Thursday, April 14, 2011

making sense of things.


As I mentioned last week, I've been stuck in a very pensive mood, teetering between blissfully content and frighteningly insecure with my life. Last week I felt like I was dipping into the latter of those two; this week, I’m knee-deep in the former.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading as of late. My bookshelf houses a mountain of self-help books about anxiety, happiness, and figuring out my life (and a few about IBS, for good measure). I've been drinking in inspiring blog posts and quotes, occasionally finding something that resonates within me so much that I want to have it tattooed to my palms so I can make sure to remember it always.

Although I've been exposing myself to powerful phrases and paragraphs of helpful advice for a few years now, it seems like now it's really starting to stick. Concepts like loving myself, loving others, expressing that love for others, not holding back and doing what makes me happy are making more sense.

Having dreams and setting goals is starting to sound doable. Realizing I can – and probably should – make decisions even when I’m not 100% sure and start things even when I’m riddled with nerves is extremely freeing. Because after hearing it over and over, it finally clicked that conditions are never going to be perfect and that even waiting for “better” is a waste of time.

There are skills I’m putting into immediate practice, like enjoying the present moment without worrying about the past or the future and using my positive inner voice. I’m eager to use others – coming back to the present moment when I’m experiencing anxiety, letting my heart win the battle against my brain, and allowing myself to be vulnerable in my relationships.

In the battle of positive thoughts versus negative, I was always aware that I was submitting to the negativity. All of my inner demons would show up, knocking on the door to my mind, and I would open that door without an ounce of resistance. I’d curl up and cry, agreeing with the ideas that I was a failure, a disappointment, and just plain stupid. No effort was made to say, no, I’m smart and have potential, and I deserve to be loved. I let myself get beat up by, well, myself.

I won’t lie and say that I’ve suddenly completely reformed my life overnight and learned not to do that anymore, because I haven’t. The exposure I’ve had to these positive ways of thinking and living has been in small doses, but I’m excited to keep exploring and putting the pieces together. Though I can’t promise there won’t be more back-and-forth between being sad and completely happy, I can say that I hope to be spending as much time as possible in the “life is amazing” category, because it’s pretty great over here.