Lies We Tell Ourselves

 

 

Be right there.
One second.
Yea!
No.
I’m ok.
I’m fine.
Nothing’s wrong.
It was my fault.
It wasn’t their fault.
I don’t have time.
Life’s short.
It’s ok.
I forgive you.
No sweat.
Today, I’m working out.
I’ll do it later.
Tomorrow is another day.

And on and on. We do this as a way to put it aside for now. Or to sweep it under the rug for a later time. It’s sad how very often I do this. Constantly pushing things away to deal with later. I have gotten better. Especially when it comes to the ‘I’m ok” part. For years I had been “ok”. Just going on with life like everything was ok or going to get ok and finally, I broke. I just fell and broke and I had so many pieces of me I never found again, thankfully and then I had new pieces sewed on, thankfully. Now I’m a whole person, a different person, but a much better version of myself. The version I shoved under the rug often and said I’d get to eventually.
Life is long. We have many seconds in a day and so it’s up to us to figure those seconds out. It is up to us to figure out if in this long life we’re going to waste it getting somewhere with ourselves eventually or are we going to use those seconds right now.
Life is long in means of time. Yet, we are not sure when our time will come. So what will you do with all this time? Will you waste it catching up with your life? Will you tell yourself you’re ok and fine until you finally break?
It’s in the breaking I realized I have time, but what was I prioritizing? My health or the dishes in the sink? Self-love or the errand I “need to run”. Time with my child or the DVR. A good book or scrolling Facebook? These things I was putting aside for later are not selfish things. They are the things that make the whole of you. And if you don’t do them now, you will run out of time. You will be at the end of your long life regretting things that you had control over.
You will break and shatter and make yourself believe you are too broken to ever be put back together. Our core is love. In order to grow, we need to feed it love. To feed it love means to put yourself first and to understand that everything outside of you can survive without you needing to tend to it right then and there but if you don’t tend to yourself, you will not survive. You will not make it. Love is the way out of this jungle we call life.
Every day you will have something pull you in all different directions but you are the leader of your own life. You tell it this, “listen, I’ve got to do this thing for myself. I’ve got to give myself love first. Whatever you need from me, I’d like to be fully present for. So let me be fully present for myself first and feed myself some love and get to you as soon as I’m done.”
It’s that simple. I learned that the very hard way. It took a breakdown to understand that. Use this long life to put yourself first and know that time is there to get to everything else outside of you.

Just Do It

You know the Nike motto, ‘Just Do It’, well that’s been my motto lately. I just got off the treadmill a bit ago.  This was after  I almost talked myself out of not getting on again. And why do I do this? Well because in my mind if I have made poor choices earlier in the day about something I ate or if I didn’t get on the treadmill yesterday or the day before, I make a cycle out of bad choice making. In my mind I have to have a good run of 3 days to at least talk myself into getting on the treadmill or doing cardio. Why? My brain does this thing where it over analyzes what or how I’ll feel on things to come.

For instance instead of talking myself into doing cardio regardless of the days earlier choices or the days past, I will say to myself this speech: “well, you ate like shit today and you haven’t done cardio in about 3 days and if you get on today you won’t be able to get on tomorrow because tomorrow you’ve got that thing and so you won’t be home. And don’t lie and say you’ll do it when you get home because you won’t.” And there, just like that, I can talk myself out of it for the day I’m living in and for the day that’s to come! Crazy woman!

Instead today I decided to shut that part of my brain up and remember that nothing is guaranteed. Not tomorrow, not the next minute or second and that all I have is this very moment and I truly believe that. My life has taken so many twists and turns, things came to me I never saw coming. So who knows if that “thing” I have set for tomorrow will happen and instead I may find myself at home being able to do another day of cardio. Or who knows if I will not be too tired when I get back from my day tomorrow to do cardio.  All I know for sure is that right now I want to do it, I have the time and gosh darn it, I’m gonna do it!

And this goes for anything in life, you can have a plan but there are no guarantees. The only guarantee is right now, this moment, so what are you gonna do with it?

With my, Just do It attitude of the last few years, even though it can sometimes still be a struggle, I have been able to do so many of the things that I always put off.  I am nearing the completion of a certification that I’ve started about 3 years ago.  I am waking up earlier than I ever have in all my life just to spend time with myself. I am finally seeing my potential as a person, as a writer, as a human being on this earth that was given a gift that I’ve taken for granted for far too long and I want to now share it with all of you.

