I woke up this morning afraid. I thought at first that it was just a bad wake up but a quick inventory and I realized that I was afraid. This is a relatively new emotion for me. I have not been touch with it for years. I have, historically, had a hard time identifying in myself and also in others. Now I see it all the time. In all of us. Everywhere. I am no longer duped by the covers of anger, rage, irritability and the like...my life, as of late, has been interesting...
So I woke up this morning and my inventory revealed that I was, in fact, afraid of a few things:
1. My financial situation;
2. My ex-husband refusing to talk about money and the kids summer schedules;
The above thoughts swirling through my head and made it very hard for me to stay present.
I have felt all of these feelings before...I am sure that I have felt them a lot and I am even more sure that I have worked very hard to avoid addressing them altogether.
Today I am poised with new thoughts about old emotions: It is ok to feel this way. It is ok to be afraid.
Many people are every single day. However, fear does nothing to change my reality for the better. Instead it causes me to do many maladaptive things in order to become supremely comfortable as quickly as possible. It is this dysfunctional reaction that my life changes and causes me more pain. I am afraid and then I add story after story to my plight. Making it all just more terrible.
If I were capable of watching my thoughts play out like a movie, I would see someone who is objectively fine. I would see someone whose life is better than about 90% of the other people on the planet. I would see that nothing bad is happening to me. I have money (regardless if I think that it is enough), a roof over my head (regardless of whether I want something different) and am in good health (regardless of whether I feel great every day). There are so many in the world that do not have it as good as me. I would be able to see that my thoughts today are because I am unsure of what the future holds. When I feel like I am losing control (control that I have never ever actually had); my natural reaction is fear. My next action is to attempt to exercise more control...which never gets me where I want to go. It just causes me to push away the present moment in an effort to gain ground that isn’t really gainable anyway...
Today it all came down to this: Do I believe that I am ok and will be ok?
If I fundamentally believe this then fear is just throwing its weight around in an effort to intimidate me into succumbing to its never ending stories...it isn’t real - it is just fear...nothing all that solid and its only purpose: to throw me off my game, if I let it. I do not need to be short with people or angry or crawl back in bed. I just need to take heart that it is my turn in the discomfort...I can resist it and make it worse or I can create some space around it maybe ask people around me to help me out and call me on myself when I start to veer off the path. I can allow fear to just be here. Breathe fear in and just feel it and not spend all of my time avoiding it.
Seems like this is the place that all humans fall off the path...given this amazing opportunity for growth and change, we instead insist that everyone accommodate this emotional state our thoughts have created and set about ruining our day...I never had access to this before. I was just on the thought treadmill all the time in a continuous loop that never ever got me where I wanted to go. Me, the creator of my thoughts, never realized until just this moment that I can create new thoughts at any time. When fear creeps in, I can allow it to take root and run my day and mind or I can see it, breathe it in and then think some new thoughts:
I am ok now. I have been ok all my life. My life is pretty fantastic. I have always been taken care of (maybe not in the manner that I want but I have always had food, shelter and some measure of safety). I can realize and be supremely grateful that I have those three things (plus a fuck ton more): I have a home that I get to return to, no one at my home is going to try to hurt me physically, emotionally or sexually, and I will have more choices about what to eat than any human should have.
It is basic but it is revolutionary. I can spend my day focused on the things I am fearing: lack of money, that my ex-husband will do or say something that I don’t like or agree with that will disturb my peace and that getting close to another man will be devastating to me. Or I can trust that I am ok, I have always been ok and that it is a trend that is likely to continue. I can rejoice in the simple fact that I am alive and given this day to live my life. That my life will be what I make of it today - weighed down by fear and angst or lightened by faith and trust. Regardless, I am freer than I have ever been because I can see the thoughts and that is all they are. They are not real. I can see that the same head that came up with things to be afraid of can think other thoughts...it is really up to me.
How fucking great is that?