My friend was right. The outer rings are where transformation takes place. It’s so uncomfortable there that you can’t stay long. You’re either moving in, back to healthy living and healthy choices. Or your moving out, come what may.
I noticed recently, that instead of watching TV I wanted to write. How weird!! I’m a TV junkie, born and bred since childhood. I definitely know the feeling of a “show hole,” and I’ve woken up many mornings kicking myself for staying up too late watching TV after the kids have gone to sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely waiting for the next episodes of The Path, Empire, Blackish, and American Crime to come out on Hulu; but, I’m really enjoying writing in this particular medium.
I think my husband likes it too, because he doesn’t have to listen to me late into the night quite as much. I think that writing and sharing my experiences with an audience (even a pseudo one) is helping me to process my feelings about situations that, a lot of times, are even too overwhelming for me to think about.
So, what makes the day a “good day”? For me, it’s confidence and love. How much love I’m willing and able to give and receive? On bad days, I find myself trapped in my negative and obsessive thoughts. I compare myself to others, and somehow always come up lacking. I personalize others’ actions or inactions regarding situations that have absolutely nothing to do with me. Things like: who the stranger passing me on the street has chosen to marry — what was the woman’s race? — if she wasn’t black or mixed-with-black, might that mean that I’m undesirable? — If she’s Asian and he’s white, are they racist against people like me? — is there a new anti-black coalition starting here??? (Sigh……) Yes, it’s pretty comical and sad once I give my obsessive fears a voice. But, I have to give them a voice, because they are there, and they’re real inside of me. Trying to push the thoughts away, pretend they don’t exist, or tell myself how wrong and unhealthy they are, only perpetuates my isolation and shame.
I’m learning, with the help of my therapist, to acknowledge my negative and obsessive thoughts, to admit them to myself, listen to them instead of silencing them. She has taught me that through meditation, I can breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4. As thoughts and feelings come, I can name what I’m feeling. I can offer compassion to myself for those thoughts and feelings (not judgement). I can bow to those feelings (“I bow to you shame”) because they are truly more powerful than me and I can’t control them. Then I can release it to my God, and return to my breathing – breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4, and out 1, 2, 3, 4.
This practice is helping me to have more compassion and love for myself, and in turn, I am able to have more compassion and love for others. Over time, I’m finding myself having more good days, feeling more light, more free, and more confident.