Don’t waste your time on plans or on hopes of, “one day”.  Your one day is now. This very moment.  So just do it! Do whatever it is you want to do without hesitation or question or thoughts of ‘how?’ The doubts may come up, the anxiousness may dry your throat a bit,  your hands may become sweaty at the thought of just doing something for yourself. But I can guarantee you that once you put yourself first, you’ll start doing it more and more and that is what life is about-YOU, JUST DOING IT!

Show Up Anyway

I sat on the couch completely unmotivated. It’s been a long weekend, how? I’m not sure. I think the weather is partially to blame.  Saturday was gorgeous out and I spent the day on the deck doing yoga and meditated.  Sunday was a total wash but I made the best of it for Mother’s Day and went to the craft store with my daughter as my husband lay in bed vomiting all day.  My daughter and I quarantined ourselves in her room for the night, on a twin size bed that lays on the ground; we were freezing…it’s Spring!

So when I rolled out of bed this morning my first thought was, “It can’t be a progressive day.”  I went through my usual routine; shut the alarm 3x, got up, made coffee, wondered if it was a day to make school lunch, wondered what I was having for lunch because I way overdid it on the carbs this weekend.  Boiled eggs and sat down about to scroll Facebook when a podcast I recently listened to said, “show up. Get your ass to the seat and show up.”  He was also explaining how not every time you sit you’ll have some phenomenal piece of writing and how the more we don’t write the less chance we’ll have at becoming good at this and I remembered my 1st yoga experience. I recall the 1st few days and weeks watching yogis on my computer or in class and feeling my body resist the poses and not being able to even “push my heart forward”.  Completely not getting what they meant by that and wondering if I could actually take my heart out of my chest and lift it up in one hand to the sky and say, “here, here’s my heart. Is this what you intended?”

I used to get so frustrated with myself and the teachers and roll my eyes in class or on my mat at home. I used to actually suck my teeth and press pause on the video and say, “this lady’s nuts!” Fast forward 3 years and I now stretch and push and push my heart forward in ways I never thought my body could or was supposed to.  I laugh when I can’t do a pose and cry when I do others, mostly the simple poses where my heart is pushed forward or up to the sky.  When I am in a position that is most vulnerable, I cry.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, you never want to be perfect then you’d have nothing to achieve for.  It does, however, get you to want to keep trying and to open up in ways you never thought you could. It does get you to just sit down or get you to show up.  Practice has taught me that whatever I want to do, as long as I show up and show up every day, I can do it. It’s shown me strength and courage because even on my worst days I’d show up.  Even when my mind went backward and I couldn’t fathom the thought of showing up for anyone or anything, I’d push through the fear and show up scared and the best things came from it.  I proved to myself that I’m worth more alive and living life than I am sitting on a couch hoping for life to tap me on the shoulder and say, “ready?”

Life is always moving forward, it’s always ready for you, you just gotta show up. It’s not going to stop and wait for you to jump on.  It’s going to keep going and keep making memories without you. If you keep losing yourself to your mind & keep listening to what’s up there and not what’s beating in the middle of your chest, life will move forward.  The heart is your truest self, it will never steer you wrong.  So show up, even on your worst days, even on the days that you tell yourself “it’s not worth it, for what?”  Just do it, do it scared and see how you feel.

