A Commitment to Experience Myself Differently

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If you’re determined to think of yourself as limited, fearful, vulnerable, or scarred by past experience,

know only that you have chosen to do so,

and that the opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living

(Quote found at Mindful Balance, one of my favorite pages)

This quote smacked me in the face at 5:00 this morning.  And I mean, smacked me and called me its runny-nosed brother, and smooshed my face into the carpet, calling me names all the way.  It knocked me the eff over.

Why didn’t I ever think of this?  Why hadn’t I listened when I heard it before?  How I see myself is a CHOICE.  Self-perception is IN MY HANDS.  I can keep the good and dismiss the bad.  I don’t have to perseverate on all the bad things that have happened to me throughout life.  They do not define me.

I have this breakthrough every now and again.   Usually after Goddess of Mindfulness has said something or after I read something like the above quote.  It just never seems to stick.  With the life I am living now, the life I am trying to build, you know, that life worth living, this MUST stick.  I MUST reinvent who I am.  Embrace the good, out with the negative thinking of myself.

The  one thing in the quote I don’t agree with, is making it sound like being vulnerable is a negative thing.  Perhaps if you consider yourself overly vulnerable, like any little thing is going to reach into the safe world you’ve built and snatch it away.  That’s a negative form of vulnerability.  But the vulnerability I see in myself, I consider a good thing.

Maybe this is because I am equating being vulnerable with being open, with being willing.  These are two things I am striving toward, and maybe they don’t equal vulnerability.  I only say they do because, well, they sure do make me feel that way.  I think you have to be willing to open yourself up to new things, new ideas, new people in order to grow, and that does make you vulnerable.

With that being said, I’ll take the majority of the quote as pure words of wisdom, and leave that one word out.  For me, being vulnerable is a place I need to be at, for now.  I need to leave myself open, even if it means I’m going to get my feelings  hurt or laughed  at or rejected.  It’s something I need to do, for me.

Collection of Thoughts

For-the-moon-never

 

In the past, I struggled with nightmares.  Trauma-induced nightmares that would wake me up, breathless and sweating.  I’m pleased to say that with a good healthy kick of Prazosin, and years of therapy, I don’t have those dreams often anymore.  Now when I dream, it is usually right around the end of the world and I am fighting.  With guns.  And saving people.  And looking for my dogs.  And my sister.  These aren’t nightmares, per say, but they are unpleasant.  I also have a lot of dreams about showing up places inappropriately dressed.  I don’t believe in dream interpretation, but I can imagine what some people would say about that.  It is funny, though, to only  have two types of dreams:  end of the world dreams and inappropriately naked dreams.  I’d like a little more variety.

 

he who does not understand silence

 

I like this.  It spoke to me, but I didn’t hear it.  OK, kidding, obviously.  There is so much truth in this quote, though.

DSB:  What’s for dinner?

Me:  *silence*

DSB:  What’s wrong?  What happened?

Me:  *silence*

DSB:  Do you not want to talk about it right now?

Me:  *nodding head*

DSB:  Come see me when you’re fit to have this conversation, because we ARE having this conversation.

And what I was trying to do was keep from crying, but he thought I was mad about something.  Sometimes the tears come for no reason, and they will not go away.  And he doesn’t get that, even when I explain it.  Emotional times around my household lately.

 

She-lives-the-poetry

 

Word to you, Mr. Oscar Wilde.  When I was growing up, I wrote tons of poetry.  Now, I can’t even read it.  It’s to the point where, if a poem shows up in my reader, I just delete it.  I can’t go there.  All that time I spent gushing out my emotions on paper, in poetry form — that time is over and long gone and, while I wish I could still write like that, I appreciate the medicated and unable-to-write-or-read-poetry version of Rosa better.  But Mr. Wilde is right, I am living it.  You can’t read it or see it, but it lives on.

 

friends are like quarters

Amen to that.  I’ve been through times when I’ve had tons of “friends,” who really I could probably only call acquaintances, and some not even that.  Now I have a very very few friends, and they mean more to me, and are more to me, than any 790 Facebook friends I used to have.  It’s funny who we choose to share our life with, and I think the better quality comes from sharing it less, but sharing it with people who get it more.

 

 

 

 

Backpedaling

Oh shut up. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you hurt, you heal. After darkness, there is always light and you get reminded of this every morning but still you choose to believe that the night will last forever. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good or the bad. So you might as well smile while you’re here.

from I Wrote This For You

I needed this today, right now, in this moment, more than I realized.  I found this website via Grace’s Birdcage this morning.  I liked what was on her blog here, and finally took some time tonight to look at the author’s website

Some much needed time.

I have had several rough moments this past week.  When I’m at work, it’s not so bad.  I’m busy, preoccupied, even.  I don’t have time, literally, to let those old thoughts — so well-worn, familiar, uncherished — cycle and recycle through my head over and over.  There is simply not enough room in my brain for all of that while at work, which is probably a good thing, considering I work in the women’s state prison and some of them wouldn’t mind at all to catch me in a weak moment and smash a sock lock into my nose.

After I am off work, before I go to work in the morning.  Those times are hard.  My brain is screaming all of these negatives at me and all I want to do is have a moment of peace.  I distract myself to the point when I can’t be distracted anymore.  I meditate, I blog, color, listen to music, cook, do dishes, laundry, organize.  It’s all there waiting for me when I’m done, though. 

I try to pretend it’s not.  I tell everyone that I’m fine, “Oh yeah, everything’s great!”  In the overall picture, things are fine.  Like the times that I’m at work.  And all of the energy I’ve spent over this new blog.  House is so nice and clean, the next week is planned down to the finest of details.  Everything is just.so.

Having a mixed episode of bipolar disorder is fairly awful — feelings of overflowing energy consume and five hours later, you’re staring at the bedroom ceiling, chainsmoking in the breakfast nook, looking out over the backyard at 3:00 a.m.  And it won’t end.  And it doesn’t end.

Except it does.  Easy to forget.  Hard to remember. 

This song is how I want my head to feel, how I want my heart to beat.

Twenty-two-Fourteen, The Album Leaf