Sometimes self care looks like meditation. Sometimes self care looks like face masks and bath bombs. Sometimes self care looks like a therapist, a few brain food meds, and a whole lotta focus.
Lately I’ve been working on listening to the different emotions and things I tell myself. Being aware of them makes them a little louder but a little easier to identify why I feel that way and let it pass a little easier. Especially if it’s a feeling that’s uncomfortable i.e., anxiety, anger, fear, etc.
Paying attention to those little voices and thoughts in your head can start to be a very healing process. That being said, it can be difficult to find the silver lining when it’s foggy out.
For instance, I received a call from someone I love very much this morning. And this call ended on the note that “we were lovers first and never friends, let’s try that now.” While it hurts deeply that I have to continue to hold myself at night instead of in the comfort of his arms – this situation presents me with a few choices:
- I could choose to let my sadness consume me. I know what this looks like. It looks like me crying at my desk at work, sending a bajillion texts to my friends asking when it will stop being shitty and probably a few to him asking (let’s be real – it’s more like begging) for him to let me back in on a deeper level.
- I could choose to listen to what he is saying and spin it into something maddening. Examples: He never really loved me, I was nothing more than a joke and a game, he just used me to buy the car, he probably really just wants to be with someone else and he’s not telling me – the list of shit like this could go on, but you get the picture.
- I could choose to listen to what he is saying with a heart of understanding and realize that “I mean yeah, girl. Y’all have been doing this for a while – and you could use some work yourself.“
He’s didn’t say he didn’t want me in his life, he does just with some boundaries. He’s finding himself, too. And we both need to figure out what it is we want.
So, that leads me to my choice.
I choose to let this shitty situation and heartache fuel me to explore deeper within myself. Why is it that I pick these fights with people I love? Why is it that I interpret phrases people say to automatically mean I’ve done something wrong, that it’s me who should change? Why do I revert to that place of insecurity so frequently?
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
According to my therapist it has a lot to do with the way I was raised. Growing up I learned that if something didn’t go your way, if someone spoke to you in the wrong tone, or something frustrated you – you panic, maybe throw something or hit something/someone, and you just freak out! Freak the fuck out until you feel better. When I was growing up there were no family dinners at the table, there are no family recipes (except my dad does make incredible meatloaf). There was fighting, and strife, and depression, and fear, and emotional detachment. Despite the shoe box full of pills being taken – there was also a dire need for some therapy.
But I also made sure I was liked. I was friends with the jocks, the cheerleaders, the preppy pretty girls, the geeks, the bullies, and I brown nosed with every teacher. Hell, I was the freshman dating he senior homecoming king! And went to prom with him. I’d be whoever you wanted to me as long as you approved and you wanted me there. I had so many friends – it was amazing!
But I got older and life happened. And I got in trouble and I did some bad things.
And now I realize I have no idea how to give myself approval. I was never taught or told that I was approved of and loved just the way I am. Instead, I was sent searching for it in so many places and never once thought I should start with myself, first. I’m going to spend the rest of my life with myself, at a minimum. So shouldn’t I at least have my own back? I’d been too busy for the last 27 years looking outward – I’m just now starting to learn how important it is to look for that approval from the inside.
So, that’s where I sit. After that conversation I could’ve sent him a barrage of texts about who knows what, but instead I cried, got stoned, played my video game, ate some pancakes, and put in three miles at the gym.
The point is that you get to choose which character you let star in your play.