Forgiveness Does not Come with Conditions

When you forgive someone, you don’t forgive with conditions. You don’t forgive and say, I forgive you if you…
That’s not how forgiveness works. Imagine God forgiving us only if we did and behaved a certain way. Imagine Him not forgiving us until we did what he asked of us. Of course, there are morals to follow. Morals that don’t need to be written on two blocks of stone and sent fetched down from a mountain. We know those morals. Treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated. Don’t kill. Don’t abuse. Don’t cheat and lie. These are just a few things we all know, on the surface of our hearts, that we do not do. And then there is deep heart knowing’s we do not do.
Forgiveness is more for your healing and growth than it is for the person you’re forgiving. All you can hope after you forgive is that the behavior will never be repeated again. You can tell them how it made you feel, how they hurt you, you can even tell them to never do it again, but it’s on them, not on you.
However, forgiveness does not also mean that once you’ve forgiven, that person is allowed in your life or near you again. Maybe what they did was so horrendous and goes against your own morals that you can’t have them near you. Maybe their energy is so toxic that you can’t breathe or be true to yourself around them.
Forgiving someone is hoping that through the forgiveness they are able to see God through you. They are able to see that although they’ve done wrong towards you that you were still able to forgive them and hopefully through that, they can change their behavior and not take advantage of your forgiveness.
There were many in my life that took my laid back attitude and quick forgiveness as a means to mistreat me over and over and never own their faults. This was partially my fault too in that I allowed them back into my life over and over. I was just hoping that me forgiving them, telling them how they made me feel and how they hurt me would change their behavior but it didn’t. They hadn’t been able to see God through me. They only saw black and white, who they assumed was right and wrong and they never once asked themselves, “Is it me? Did I do this?”
Often times in the heat of an argument we just want to get our points across. We want to yell all the things that will hurt another person and tell them exactly who we think they are. Afterward, we can go on for a while still thinking we’re right. We are taught that being right transcends love. That it transcends forgiving someone. That it transcends owning up to your hurtful words. This is called the ego. All those times we tell ourselves we are right, we are so right, I said and meant all those things and will say them again, that is all ego. Ego is fear of admitting our faults and admitting we were wrong.
Ego is admitting anything that we fear to admit. Ego = Fear and no one likes fear. When the ego is around there is no such thing as truth and love and vulnerability. All those things get tossed out the window. And we sit with our ego and talk to them and our egos pat us on the back and say, “Job well done. You were so right! Who cares that just a few days ago the two of you were laughing and having a good time and they are your best friend, your lover, your mom, your sibling, or anyone else you vowed to love and be there for and today you fought and said things you never thought could come out of your mouth. You were right! Remember that. High five! Right on! Now let us see what else we can do to hurt them. Oh, I know, let’s post a meme that is not outright calling them out but they’ll know it’s about them and anger them more. Or let’s keep this all bottled up and not talk to them for days, weeks, months and shit, years! You were right! High five again. Oh, I know, let’s get anyone we can on our side. Let’s call someone, tell them what happened, so they know who’s side to take.” And this can go on for what seems like forever and in this forever we can spiral into this hole of who’s right and wrong and who’s going to win this. We are always looking to win. We never want to be the one that looks “weak” by listening to what our hearts are truly asking us to say or do.
Then it gets quiet. We remember a memory we had with this person, a good time or we see their face as we scroll through social media or we truly just miss them for a split second and ego is just about to say something and we tell it to shut the fuck up. Give us time to think. And we listen, in the quiet, we listen to our hearts beating and we shut our minds off and we take the path from our brain, down our face, passed our mouth, down through our throat and right into our heart and we listen. This is where our truths lie. Where the things most vulnerable and real to us speak and we hear it tell us, “Was it worth it? Is everything you said or did worth it? Is it worth losing them? Is it worth losing you? How about God, what would he think? Doesn’t he have your back always? Imagine he didn’t? Go, be real, lean in, take this feeling, the stuff that this heart is speaking to you about now and run with it. Sure, it may be scary, sure you may get laughed at or told no, go away, I’m not ready. But remember, forgiveness is your truth. It’s our truth. It’s the truth we were born with and if you don’t stay true to yourself you’ll lose yourself to things and people and it’ll be a long road back home. Don’t take that road. Use that time instead to make more memories, to laugh more, to love more. Go. Go now and forgive. It’s what we were created to do- love and forgive and in these things we grow.

Own Your Feelings

We are so egotistical that even when something we read is bad we think it’s about us. We think and make everything about us. If I’m scrolling through facebook and see someone write something offensive or post a quote that is trying to state something they can’t seem to say, I immediately will go through the recesses of my mind and figure out if at any point I did something to this person and will then focus on a random time, maybe 8 months ago and think, shit, they’re talking about me. Why do we do this? Why are we so egotistical and think it’s always about us? Instead, we should be asking ourselves why we’re making it about us? Why does the quote affect us? Maybe we should wonder if instead the quote is not about us per se but it for some reason affects us and maybe is a reflection of something we need to address for ourselves.

I’ll never forget one time an ex-friend of mine posted something. We had been on and off with our friendship. Talking here and there and just not in sync for a bit, about a week or so and she posted something on Myspace at the time and I immediately took offense to it but I immediately asked her, is it about me?  And her response was if you want it to be, it can.  Instead of facing up to what she wrote and just saying, yes, it is, she decided to continue to hide behind her words and not tell me outright what the matter was.

