Meditation: Balance, Sleep Length: 10 minutes Where: In bed, Los Angeles How It Felt: Put me to sleep!
Wow, we got deep yesterday, huh?
This blog has become something I didn’t expect. I fully thought I was going to dedicate this to all things meditation and mindfulness related. I was planning to research the science and try different products and get really serious about meditating for a full year, so I could become very educated on the subject and possibly help others by passing on that knowledge.
Early this year, though, I was taking a comedy workshop and the guest speaker mentioned how important it is to find time to write every day. At that point, I think I realized that blogging daily can be part of that challenge, and I changed my focus to practicing writing consistently. Suddenly this blog took the place of other blogs, my journal, and other writing, and became more personal. A place to check in with my mental and emotional state daily.
I love meditating and plan to do it forever, but I don’t plan on becoming a meditation leader or guru or anything of the sort, so I find myself content to experience it rather than deeply understand it. I am still a curious person, so I know I will certainly read and learn more about meditation going forward, but the general exercise of simply writing every day is more beneficial to me at this point in my life.
It’s a good reminder that we can pivot. At points, I’ve felt a bit guilty, like I promised this big thing I wanted to deliver and now I’m backing out. Today I was reading about Simone Biles and it hit me that it’s okay to change course as needed. We don’t owe the world anything, really. It’s so much healthier to be in touch with what we need and act accordingly.
Of course, if we are hurting others somehow when we do this, we need to be aware and do what we can to soften any damage. For example, if you start a company, take a million orders, then freak out and can’t deliver the product, you have to give everyone’s money back. Or, if you get pregnant and decide to keep the child and raise it yourself, you don’t get to just be a shitty parent because you don’t want to do it anymore. There are ethics involved, and options. Innocent people to protect.
But this idea that we tried something and found it isn’t helpful for us, or even possibly harmful, but we have to keep doing it anyway just because we wanted to at one time? That’s crazy. To stay in a toxic marriage because you said you would stay together for life when you were 24 years old, for instance. To keep at a certain job you hate because you feel bad being a “quitter.” To go through with something you can’t afford because your friends won’t understand, or to stick with your original major in college just to finish even though you don’t want to do that anymore, or to risk injury and medals for your country because everything you’ve done already somehow isn’t “enough”… all of this is crazy behavior.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m writing this blog for me, and that’s good enough for me. I started something with one idea of what it could be, then it morphed into something different that feeds me in a helpful way. If I’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s to stop caring what people think and listen to my own gut. Life proves to us time and time again that we can try to do everything “right” and still get blamed and shamed, so why not do the thing that works for us? That makes us feel happy and safe? That reminds us that our needs are just as important as anyone else’s?
There is something basically all abusive and toxic people have in common, which is an ability (or desire) to make other people feel like their needs and wants matter less than the abuser’s. The idea is, “I can act how I want, but when you don’t act the way I want you to, I will punish you.” They accomplish this with a whole playbook of tactics- gaslighting, devaluing you, destroying your self esteem, isolating you from those who care about you, holding things like money or favors over your head, playing the victim, or rewarding you with affection or “love” when you behave the “correct” way- the way they want. You are not celebrated as an independent person, but rather only valued for the way you serve them.
I’ve long lived life with one foot in and one out. I’ve both forged my own path and shot myself in the foot trying really, really hard to be someone I’m not to keep people I love happy. I’ve been able to let the second part go this past year, and it comes with growing pains. I have to pause before a lot of my decisions to ask myself, “Is this something that will really make me happy, or am I trying to be the person they wish I could be?” I’ve adjusted a lot of my priorities, mourned the relationships I was wishing I had, ones that didn’t really exist, and started discovering what really makes me happy and what causes me stress because it’s totally out of alignment.
I literally meant for this to be a quick blog about how I’ve been writing more personal stuff than I set out to write, but here is another example of exactly why I’m doing it this way. Putting my thoughts and feelings into words clears up so much. It’s unbelievably helpful!
I can’t wait for the world to start up again for real. I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made and the person I am, the person I unearthed over the past year and a half from underneath a mountain of people pleasing, expectations, compromise, and anxiety. It’s going to be fun to see what life is like when I get to just be me for once!
I’ve never felt so excited to just exist. Or, after all the death we’ve seen in the past year, more grateful to simply be alive.
It’s been exhausting shedding these last deep layers of the person I thought I was “supposed” to be, but it’s so worth it. 10/10- Highly recommend!