To tell you the truth, boring doesn’t even come close to describing it. The majority of the days that passed over the winter were spent for the most part in a cloud of boredom and melancholy as I struggled to motivate the children to do their education while also enduring a miserable season in a city that I had no desire to reside in at all.
It has been quite difficult to get money. spouse works too hard. We long for our old pals, but it takes time to make new ones. A lot of the time, I feel like I’m confined to the home. I have a lot of ideas that go along the lines of “I’m not good enough.” It seems like there are a lot of people who have it much worse than I do, so I really need to be grateful for what I have.
Important Steps When Switching Gears
It’s all felt so heavy.
Indeed, the spouse and the children are rather lovely. Yes, favourable outcomes occurred for us, and this continues to be the case. However, I completely lost a lot of the stuff that I am aware to be true.
Yesterday was a relapse to one of those days, but I managed to get through it and get back on track.
Due to the fact that it took the children an inordinate amount of time to do coursework that should have taken them just a couple of hours, my utopian picture of rewarding them with soup, tea, and The Sound of Music in the afternoon was rendered obsolete. Instead, there was some pleading, persuading, and even some crying involved.
I had no choice but to send the obscene tax bill in the mail. This threw me into a spiral of wrath and sadness for all of the losses we’ve faced over the last year in the name of other people’s greed and misery. This put me into a tailspin of bitterness and grief for all of the losses we’ve incurred over the past year.
I saw myself stewing, adding fuel to yet another miserable and self-righteous tale of pain. I voiced my frustrations to a buddy over the phone as well as on Facebook. My shoulders became very stiff. My skull was killing me. I contemplated getting another cup of coffee while reaching for the bag of chocolate chips in my purse.
I decided to listen to another voice rather than suppressing these sensations with chocolate or spending another hour in front of the internet. Take the reins of authority. Take the reins of authority.
This concept of stepping into my own power is one of the major insights that I’ve received over the course of the last year. Not in the sense of having power, mind you. That suggests adopting a mask or a persona in order to succeed, which is similar to the expression “fake it till you make it.” Dealing with a nasty consumer, a demanding family member, or a self-important bureaucrat are all examples of circumstances in which this skill may be quite helpful in the short term.
The fundamental idea that one’s power comes from factors other than themselves is the source of the dilemma that comes with having power. You’re falling short. You are making an effort to be better than you really are. And if they press the appropriate button, someone could possibly find out about it. Something akin to walking a tightrope in terms of fear and danger.
The moment you take control of anything, everything changes. You are gaining access to something that has always been a part of you. The fundamental presumption here is that you already possess the resources necessary to deal with this situation. There is a part of you that is capable of taking complete ownership of the circumstance and bringing it to a satisfying conclusion.
You move from “Am I worthy?” To “Hell, yeah!!”
The kicker? Remembering what makes you feel powerful. Remembering it when you’re in that cramped, fearful victim place that wants nothing more than fuzzy jammies and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
There are times when carb therapy is supreme. When naps and chick flicks are holy. Lord knows, I’ve used all of them.
There also comes a time when the cocoon feels stifling and the wings are ready to feel their strength. I have to tell you, after living the pendulum swing from comfort to power many, many times over the long winter, I’m learning to trust and love my power.
This path is not for the faint-hearted. It takes oodles of practice, loads of compassion and a healthy sense of humor. The fuzzy jammies are so damn alluring.
Here’s what I do to remember to switch gears.
* Notice the triggers.
An old pattern is to feel anxiety and try to pacify it with some form of corn syrup. Shadow comforts all the way. Grabbing sugar has been a reflex for years. While I felt a heap of shame over bingeing, I didn’t know how to stop it.
I’m slowly learning to rewire the binge impulse by noticing when it happens and paying attention to how my body feels in that moment. Now, when I get the urge to grab the bag of marshmallows or chocolate chips, I (sorta, kinda, occasionally) get a little ping in my brain that says, “Oh, there’s that panic looking for comfort again. Howz about some real power?”
* Ask Myself, Every Single Day, “What Do I Need Right Now?”
It’s taken me a long time to trust this question. I figured that my weak-willed self would just say, “Chocolate. Licorice. Wine.” Surprisingly, it says, “Water. Sunshine. A walk. A salad.” And it’s right, which is a huge relief. For years, I’ve been beating myself with the question, “What should I be doing right now?” which just creates a state of anxiety. I’m so grateful for this new question.
* Keep A List, Mental And Physical, Of Simple Things That Help Me Step Into Power.
Yes, I actually, truly keep a list in one of my journals and on my iPhone to remind me of ways that I can reach for better-than-shadow-comfort solutions. A bike ride tops the list. A belly laugh with the boys or a good friend is a close second. Cuddling up to husband is one of the best.
Sometimes I can remember these things without prompting, but often I’m too deep in the pain to remember what I know. The list is like a gift from a fairy godmother (that’s actually me!) who’s giving me back the key to myself.
Yesterday, when I was in the thick of anger, disappointment and victimhood, I noticed. I felt the tension and pain and I wanted to feel better. I decided to step into my power.
I enlisted Monkey Boy, who just this week has learned to ride a two-wheeled bike, (woo-HOO!!) and we did three laps around the neighborhood. I noticed the light on the mountains. I saw the intensity in a beginner’s focus as he navigated around the potholes and rocks. I felt the gentle release of the anger that had gripped me.
After a good homemade meal, I was in the backyard with the whole fam, tossing a Frisbee flying disk and laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. After bedtime prayers and kisses, I pulled out my mandolin and played a while.
Love flowing in, love rippling out. My power.