This went on for many years after that. She hid behind a screen whenever she needed to say something. It got to a point of frustration. I hate hiding behind screens. I’m beyond the screen now. I have hidden behind my words put to paper for so many years that it gets to a point that you just want to not hide what you need to say any longer.  You want to yell it from the rooftop and why shouldn’t you be able to?

If something is bothering you about someone, why aren’t you telling them? If friendship means anything, shouldn’t you be honest and let them know how you feel? Don’t your feelings count? Even if the person doesn’t own up to how they made you feel, you don’t go in expressing your feelings assuming they’re going to understand.  You do it for yourself. You do it because if you don’t you’ll bottle it up and give them permission to keep behaving that way towards you, and that’s not right either.

I held in so much of how people made me feel for so many years that I lost friendships from evening to morning.  Friendships that I had for 10 or more years, I just let go and shut the door, literally on them, because I was more afraid of their reaction to my hurt that it was easier than sounding needy and vulnerable.  How I regret so many of those talks I needed to have with those friends, maybe things would have been different. Maybe I would have saved some and made more memories.

I’ve learned that when people are trying to hurt you through a post or some other way they are expressing themselves behind a screen, it’s a cry for attention. A cry for, hey, you, you did this thing to annoy me but I’m too coward or to egotistical to call you up on the phone and sound vulnerable so I found this really fucked up quote instead and hope it’ll penetrate you enough to call me out. Then we can fight and argue and you can tell me I was an asshole and we can say all these hurtful things to one another, not really having accomplished anything but more hurt and pain and well, maybe, we can work it out?

However, after all that pain and hurt words, things change no?  I know they do for me. I know that things are said in the heat of the moment but it doesn’t make it ok to make up and think those words you shouted at me are forgiven or forgotten. Because it is in the heat of the moment that we say hurtful and oftentimes, true things, no?

We need more face to face honesty. More vulnerability without worrying what you’re vulnerability will make you “look like”.  I can guarantee you this, I can guarantee you that vulnerability brings out the true you. It is what we were created with.  God created us to be vulnerable, to rely on Him and so we were born with this trait. We were born to rely on our tribe, our people, our family, our friends and if one of those people hurt you, you need to be vulnerable enough to tell them so that you can restore your circle.

You need to know that your feelings matter. They do. Your feelings are true to you and how someone made you feel is true to you and staying true to you is what life is about.  The truer you are to yourself, the more this world can begin to heal itself from pain and hurt feelings that get stored in the body for years and cause effects, sometimes, beyond repair.

Own your feelings. They are yours. Share them. We are here to listen.

Cry It Out

It’s odd, this feeling of shifting. It really is slow, however, it’s meant to be. It’s meant to be slow because you need to feel it. You need to feel the change happen in order to fully grasp it and to say to yourself; this is what it feels like to let go. To take the thought and not transform it or “think of something else” but to actually LET. IT. GO.  To look at yourself, to the person you were just yesterday and say, I am not that person any longer. If I am not the person I was yesterday then I am definitely not the person I was a year or definitely, 2 years ago.

About a week ago I had this overwhelming feeling of emotion come over me.  A year ago, even two, I was completely unable to have this type of mood come over me without feeling like I needed to just sit in a ball on the couch and not do anything. Or to go completely crazy and have to be busy at every second so I wouldn’t have to feel it. It was terrible. Just a terrible, terrible feeling and I never, ever thought I’d be where I am now.

Which is, able to have those moods, and still survive. To completely lean into the mood, into my emotion and not read into it. To just be. And to know that I was going to be ok. That eventually, the mood would lift but in order for that to happen, I had to accept the mood I was in, not psychoanalyze it and just let whatever I was feeling, happen. No matter what.

I had the feeling to just cry.  I needed to cry. I needed to just let myself fall into a good cry but I wouldn’t let myself in front of my daughter.  So instead I got her ready for school, dropped her off, got back into my car and decided I needed a walk. On my walk, I cried. The minute I got out of the car I just cried and cried. For what? I don’t know but I didn’t need a reason to cry. That’s the thing. I was brought up to not show emotion, that crying was weak or guilt. So whenever I felt like crying I just made myself think I was weak or guilty of something. And most likely the “guilt” was taught to me by some religious leader. It was most likely something NOT to feel guilty about.  So I didn’t cry often.  And then if I did cry, I attached it to depression and anxiety. Because I made myself believe that anyone that couldn’t express themselves “correctly”; meaning, with words, vocally and instead chose to cry, was depressed.  Goodness, gracious, the shit I believed in.

