Stop driving yourself crazy trying to do the “right” things

There’s no way to know what to do. Where to go. What to say, to whom.

There’s no way to really know what’s “right”.

Sure; there’s the moment-to-moment gut instincts. But even those aren’t always reliable… Since fear can oftentimes mask itself as intuitive guidance.

I often feel like we are our own labyrinths to figure out, and we’re constantly changing. Once we have an idea of how one area of the maze works, the whole thing flips on its head and the lights flicker… And we must work through it backwards and in scattered bits of darkness. Doing our best to remember and apply what we could have sworn we knew by heart.

I stress myself so much on deciphering right from wrong, good from bad, love from fear. But I’ve realized that the level of stress I put on myself is what’s wrong, bad, and fearful. Letting go and giving myself a break along with an ample allowance for mistakes would be far more of a right, good, loving thing to do.

I’ve had this realization before, made this amend to myself before, turned over a new leaf before.

But this time, I’m choosing not to beat myself up over it… Over “having already learned this.” I’m choosing to ignore anything resembling an, “I should have known better” or “How did I end up here again?”

(“Here” = stressed out, exhausted, unhappy, feeling trapped within myself)

Because sure, maybe I have learned this lesson countless times. But it’s like any lesson we learned in school; they’ll come up on later tests, midterms, and reviews. Even in different classes or real-life scenarios down the road.

We must keep our minds and knowledge fresh.

I believe that the arch of healing and rewriting patterns looks a little like this.

First, we are unaware of a tendency. It is who we are, and we are fully embodied with it.

Second, we become aware that something is off or we have something we want to change… But we still seem to be hijacked by it. We don’t know how to fix it.

Third, we have an awareness of the pattern, we want to change it, and through hindsight we’ve learned how we’d like to handle things differently… And yet, we still get hijacked. We watch ourselves handle situations in ways we don’t want to handle them. It’s an icky feeling, but a necessary part of the process.

This next one is my favorite one.

The fourth chapter is having an awareness of the pattern, a desire and dedication to change it, a plan on how to handle situations in a healthier manner… and then *BOOM* it happens. You recognize IN THE MOMENT AS IT IS HAPPENING that *this* is your chance to do something different.

Maybe you do the old decision and cycle back to #3, but eventually (hopefully) you’ll get to #4, pause in the moment of recognizing an old behavior, and then make a NEW decision.

It. Is. So. Fucking. Freeing.

#5 and so on consist of regularly making the new decision until it becomes second nature, ultimately ending with another state of unawareness like the first… Except now the healthier choice is the new norm.

I’d say I’ve been oscillating between the 3 and 4 range, cycling through them again and again.

But that’s okay. It’s all okay.

This is a big lesson for me to learn in this lifetime. It’s about ENJOYING life rather than working all the time or constantly trying to fix things / people / situations.

I’m so good at working. I’m so good at improving, adjusting, managing, fixing.

Enjoyment, though? That one seems to be more of a seasonal visitor. Or we’ll have a few weeklong flings where I become totally certain I’ve got a handle on this whole “relax and have fun and enjoy the moment” thing… And then I’ll find myself where I’ve been lately.

I’ve been doing all the “right” things that I logically know are “relaxing.” But none of them have aligned with what really feels yummy or fun to me. I’ve sort of lost touch with that again.

Weird, right? To not know what’s fun or what sounds good? For life to become bland, colors to get duller?

And yet, it happens sometimes. Sometimes I’m trying so hard to become who I am in the future that I lose track of who I am right now.

And that’s okay. See? Even that’s okay. For someone who’s 5+ years into recovery and deeply dedicated to a life of healing and self-awareness to get caught in her own shit and lose track of Love and Joy and Purpose and Self.

Sometimes that happens. And that’s okay.

I’ve been so scared to share my journey. Scared I take things too seriously, talk about myself too much, and that people are probably sick of me journaling about my life and realizations and spewing it onto the internet for them to read or not read (I never know unless someone tells me).

I’ve been scared that this is me basking in my own idea of my self-importance. Of thinking I’m so special and different that *MY* viewpoint is important enough to regularly share.

God, it makes me sick to see all the Vlogs and Blogs out there… People living vicariously through other people. We’re settling into a world of virtual reality and surrogates without realizing it.

And yet, as much as I don’t want to be a part of that world or to “feed the monster,” I realize that writing is my gift, my vocation, and I can go as far as to say that it’s my oxygen. My lungs.

I can only hold an inhalation for so long.

Eventually, I have to breathe out.

It annoys me. It really does. I wish I could shut out all the things that bother me about the world. I wish I could be normal like other people and fit in the cookie cutter world. But I just fucking don’t. When I try to dull myself, my life becomes dull. Things don’t taste good anymore, I stop hearing the birds, and the one thing I look forward to when I wake up is going to sleep that night.

And, while I may be doing it with the intention of not bothering other people or potentially saying something ‘wrong’ in this hypersensitive world or what-have-you, I see that holding myself back is only hurting me.

And I’ve got to stop. My life depends on it.

I don’t know what that means or what that will look like, and part of me feels like a dweeb for blasting this online as if it’s some miraculous fucking discovery that’s going to alter someone else’s life forever.

But… I realize I’ve got to stop making my decisions based on how helpful it will be to other people. It’s great to be mindful of others’ feelings, but I’ve put myself into a world of regularly being reminded of potential negative (never positive) consequences for my actions, feelings, thoughts.

I’ve created a prison for myself with harsh rules, guards, and a rigid chore list.

I’ve lost track of who I am.

Who I am, whether I like it or not, is a story-teller.

And today, this is where I am in my story.

Is it “right” or “good” to share this? Maybe. Maybe not.

You know what I’m learning to say about all that mental gymnastics?

Fuck it.

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

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