Stillness in the face of shame: choosing love over fear
One of the biggest challenges of my life has been to stay calm in the presence of something uncomfortable.
Regarding friends, family or husband that may come in the form of using my sharp tongue to lash out, hastily written emails that overstep boundaries, or giving too much of myself to someone I barely know when I know that something feels uncomfortable in the relationship.
You can also find it in business: dropping a project at the first sight of contention or adding a second, third, or in my case a daily idea that muddles up the first project.
It can be seen lurking in my home as I gather up everything quickly and throw it out followed by filling up my home and wardrobe with ill intentioned things that do not reflect my happiness only to throw them out all over again.
I am rarely still. I have considered it a badge of honor that I am always busy. As I mentioned yesterday I venture to guess I pick my phone up over a hundred times a day. Experts say that we underestimate that number and you should double it. So let's say 200 times a day.
I had my girlfriend Daya change my password to social media and she is holding on to it for 30 days. Immediately I felt a shift. It's as if giving someone else the key took the pressure off and I was allowed to sit still.
It was the same relief I felt when my therapist gave me the permission to take 30 days to do the same thing each day focusing on living a monk lifestyle.
They are tools.
I'm through the first two 1/2 weeks of my 30 days. I think that you can see a transition in my blogging from the first days of it starting. I started in a me me ME phase, panicking at the newness of my anxiety and health after a breakdown. I over identified with a new diagnosis. I move into action, writing about creativity and trying to help others find themselves in order to get away from, well...me.
I moved to self doubt while berating myself for even thinking about my own life as the world crumbles around us.
I began to write what I thought others would respond to rather than have faith in my own thoughts.
We have systems in our lives. We use tools to focus us. I use challenges to propel myself forward into each new phase of my life.
I love challenges. In order to achieve I raise the stakes. 33 items in my closet, 30 days off Facebook, living a monk life for 30 days, they are all challenges I am using on my quest to a balanced, healthy and happy life. It's working.
That's the reason for this public blog.
I know a good percentage of people find it highly indulgent. Or I have feared that. My fears were confirmed when I received an anonymous hand written letter in the mail from someone who took me down. It scared me at first. I could feel my bad habits quickly swell over my body as I considered that indeed I am an attention denied princess who is lying about my mental and physical health issues. I get it. I've thought that too.
But I sat with it. I didn't react for one of the first times in my life. So I give an honest thanks to whoever the person is that took time out of their day, because in the end I think it helped me understand a bit more, although it did hurt my soul, which I suppose was the intention.
I could write morning pages, a daily journal with my inner most thoughts closed away for anyone to see. Instead I choose to write in a public forum because it has raised the stakes for me. Being honest with myself and with you, no matter how mundane, bratty, or self centered it may seem has elevated this practice into higher stakes and within that growth happens faster. I can get out of the panic, out of the mundane, the self centeredness and onto to evolving.
I can see my mistakes and more importantly my intentions right here on the pages. I can spot the trend. I can tell where I'm motivated by others, when I write for reaction and most importantly I can spot the bull shit. The goal is to get to honest.
Life is made up of tiny moments that all come down to love or fear. That sounds so simple at it's core and yet it's so difficult to live that so simply.
I believe there is art in the process. I am starting to write without a goal of the end product, something I have rarely done. I am starting to trust the process of this art form regardless of whether or not others see it as art.
It is a unique challenge, honesty. In the end we just want to be heard don't we? That's hard to admit.
But it's the truth.