On this walk though, I cried. I did exactly what my body and heart told me I needed to do. And let me tell you, WHAT A RELEASE! It was my way of shedding another layer of myself. It was healing. I was releasing myself of all the false beliefs I had believed in for years.  And after I cried, I got back in my car, came home, and went about my day.  I didn’t freak out, thinking, “oh dear, here I go, falling into another depression.”  Or, “great, lets link this cry to something. What did I do? What didn’t I do?”  I just went on. I moved on. I cried, let go of my emotions, released it to the universe and healed and moved on.

It was fantastic!  And so I encourage it.  I encourage a good cry. A good, ugly face, hiccupping, cry without any strings attached.  To release yourself of anything you are holding in your heart. To heal your heart. Your soul. To grow.

Cry it out.

The Nones

So sitting in church Sunday the Monsignor began to talk about a group of non religious people that are overtaking the masses in the world.  They are called the ‘Nones’ as in, not having an affiliation to any one sort of religion but being spiritual. He proceeded to say that a group like this was not accepted by God because if you’re not considering yourself Christian or any other religion than you don’t have a relationship with God. That being spiritual is not enough.

Well, that’s a damn lie! Being religious and following an order out of duty, obligation, shame, guilt; THAT’S not Christian. When you follow God wholeheartedly, you are spiritual because God is Spirit and therefore you are building a spiritual bond with him.

I am at a place in my life now where I can separate myself from what people preach to what I choose to listen to and believe in. I will not choose a belief for my child or a system for her.  I want her to be able to make her own choices when it comes to beliefs and structure for her life. When she comes of age, she can decide that.  Her father and I teach her that there are other beliefs, that there are many paths to God and not just one.

I was a Sunday school teacher & I took the role because I do love speaking about God and Jesus and Spirit but I grazed over the curriculum where it brings up sin and the Church because it is not something I believe in and I can’t teach these young minds that. Most of my lessons I reiterated the fact that the relationship is to be with God and them, not God the church and them. That they can choose to speak to God directly and they do NOT need the church or priest as the middle man. I say this a lot in class because the church, for me, has no place in my personal relationship with God. The only place the church should have in your life is to find a community of people, for companionship.  Not to segregate yourself to one people or one way or path.

I didn’t learn this new path to God until recently. I’d say within the last few years. I knew of it, I tried unsuccessfully in the past but it never stuck because I didn’t have like-minded people around me to teach me what they know, to pick their brain, to not feel like such an outsider. And so it was always easier for me to follow the masses. To go along with what felt right for others because if it felt right for them then it would eventually feel right for me too, no?  But it never did.

Following the path of others never brought me joy because the path was interpreted by man and man had no right to tell me how to live.  Instead if you still yourself enough, if you do your own research, if you truly follow your heart and go with what it tells you feels right, you’ll be led to God. You’ll be led to an all-loving, all-encompassing, compassionate God that you don’t fear.  A God that is understanding, that is listening and that is responding back to you.  A God that is funny and charismatic and non-judgmental.  A God that is truly a figure of all sorts; mother, father, brother, and sister.  A God that is forever smiling and not pointing a finger at you or shaking its head.  I love this God.  This isn’t a made-up God either. This is the real God.  The God religions don’t teach about because they want you to fear God in the way a child fears his parents and so does what his parents tell him/her even if it means being unhappy.  That is not at all what God wants from us.  He wants us to be happy and to live lightly and to live in the light and to give and receive as much as he gives and receives.

The God I am learning about is a giver and he allows you to love yourself and doesn’t let you feel selfish about it. I was taught that if you loved yourself more than God or put yourself first before others, that you were selfish.  But if you don’t love yourself, how can you learn to love others and God?  The conundrum.

I am a none and I am proud. I am spiritual and I will scream it to the masses. I don’t want to be part of a group to tell me how to do and feel and walk and talk because it’s “what God would expect of me.”  I know what God expects of me.  To love myself, to not hurt myself or others, to love nature, to respect the laws of the Universe, to share and talk about Him openly, to rely on Him and not think we are alone, EVER.  God is Spirit, I am Spirit, therefore, I am Spiritual.