In therapy I’m learning that I’m really good at punishing myself. No one could be harder on me than I am on myself. There are so many things I don’t understand about what healing and health can look like. It is kind of a foreign landscape. I’m fighting the urge to be frustrated with myself and instead I’m trying to talk myself into taking this one step at a time.
What I know for sure is that I’m trying to build a life I don’t need to escape. I want to wake up feeling excited for the day. Believe it or not, this actually happens sometimes. Even if I’m tired, I wake up emotionally energized and hopeful about what might unfold for the day. I love that feeling and I’ve been actively pursuing it daily.
I don’t want a life that makes me feel like I need to tune out. I want to tune in. I want to pull it all in.
So what’s a girl to do? The best ideas I’ve come up with so far are gratitude and hard wiring joy. Hard wiring joy means I wake up and set my intention for the day. I decide I am going to feel and focus on light and happiness. I listen to happy music. I am careful with my thoughts and I redirect them when I start to swirl around negativity. I just choose to do something else in my brain.
Honestly, this approach works pretty well. It takes practice. It takes effort. As wired as I am for introspection, self-criticism and anxiety, it definitely requires that I intentionally focus on rerouting those thoughts. I’m learning to leave what is heavy behind though, and it’s working.
As I write this, I’m realizing that this actually is forgiveness. This is love. Making space to try new things and to be kinder in my thoughts to myself is actually exactly what I need. On top of that, searching for gratitude daily helps me see the amazing reality of my life. I am resorting what is in my direct line of sight. If I look for the good, I will see the good. If I see the good, I will feel good. It’s not that complicated.
Because life is busy and time is short, I’ve come up with a quick mantra to get me through a challenging moment. “You are worthy of joy.” It’s like having training wheels for my brain. I may not be particularly good at being kind and gentle with myself all the time, but this mantra helps recenter me. It keeps me upright. It keeps me moving forward in the direction I am intended to go. For now, that is enough.
Give ‘Em Hell