Posts Tagged With: journaling

becoming

I woke up before 6:00 this morning.
My brain pinballing all over the place.

I’m reminded of that Alanis song, These R The Thoughts.

Anyway, here’s what I’m considering this morning.

I have this belief that we all carry baggage, we have no choice.
But the idea is to have a simple carry-on bag, not steamer trunks full. We are all products of our experiences, good, bad, indifferent.
They shape us.
But we have the ability to decide how!
We can choose to learn from these things. We can make small shifts in thinking. We can rewrite our inner speech.
We can learn how to use our experiences to our advantage.

To become!

Not necessarily ‘better’ people, but just become the human we were meant to be before we were inadvertently influenced by others and events, etc.

I long to become.

The easiest way to do that is leave the large luggage behind, pack only what’s absolutely necessary and get on with it.
No matter where I am, I am there.
I gotta be straight with me before I can expect to be straight with the world.

That’s work most people avoid.
And here’s the biggest shame of that, it doesn’t have to be that difficult!
The work can be hard, but once you begin, you’re already further along than you realize. Sure, you’ll slip up. Sure, you’ll feel overwhelmed.
But by simply making the decision to start, you’re already ass deep in the work. In a good way!

It took me so long to learn how to feel safe.
To understand that I could exist in an environment not fraught with fear and anxiety. To realize that’s not how we’re meant to live. I’m no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Well, not the way I used to do.

The me I was before was a wreck. On so many unnecessary meds. Drugs to sleep, narcotics for pain, mood altering meds to simply function.
I realize now that all I needed to do was live differently. To escape that situation.
I did!

Now, my life isn’t perfect. And sure, issues.
But I’m not fearful.
My central nervous system isn’t always so over-stimulated.
I can breathe and sleep and function.
I am learning to feel safe in life. In love. In all things.

Inner speech is such a rat bastard!
But, I’m over here like, I don’t blame my mother for the way I hear her words in my head, the things I say to myself.
I can’t! I won’t!
She didn’t know any better.
Or perhaps she did. Perhaps she was cruel for her own entertainment.
Only, that can’t matter to me.
She was flawed.
But I am me.
And I decide what I say to myself! I decide that I am enough. I decide that I am loved. I decide that I will treat myself with kindness. I decide that I am safe.

I was driving the other day and nothing unsafe happened, but I may not have been paying attention and stopped at a green light or something simple like that. I don’t remember the act, only what happened after.
I remarked, Wow you’re stupid. or similar.
YBW grabbed my hand and was like, it’s OK to make a mistake.
I was hit with the full force of his kindness.
I realized that even though I work to shift my inner speech from “you are not, and will never be good enough” to literally anything else, it will always be in there.
I can’t erase it. I can only build upon it.

It’s OK to make a mistake vs You’re stupid for making a mistake.
A world of difference!

You know what Ms Frizzle said:

How I talk myself is influenced by what I was taught about myself by my mother. Her actions and words assured me I was never quite up to snuff.
I know I’m more than those thoughts.
I know how hard it is to learn to shift that process. I know how hard it is to find different words. But that work is everything!
Can’t learn anything new unless I’m willing to make mistakes.

I’ve been hearing lately about how I’m living my best life.
For the most part, I am.
Sure, there’s stuff to work out. My stuff, YBW’s stuff.
Our stuff. But our stuff is really just my stuff and his stuff kind of bumping into each other.
And I’m working on my stuff…and he’s trying to work on his too.
While there are things that are not ideal, we are aware and we are addressing them.

But I also know this isn’t exactly my best life.
But that’s because I’m still saying things like, “I want to (insert thing).” but not actually doing it. I’m procrastinating finishing my degree. I’m not reading. I’m hardly writing.
But, those are choices I’m making.

I can choose to live my best life to the fullest.
When people say they see me living my best life, they see what’s out there, they don’t see what I’m like inside.
However confident and put together I appear, I’m also a girl who doubts her every move. A girl who fears she’ll never feel ‘good enough’.
But I’m working on that. I’m working towards living my best life inside and out.

I am not a self fulfilling prophecy.
I will amount to more than I was lead to believe! I can, and will do what I set myself to. I can and will be content in my own skin, and in my life!
I am working each day to get to that place inside me.
So maybe I am living my best life after all.

And that’s the key.
Actively living!

It’s cool to want sunshine and lollipops, but you gotta make that happen.
So by doing this work, by actively living mylife, I’m actually in my best life!

Ta Da!
Who knew?

