in looking forward to that moment I feel dread start to creep in because I know he is going to ask me how I am doing. Wishing I could skip this question, however I know he will not allow us to do anything for the rest of the night unless he hears about how I am feeling and what I have been doing today. So I begin to go into my head preparing my spiel of having a "good" day, fast forward through what I did and how I felt because those were less than glamorous and end it with a smile. But then I begin to really think about my day, it truly was a good day! I was able to be myself, eat healthy food that nourished my body, practice self love, be productive, etc. However the part I was dreading to tell him was at the end of it was I feeling sad. Again, another story about him coming home and me feeling sad... but this time it is different. I wasn't sad based off something that happened to me, instead I received upsetting news from people around me that in turn made me sad. Right as I was starting to feel like curling up in a fetal position something clicked. Nothing happened to me. Yes, some upsetting happenings occurred to the people I love and I can feel for them but I don't have to let it bring my whole day down. For the first time I was able to catch myself, to realize that my sponge like heart was absorbing too much of others grievances. Here in this moment I am healthy and safe. Now I am by no means saying that I am trying to not feel, love, protect or comfort the people I love. I am just trying to not do all of that SO much. To love another is a great privilege, and one that I hold very close, and so on days like today I just have to remind myself of that. Remind myself that it is okay to feel for another and to be upset but that it doesn't have to take over me. Remind myself that it is a beautiful thing to be empathetic and to not beat myself up for being this way. Remind myself that I am paying attention in life and be proud of myself for learning and growing. Remind myself that I am not "too much to handle" or weak because my emotions change in feeling so deeply for others. And finally to remind myself that it is okay to be me and if that means I have a day where I feel a little sad off of someone else's misfortune and needing ten minutes to sit alone and cry, then I will allow myself to do so. Strength isn’t measured in how many days you can keep your shit together and smile, it is in acknowledging, accepting and loving the dualities.
Books tend to get to me. Especially the self help ones, they help me pay attention to more things in my life, open my eyes to situations I used to squint at and have multiple ah-ha moments. I love them, because during this time I am releasing the old as I realize the new and become a better person because of it.
SO...essentially what I am telling you is I have some break downs. And this particular breakdown occurred when my boyfriend got home from work the other day. I welcomed him with a hug and kiss and when he tried to be goofy I began to tear up. After reading a good portion of the book that day and feeling all the feels all I had wanted was to hug him and so I was so overwhelmed with relief and comfort when finally I was able to. I needed to vent this revelation out and talk about it. Then afterwords, I felt like a new person, and it was amazing.
But then this morning I started to feel badly about it and could sense myself tip toeing around the rabbit hole before jumping in. I began to think that I was a burden to him and was obnoxious and didn’t deserve his love…. all because I was feeling something and expressed it (which is all he ever asks me to do anyway). So why was I doing this to myself?
This idea that I wasn’t showing the expected jump up and down emotion that one should have every single day when the person they love arrives home, therefore I deemed myself a horrible human being, because one day I didn't follow "the rules". Since when did paying attention to and releasing pent up feelings become a bad thing? Especially when all this included was me cuddling up to his chest and crying/explaining what I realized and hadn't allowed myself to see, him comforting me and turning it into a healthy conversation and then me feeling 10x better than when we started.
Instead of continuing this internal fist fight I decided to change my point of view. What if it was actually a wonderful thing that I did that? That instead of being upset and in a mood all night I was able to let go of what had been causing me pain and be fully present with him. That instead of feeling extremely guilty for releasing these thoughts and feelings upon him; think about how grateful I am to have such an incredible man that I feel so insanely safe with in order to express these emotions and that welcomes them with open arms. Instead of feeling pathetic for craving his hug during the day while he was working, feel insanely appreciative to have such an honest and pure love that I yearn for his comfort. That instead of looking at him and feeling sorry that he has to deal with me like this, instead, look at it as in that moment he was able to be my strong man (just as I have been his strong woman) and take care of and comfort me. That instead of feeling unworthy of his incredible love, realize that he wouldn’t be with me if I wasn’t up to his level, if I wasn’t right there with him…. I wouldn’t be with him. Therefore! I am as incredible to him as he is to me and am worth it.
Now I am not saying to find your worth in someone else, but in moments like these where my mind goes on a rampage of negative thought after negative thought, it always likes to come back to not being enough (as many minds do). And finding the positive, whatever small sliver of it I can, amongst the negative helps me. So for that one moment, being able to tell myself that if such an incredible person can be so in love with me I have to be at least a little incredible to stand a chance with them makes it better. Then on days when my mind is clear, I am feeling grateful, I had 5 glasses of water before noon and my hair isn’t sticking to everything with static, I am able to work on myself and practice inner work and feeling worthy within myself. But in the meantime I am just practicing self love in moments where seems it is nowhere to be found and cherish this brutiful messy life I live.
I loved to live in a world of black and white. Clearly able to tell the distinct difference between the two. I would pull from others experiences and opinions as a way to make my own, a way to lessen the blame, make myself feel sane and whole and like I am not going through this alone. That is until I experienced a day that would turn into a week and then a month and then a year of grey. Frightened and wanting to somehow sift the grey back to black and white I started to become numb. I didn't want to live in a world where I didn't know good or bad, wrong or right, where one ends and the other begins. I wanted a world that was a clean cut and that would be easy for me to figure out what to do. But now I am surrounded by a situation that I no longer understand, previous viewpoints on it don't stand a chance. Because now I am in it. I am experiencing something that was my own worst nightmare. Something that terrorized me since I was young. To be abandoned and not belong to someone. When in reality I just never belonged to myself. I tried to find the answers to my complexion in an effort to find myself. I became so caught up in what worked and what didn't, or what was right in this moment that I didn't realize I was suffocating me. I was living life by all the "should's", instead of just falling into me. Loving myself was a feat, I felt I had to have the ownership of someone else. The opinions and judgments of others ran the show and when this dreaded-no-good-very-bad-day came I had nothing left to hold. I felt like an outline of the girl I once knew. One that watched wedding videos and practiced saying " I do" in the privacy of her own room. I was now cracked open and could blatantly see that the black and white life was no longer for me. But this was scary, it was one that I still don't quite understand as I type this with shaky hands. But I know I am evolving and becoming something new, and none of that has to do with planning out my days, life and weeks based on something I "should" do. I always dreamed I would find and connect to myself one day never thinking it had to do with living a life of grey. But that's just it, it isn't grey. It isn't right or wrong or something to move on from. It is about living in the moment and loving that you don't belong, for your true freedom is in the act of trudging on and being true to yourself, not living the life of someone else.
Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go