There is so much going on I don’t even know where to begin and as I am sitting here writing this – I honestly have no idea what it will end up being about. I just feel like writing. Venting. Processing…
So first off, I have been actively avoiding conversations about the government shut-down. Not because I am not infuriated and disgusted, but because the divisions are so far, and the truth so out there, and the multitude of people unwilling or unable to look at any information from the other side of their own belief system; that I have decided it is too great a burden to bear and there are eleventy-billion other people going back and forth complaining while our elected leaders collect their paychecks (unless they were shamed into refusing it), 800,000 furloughed workers, and a nation so divided and blind to actual information that I feel my 2 cents is only going to piss me off and not do any actual good. However – feel free to discuss it here if you want. I will engage in some conversation, I am just not going to push it. I have more immediate things to occupy my time that I actually have some control over.
My last post about Stephanie and her diabetic diagnosis and subsequent success is more impressive than I thought. We realized after I wrote that; it hasn’t been 3 months – it has only been two which makes it an even greater accomplishment! I am so proud of her! ❤
Today – I am in one of my “moods” that usually results in a binge drinking episode. In realizing this I have two choices; go buy some beer and drink till I feel better, or let myself feel bad; process that feeling; and turn it into something positive. You see, I feel stuck and a little out of control right now. I realize that MANY things are in my control, but I am lacking the motivation to take action on those things. Do you ever feel like you know what the answer to a question is and then have no desire to accept the answer? That is where I am today.
If you follow this blog you already know some of the battles I face – and I share them here because I know I am not alone in these things. It is one thing to go talk to my therapist (who I am a little mad at right now because of a misunderstanding and I am being stubborn) and receive some validation and encouragement, but on the same token; sometimes I like getting that from just writing and knowing that someone is reading it. It’s a little selfish maybe – but I feel like I express myself better in this medium than on the therapist couch.
What I am having issues with right now are goals. Goals and dreams. Trying to determine exactly what my purpose is, and how best to go about realizing that purpose. Usually my modus operandi (MO) is to think of great ideas, projects, books, whatever and then overwhelm myself to the point of giving up before I have even started. In all honesty – even with the extended break; this blog represents one of my ideas that I started and have every desire to continue and I LOVE doing it. I want to actually prioritize it – you guys seem to like it and even when I don’t write everyday, someone new subscribes. I should see that as a success, instead I tend to drift toward the more negative self-talk that says: “Naw, no one really cares if you post today or not.” This just speaks to the fact that I very much look for approval and validation from outside rather than nurturing my inner self that is just screaming to be recognized by my own heart and mind. Easier said than done!
Tying it all together
There are always things beyond our control, but then there are those things that we have complete control over. The trick is to control what you can, and let go of (or at least limit your responses) to the things you can’t. I can’t convince congress to grow a conscience. I can’t put my friends back to work and ensure their paycheck. I can’t purchase all the “things” I want, and I can’t force someone to hire me. None of these things however needs to destroy my piece of mind…
I can spend my time learning about myself. I can set goals and dreams for myself; I am also in control about how I feel when those things don’t happen the way I want or in the timeline I prefer (immediately). I can let outside forces dictate my state of mind or I can do that for myself. I can sit here frustrated, or I can do something to alleviate that feeling. Those are things perfectly within my control – and I really don’t need to go kill my liver to realize that.
With all the negativity and frustration that I let into my heart and mind; I am willingly allowing myself to ignore the many things in my life that are beautiful, positive, and uplifting. How crazy is that? I have lived a life full of desires – many of which haven’t been realized, however, if I just shut up for a minute I realize that in all honesty everything I have ever really wanted in my life; I have. I honestly have nothing to complain about unless I create them. Seems silly doesn’t it?
I am practicing three concepts in my life right now:
1. Being present. You know – tomorrow may never come. I know that I have today. I have this moment and in this moment I lack for nothing. I don’t like to compare my life to others (even though I do at times); but everyone is on a different journey. My journey is the one I need to embrace, and I can really only do that effectively “one day at a time” and even that can be broken down into moments. I am practicing making my moments count.
2. Being mindful/aware. Alcohol is a wonderful way to avoid this. Trouble is – even if I drown my bad moods, my circumstance will not change simply because I choose to ignore reality. However, if I am mindful of my alcohol dependent brain – I can actively make better choices. So instead of being all upset and frustrated; I choose to acknowledge those feelings, and I am choosing to deal with them in a productive way. Some days I am better at this then others, but again, being mindful means that I don’t need to dwell on past failures or future struggles; I simply have to be aware of those things and take actions to achieve more positive results right now.
3. Feeding the positive. Some days I feel like if I see one more meme on Facebook telling me to maintain a positive attitude, or some quote that says, “You can do anything!” I will throw my computer out the window. When in a negative state of mind those quotes and motivations feel empty and impossible. Then I remember a sermon I heard about a million years ago and it was basically about how what we see, read, and hear – really is what we encourage ourselves to become. The phrase used in the sermon was, “Garbage in, Garbage out” and it was about how listening to devil music and having bad friends will lead me away from God – I have saved the concept from that sermon and instead of focusing on what I don’t want to become – I am focusing on what I do. So the new phrase is “Positive in, Positive out” so even when I am not feeling it – I am going to read as many positive uplifting and encouraging things until I do feel it. I am retraining my mind to see the good rather than focusing on the bad or seemingly impossible.
Everyone has their good and bad days. Everyone feels overwhelmed and stuck at times. The trick is learning how to take those things both positive and negative and turn them into something that works for you. What kinds of things do you do to make yourself feel better? Do you have any life philosophies you would be willing to share? I would love to read them!