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love-filled, lemon-scented paradise

Y’all know I am absolutely obsessed with porch life. This spring and summer have afforded me loads of time to spend on the back porch.
Currently it’s just too damn hot to even consider going out there. We hit a heat index of 105 yesterday, and it’s not much less today at 101.

Over the weekend and earlier in the week though, I was out on the porch a great deal.
Monday afternoon I went out with my journal and sat writing for the longest time.

I was having a really lovely day. I was productive and felt fully present in my life. I was truly living my intention that day. And while I was writing, the most amazing (albeit obvious) thing occurred to me.
My love of porch life is me living my intention!
I feel like there should be a great big, “Duh!” at the end of that statement. Only I’m not going to judge it. I’m just embracing the hell out of it.

Little reminders. Little things. Little pleasures. That’s the love.
When I’m writing about how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking, and how it impacts my daily life, I experience the love.
More times than not, it’s about paying attention.
When I’m present in my life, I mean actively living, and open to the world around me, I’m living my intention without even trying.
Enjoying porch life is a way I can express love for myself. It’s a way of living my intention of love for me.
Life on the porch is a peaceful, love-filled, lemon-scented paradise and if that’s not living my intention, I don’t know what could be.

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*poof* I had an epiphany

I had an epiphany as I journaled one night last week. (perhaps it’s been a couple weeks now)
I journaled in response to a suggestion that I’m taken for granted by some of the people in my life.

I questioned if I could love others without sacrificing myself. I questioned why I can’t seem to say no. I questioned why I feel compelled to always do what’s expected of me, even if it’s unrealistic.
I mused that it comes from being a little girl and feeling like I had to work hard to be loved. That if I was a “good girl” and did what I was “supposed” to do, then I was loved. If I wasn’t good or didn’t do what was expected of me, love was withheld from me.
And *poof* the epiphany occurred.

20161120_165249-1.jpg

I over-function to be loved.

I’m a chronic over-functioner.

Will Meek PhD describes over-functioners in this way:

Over-functioners (OFs) are usually seen as people who “have it together”, are detail oriented, organized, and reliable, and are typically viewed as being reliable workers, partners, and parents.

Classic characteristics of over-functioning include being overly focused on another person’s problems or life situation. Offering frequent advice or help to the other person. Feeling anger when help is not “appreciated” or the under-functioner (UF) doesn’t change. And frequently feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and neglecting self-care. Over-functioning can be seen as a type of “enabling”, even though the intent is the opposite.

That explains how I get myself into these situations where I’m taking care of everyone else and not myself. How I’ll make sure everyone’s everything is done, or their needs are met before I even begin to consider my own. And most of the time, I’m too worn out to consider my own needs, therefore I neglect them.
Turns out the only good thing about getting sick with the brain edema is that I was forced to consider my own needs first. But since I’ve been “well enough” I’m going back into my old patterns. And especially while Thing 2 was here.

Becoming aware of why I over-function is HUGE! If I know why I do it, perhaps I’ll be able to stop doing it. Ah, but then guilt and fear show up and panic me. If I don’t do (whatever) for (whomever) I’m not a good (whatever). And that means I’m not going to be loved.

Does that seem odd to you?
Will my doing (whatever) for the people in my life make them love me more than if I don’t do it?
Logic would suggest the answer is no.
But every fiber of my being is screaming yes!

This is something I will work hard to understand and change.
It’ll be better for me, and for the people in my life.

I must learn to say no in a kind and respectful way.
I must learn to understand that love isn’t based on what I do for others.
I must learn that it’s perfectly acceptable to put myself first.

I’m not loved because I do what’s expected of me.
I’m not loved because I’m a “good girl”.
I am loved because I am me.
Just me.
Just being me is enough to be loved.
I must never forget that.

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the only way out is through

I’ve not been shy about discussing my recent emotional dilemma.
I’ve not been shy about talking about it with my friend and mentor, Sundance, my sister in law, and Nora. I’ve freaked out to them about relationship stuff, but also just my stuff. Girlfriends lend a sympathetic ear when you’re frustrated. They provide a hard look at your own reflection when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I’ve gotten great advice from each of them…I’ve gotten a bit of crap advice from each of them…but mostly, they’ve just loved me through my struggle.
I have the luck to be friends with a man who is an excellent listener without giving unsolicited advice. I’ve talked to him about me. Where I am personally. In my life…in my head.

Where I’ve been emotionally has a great deal to do with perspective. Mine was skewed. It isn’t anymore. I experienced a shift in my perspective and everything became more clear.
It hit me like lightning! And I became a completely different girl…well not really, but I began to think about things in a completely different way.

