Consume

The creaking grew closer. She held her breath as tears silently fell down her face. She couldn’t escape. No matter where she went or what she did, it always found her, following her as closely as her shadow. Cradled in the corner of the closet in the darkest room, she waited for it to find her.

It had already made it up the stairs and now, so slowly it was painful, creaked its way down the hall.

She trembled.

She knew what it would do once it found her. It would consume her until it look over her life, taking her form but destroying her soul.

She fought it off for as long as she could. But it didn’t matter anymore. She had no fight left in her. So here she sat, too tired to even cry anymore.

The bedroom door opened. Thunder boomed and lightning found its way through the cracks of the thick curtain she had drawn earlier, and under the closet door. The light nearly reached her feet and she instinctively drew them closer to her body. She leaned her head back against the wall and prayed she at least wouldn’t be aware of what was happening to her, once it took her over.

The creaking stopped. Waves of panic washed over her body, the final flight or fight trying to jump start her will to live. But there was no use in letting that feeling take over now. It had failed her too many times before. She would never find freedom.

The door to the closet opened, lightening brightening up the room and highlighting what she had feared for so long but could never actually face. She finally gave in.

Superheroine

I think, at some point, we all need a little saving. We all need a superhero. But I’ve come to learn that relying on others to save us only leads us down a dangerous path.

I’ve spent my life letting others save me- my family, my friends, my ex-husband. But where has that gotten me? Divorced, few friends, living on my father’s couch, and on the brink of losing my job. I’ve never been so stressed out or scared. Every time I think things start to look better, something else knocks me down. And each time, I struggle more to get back up.

“When it rains, it pours,” my friend said to me. Right now, I feel like I’m drowning.

I would love for a superhero to sweep me up, put me on my feet with a new job, a wonderful place to live, and take care of all the worries I have right now.

But what would that really accomplish? What will happen the next time disaster strikes? Who will save me then? Is this really a pattern I’m okay with having established?

It seems to me that my weaknesses- fear, lack of self-confidence, anxiety/ depression, lack of motivation, procrastination- are more than my kryptonite, they’re also the part of me that make up my villain.

I need to unleash my inner superheroine.

But how do I define a superheroine? What qualities do I already possess or would need to possess to transition into my superheroine persona?

Super Powers– I used to think I had my own special super power: intuition. I haven’t always trusted my intuition, but it has always proved to be spot-on right.  Each time I don’t listen to it- whether it’s talking to someone I shouldn’t or avoiding something I need to face- I end up regretting it. I suppose you could say that lack of self-confidence acts like my kryptonite and keeps me from using my intuition.

Bravery– I let fear act like yet another kryptonite. I let it keep me from experiencing life and taking risks. My plan to move gives me anxiety attacks each time I realize it has to happen. Even if I don’t move as far as I plan, I’m still going to have to move to a new place, one where I don’t know anyone or have any kind of support system. And it’s so scary. It stops me in my tracks each time I take steps toward making the move happen.

Arch-Rival– Me, A.K.A. Mr. Hyde, A.K.A. my secret identity . I really do feel as though I’m Dr. Jekyll battling my own (less comic-book-evil) Mr. Hyde. And though as I work through my issues, I have less “monster” tendencies, I still need a “serum” to keep the doctor in control. Through different therapeutic methods, I’m working to keep my anxious, angry, impatient stressed out Mr. Hyde at bay. Like Dr Jekyll, I try different techniques to overpower my Mr Hyde (breathing, writing, yoga, etc) but with each transformation, I need more effort to remain Dr Jekyll.

Savior– A superheroine serves the common good and lets her strong moral code guide her. She exemplifies hope because others can depend on her to do what’s right. I’ve always had a strong urge to help others, though I don’t always act on that impulse. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done charitable work and I feel as though it’s well past my time to build up my community.

Before I can truly serve others, though, I first need to work on saving myself. Maybe that sounds selfish but if you don’t have a stable foundation, those you seek to help will just crumble on top of your own ruins.

And I want others to have the opportunity to come to me for guidance and salvation. More importantly, I want my own Mr. Hyde to seek the help of my own Dr. Jekyll. I want to find the right potion to keep Mr. Hyde at bay. Because in the end, no one can save me but me.

wonder-woman

 

 

Superhero

Live in the Gray

Have you ever considered that there’s no one “right” path for your life? When faced with decisions that affect our lives, we sometimes get stuck at the fork because we aren’t sure which way to go. Or at least I do. Maybe I’m one of the few instead of one of the many who stay stuck.

