“I know that it is hard to believe after all the trauma and betrayal you have experienced, but life is not about owing a debt to other people. You deserve love because you exist.”—my boyfriend, making me cry. 8.31.14
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling.”—Aldous Huxley, Words I Needed To Tell Myself (via thunderpopcola)
Be kind to yourself. Stop telling yourself that whatever you are struggling with “should” be easy. If something is hard for you, it is hard for you. There are probably Reasons, though those may just be how you are wired. Acknowledge these things. When you finish something hard, be proud! Celebrate a little.
And really, just stop saying “should” to yourself about your thoughts and feelings in any context. You feel how you feel. The things in your head are the things in your head. You can’t change either directly through sheer force of will. You can only change what you do. Stop beating yourself up for who and what you are right now–it isn’t productive. Focus on moving forward.
If you’ve ever doubted yourself, walk deep into any forest. Notice how the trees still stand even though they are given no recognition. Walk along any stream. The water still flows, though no one stops to praise it. Watch the stars late at night; they shine without acknowledgment. Humans are just the same. We are made out of the same elements as these beautiful wonders. Always remember your beauty and self worth.
1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
2. Say “exactly” what you mean.
3. Don’t be a people pleaser.
4. Trust your instincts.
5. Never speak badly about yourself.
6. Never give up on your dreams.
7. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
8. Don’t be afraid to say “yes”.
9. Resist the need to always have control.
10. Stay away from drama and negativity – as much as possible.
Source: Lessons Learned in Life
little things that actually make a difference to general life happiness: •drinking lots of water •eating fresh fruit •thinking positively about yourself and others •washing your face twice a day •changing your sheets once a week •hot baths with Epsom salts •face masks using from things in your house •sleeping more than 7 hours per night •reorganizing your clothes, makeup, possessions etc •keeping your living space clean
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.
and I think one of the most personally revolutionary things I have realized lately, is that having an “unproductive” day is not a symptom of a flaw in my character. more often than not, it is a symptom of depression, and moreover, it is a symptom of being human.
as of this year, I’ve been wrestling with depression for ten years, and yet I still haven’t mastered the art of detecting my own symptoms. and a lot of that has to do with the absolutely toxic shame that I have internalized over my perceived laziness. no, these can’t be depression symptoms; I’m not allowed to think that, I’m not allowed to cut myself any slack, I’m not allowed to believe it might not be my fault. and this has gotten so exaggerated that I think even having one “off day,” which everyone has, depression or none, is something I ought to be overwhelmed with guilt and self-disgust about.
today my tentative plan was to drive over to my community college and enroll, and then go to the store to get some household items. neither of those things happened. not only did neither of those things happen, but I’ve spent the better part of the last several hours glued to the internet. because I just literally have not felt like doing anything else. I am so tired. I’m sad. a lot of my life recently has been dredging up old [and not so old] emotions and wounds and actually dealing with them, and that’s been beautiful and ugly and freeing and fucking exhausting.
one of the most powerful, weird things I’ve ever come to a realization about is that there is nothing. fucking. wrong. with just -being-. I do not exist to perform a service to society or my household or God or my family or my partner or even myself, really. I am allowed to just exist. I am allowed to do nothing. I am allowed to breathe. I am allowed to sit around and do things that have no intrinsic “value” other than that I like them and they bring me some happiness. I can’t remember where I read or heard this but I’ve read or heard somewhere that in studies of the brain, there’s been evidence to suggest that consciousness exists outside the bounds of space-time. part of my mind may not even belong to this realm. I am timeless, my soul is timeless. I am weightless, formless, a mere thought, a singularity. some part of my brain recognizes that I do not owe my soul to the way we do things in this world.
and all that aside, another thing that’s hit me is to question what exactly I define as productive? no, I didn’t sign up for school today, I didn’t buy things I needed, I didn’t apply for any jobs, I didn’t clean my entire house, but? I changed up my theme on tumblr mobile and made it look pretty and made it reflect how I’ve been feeling lately and what I’ve been thinking about. I took some selfies today and I really like them and I particularly like the one I chose for my new avatar. when I look at it I actually feel like I see myself, myself as I really am. I feel real. I cleared out a bunch of my likes and drafts on tumblr and that made me feel calm. I ate a really yummy slice of cake for dessert. I put moroccan argan oil in my hair which was really soothing and makes my hair dreamy and super-soft. I cleared out my drawers in my bathroom and sorted everything out and cleaned the counter and sink, and it looks so neat and nice. earlier I was angry and sad and I felt incredibly agitated and like the painful memories that were coming up were too much for me to bear, but I just let myself feel it and sit with it and gradually it passed, and it was painful, but I had spared myself a different pain that usually comes with those things, the pain of my own judgment and self-hatred. I missed my boyfriend while he was at work and that was a little bit sad but I felt really in love with him and I reflected on the progress we’ve made in our relationship and the healing that we’re getting to.
and all those things are real and good and valuable. they do not have to contribute to anyone else’s reality or happiness or anyone else’s ideas of how the world works or how I should be. they are good because for a brief moment in all of time, they brought someone joy and relief and peace. they brought me those things.
today does not have to feel like a failure. today does not have to be a day I look back on and feel embarrassment or regret. today can be a victory. today was a victory.
One day, I realized he might not exist. My soulmate, I mean.
I realized there might not be someone walking around this earth just waiting to meet me. Someone with a private world just as intricate as mine that, one day, I would get to share and be a part of and know.
And I realized I was keeping a vacant spot in my heart for this person who might not exist. That I wasn’t allowing myself to be whole because how could I be whole with my other half missing?
It was an excuse, of course. A simple view of life that would exempt me from having to put in the effort of filling myself up with the love I was waiting for someone else to supply.
The reality is this: Life is a churning, chaotic thing with no guarantees, and in the throws of the tumbling you might run into people to hold on to for a while. Sometimes for a night, sometimes for life.
And holding on to someone is a worthy thing. A wonderful thing. Something to look forward to and appreciate and embrace with your whole heart.
But the love you get from holding on to someone will never be as reliable as the love you can give yourself. Right here. Right now.
So here’s my advice. Be open to love, but don’t be empty for it.
“Fairy tale does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat…giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy; Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.”—J.R.R. Tolkien (via baldwin4-1185)