The holidays feel distant. Life seems to require a shell that I previously urged myself to avoid. Days of yore saw this armor as unnecessary and negative. I ran into the open arms of life, its adventures occasionally fraught with security flaws. My former self was boundaryless in her trust and sense that things were meaningful, that there was purpose in hard work and dedication. In some ways, I envy this former part of me its brazen belief and certainty. That me would have long ago left my current career role, methinks. She'd be in another country trying to make a life work.
we are each of us this
at one point or another
life continues. illustrates
death. an abandoned, neglected
our freedom perils
might dive away
for a while
Things shift and change sometimes. Former choices can reveal uncertainty and frustration. Like with trips to visit friends or family. Hopefully, each time we practice a little more with self-respect and kindess to ourselves and others. These situations can feel very stressful because we don't want to say no or appear ungrateful to our hosts. At the same time, we must know ourselves as individual beings who need care and certain kinds of nurture. When we're used to interacting with a certain level of hidden emotion or accepted self-hatred, we might find it a huge challenge to practice with confidence or certainty. Our own self-doubt may occupy a large space in our psyches, at once ready to pounce or cut with words or scorn. Life can be really unfair and bad. There are times when no one understands and things seem so bad that death appears a suitable alternative. I won't say life is worth living or that things should be a certain way, although I do believe that life is worth living and that things do need to be a certain way. Mainly, I encourage deliberate breaths.
In through the nose or mouth and out through the mouth. Decisive attention, maybe a therapist. You're in charge of your life. Drugs or alcohol; the actions of others; your environment or its players -- these may feel off or uncomfortable. Therapists can help act as a sounding board, a reminder toward upright and just action for you and your life. It's a significant investment of time, money, and changes to make therapy worthwhile. And it may not feel ok for everyone. You decide when to listen to yourself, like yourself, say pleasant things to yourself in the mirror and around the home. Therapist or no, you're the decision maker in your life. All of these thought progression seminars and books lead to the same point: You decide for you. No one ever takes your dignity because you create your own.
Self-determination is a gray area determined with an entire lifetime and many deaths. Domestic violence, experiences of abuse, self-hate and mutilation -- these are all deeply personal. Just like with quitting cigarettes, leaving an abusive situation typically takes many tries. People may treat us like we're insane to stay with someone or a particular position, especially if we return after a time away. It's crazy-making because we aren't sure for ourselves, we doubt our own direction. It's like when we first note and accept our own bias. We learn how education and change is an ongoing, lifelong experience and attempt to keep going after mistakes. The idea of give up becomes temporary, and we understand our own helpless hopeless tenacity in breathwork. The practices of others in books we read, plays we view, gratitude we offer, these messages show us the value in tread lightly, with certainty. We matter. Our choices make a difference in the world. Treat the self with the highest value while also making due in a world that neglects itself as a matter of pride and value.
Certain details surface through practice and breath: our resilience, commitments. Life grants at least two genetic contributions, this and death are certain. We may receive food, shelter, running water, a community. Society sends messages that convey our importance or necessity, or lack thereof, sometimes subtly, other times with aplomb. Our own personal shortcomings may surprise us if we're introspective.
May these shortcomings help us change in connection with a highest good, a golden breath of truth and trust. Religious and spiritual stuff tends to eventually let me down, so I avoid the words "God" and "church" as much as possible. I like to focus on connection through breath and healthy posture. Happy holidays to you, Dear Reader. May deep breaths support your cells with contentment and motivation.
Well hello there.