Sundance fed my OCD cravings for organization by presenting me with the idea of going back to a paper planner. We discussed brands and what she was using and how, for her, it’s like “scrapbooking” with a purpose. I’m enthusiastically embracing this “old” way of keeping myself organized!
My sister in law encouraged me to write down everything as I thought or felt it, which lead to a new and rather visceral way of journaling.
Nora encouraged me to be patient…and I was…sort of…and turns out being patient lead me to this place.
My friend and mentor reminded me to place the anxiety where it belongs.
A conversation with Jack regarding my reservations about my degree plan lead me to an exciting new idea. He suggested I explore this mind mapping as a way of prioritizing all my “stuff”. The more I looked at this mind mapping, the more I realized it’s rather like an integrated curriculum web! Now this is something with which I have quite a bit of knowledge and experience! And a new, but familiar way of sorting my shit was born!

sample mind map:
mm_examrevision
sample curriculum web:
drake2004_fig1.1

The Robynbird stuff is feeling much more settled. I feel grounded. I feel like I’ve got this. “I am at home with the me. I am rooted in the me who is on this adventure. This is me breathing.” Dr Oatman ain’t got nothing on this little red haired girl.

I finally feel like I can take big deep breaths and move forward.

The relationship stuff…well I didn’t exactly place the anxiety where it belongs, I was simply able to finally put down the anxiety that isn’t mine. Understanding, patience, love, and time is what will ease that weirdness. It’s journey, right? I’m not on a lone journey…how silly of me not to take that into account.
So, we don’t have a clear vision of the journey. So, we don’t know exactly where we’re headed. So, the path gets tricky. The only way out of the woods is through the woods…if we come across lions or tigers or bears (oh my!) we’ll just figure that out then.
The journey we’re on as a couple might just need to make a pit stop. We can do that. Take a break, take a breath, take a nap. And when we’re ready, when each of us is ready to move forward, we’ll begin to move again.
My personal journey, the journey I’m on as a girl getting along and singing her song, is moving at a full tilt boogie. I’m so enthusiastic about it! I’ve been spinning my wheels in the ick for far too long.

The only way out of the ick is through it.
Alanis knows what’s up.

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spirituality and doing it to death

The Kills is my soundtrack as I journal this morning.
This may seem counterintuitive as I’m writing about spirituality, but it’s working for me.
#enigmagirl
Please listen responsibly.

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speaking truths or the time to hesitate is through

After several days of struggling with my thoughts and emotions, I feel a little better today.
I had to be honest with myself before I could suss out what was going on. Journaling helped that. I had to get it all down on the page to see what was troubling me so. After being honest with myself I was able to be honest with others.
I had good conversations. Speaking truths that are hard to say out loud, especially when these truths could be hurtful to people I care about.
I feel like I’m at a place where I can proceed. Though not gone completely, my instinct to run has been quieted.
Being mindful and present in my relationships will keep them true. To love and be loved, to share and experience in this state of being more present is what’s best for me.

These are things I know. Things I preach. But I’m realizing it’s easy to become complacent. It’s easy to simply acquiesce. That needs to stop. For me. For the people I love.
I must be proactive. I must…do!

I feel much like Lucas at the beginning of Empire Records.
Lucas

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falling in love with Richard Burton all over again

I’ve had the book since it was published but only just started reading The Richard Burton Diaries.
burty2

I have always loved him as an actor ever since I first heard my mother’s record of his Broadway production of Hamlet in 1964. His Petruchio amused me so. And when I saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, I was literally speechless.
Now I’m beginning to fall in love with him as a writer.
He was a curious beast.
He wrote about what he saw and felt. He wrote about his desires. He was kind of gossipy and wasn’t shy about putting it to paper. He was proud of being Welsh. He had great disdain for acting. He was absolutely mad about Elizabeth Taylor.
He was a voracious reader and loved learning.
He drank way way way too much and knew it.

I love reading biographies. Especially when written by the individual. One of my favorites is Sylvia Plath’s journals. I also enjoyed the journals of Michael Palin, written during the Python years.
Kind of makes me want to journal in an entirely new way. Only I don’t write like that…if only.

Reading Richard Burton’s writings has opened my eyes to a time in history when certain people lived ridiculously privileged lives. I am loving learning about the inner thoughts of a man I’ve admired, honestly since I can remember.

I watched this wonderful documentary from BBC One Wales.
I hope you enjoy it.

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