In one of my previous posts, Make That Mistake, I toyed with the idea that the television show How I Met Your Mother introduced to me: sometimes we should aim to make mistakes. It’s a liberating idea. We live more when we have an Open Mind, let go of the cementing control, and just DO IT.

Think of it this way:

You can feel unhappy and want to make a change, but pick the lesser, known evil: stay still because making a change could bring something so much worse.

But what’s worse than being stuck?

If you make a change and it makes life worse, MAKE ANOTHER CHANGE! 

Yes change is stressful and scary. But what’s more stressful and scary than the thought that life will always stay the same? Maybe things won’t get worse BUT THEY WILL NEVER GET BETTER, either.

I’ve been so overwhelmed trying to plan the next phase of my life that I’ve gotten myself stuck, fearing making a wrong choice, one where I’m unhappy. But things will never get better if I don’t move. I love that my dad opened up his very small space to me, giving me the opportunity to heal and save money so that I can have a more successful transition to my next phase. But I’m not happy with my jobs. I’m not happy working six days a week. I’m not happy having no time or space to myself. Even though it’s better than the unhappy marriage I endured, I don’t want to get stuck in another less than ideal situation.

I’ve decided to give myself a deadline.  By January 1st (at the latest), I will put in my two weeks’ notice.

From now until then, I will plan my move but keep an open mind to the limitless opportunities this move could bring me. In fact, I think I’m going to dedicate a part of this blog to marking my progress in this process.

Now it’s time to ask yourself, what change have you been meaning to make but don’t out of fear? Where do you need to stop thinking in black and white and starting thinking in gray?

via Discover Challenge: Open-Minded

 

Now Is All That Exists

I woke up in a horrible, horrible mood this morning. No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t shake it. Finally I decided that I needed some much needed and much deserved alone time; so I went to the beach. Beach hours had ended and most everyone had left, leaving the beach a quiet, peaceful place to relax and renew.

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As I sat there on the beach, with my hare feet in the cool sand, breathing in the salty air, I wrote down everything I had been going through in the notebook I brought with me.  Somehow, seeing how I’ve been feeling in writing made it seem so real, so permanent and it hurt. It made me angry. So  I wrote that feeling in the sand.

Angry.

And seeing it made me feel even angrier, so I wiped it away. It surprised me how good it felt to make that word disappear, as though I were taking control, giving myself back the power over my life, and actually wiping away the anger.

One by one, I wrote my feelings down and swept them away. Each time my hand brushed the sand and erased another word, I wiped the slate clean from the earth and from my life. During this ritual, I took pictures, thinking I might like to write about this experience. But toward the end, I realized it defeated the purpose to keep those negative feelings, even if it was only in a picture.

Because the truth is, I don’t want to write about my divorce anymore.

I don’t want to write about my struggle with it anymore.

I want a clean slate.

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And I feel at peace as I decide this.

I’m ready for this. I’m ready to let go of everything I erased on the beach. It’s so empowering to know that I got here on my own, accepting what happened and feeling ready to move forward.

This isn’t to say that I don’t expect to ever have negative feelings about my divorce again. Just that I’m working toward letting it go, not letting myself dwell on the negative feelings.

More importantly, I’ll just work to live in the now. After all, it’s the only thing that truly exists.

 

Vices I’m Willing to Live With

It’s surprising how easy it is to fall into a life full of  vice after having gone through a divorce. You don’t even see yourself falling into the many traps until you take the time to reflect on your life.

Once I took the time to wonder, what do I have to work on?, I realized what vices I had succumbed to, not only during my marriage, but also after my divorce.

And as much as it hurts to accept the person I let myself turn into, it gives me hope that, because I realize where I’ve gone wrong and because I’m willing to work on myself, I might just have the chance to narrow down my long list of vices.

Of course, although I have hope, I also have fear, weakness and attachment issues- all vices I must work through first before I can start my journey back to me. Because when you’re left alone after a divorce, you come to realize that no one can hold your hand; no one can help you through your fears and weaknesses, you’re on your own. It’s tempting to attach to someone else, to lean on them, to let them to guide you through; but I’ve come to realize that I don’t want that.

I only want to lean on me.

And maybe that’s moving on to another vice: egoism or self-importance.

But if that’s the case, those are Vices I’m willing to live with.