Today is the day I choose
to spend more time in self-love
than in self-deprecation,
more time in self-acceptance
than in self-criticism,
more time in joy
than in depression,
more time in gratitude
than in complaining,
more time in celebration
than in grief.
Happiness is a choice I must make.
I choose happiness today.
I got upset this morning,
lost it with my kids,
felt guilty and ashamed.
I interpreted this event as a setback.
I spent some time wallowing in shame,
depression, the belief that I haven’t made
any progress at all.
Then I breathed.
Then the wisdom came.
I remembered that I’m human,
I make mistakes,
and now it’s time for a reset.
So I chose for the day to go better
from that point on.
I’m going in to the kids’ classes
for Valentine’s Day;
I’m going to help the kids celebrate,
make crafts, have fun.
I tied up some loose ends at home,
finished some projects that had been waiting.
No more dwelling in upset, in setbacks.
I’ve reset…now it’s time to keep moving forward.
I’m feeling better,
and for this
I am extremely grateful.
Tomorrow is the Solstice.
The light will return little by little
in this hemisphere,
in this heart.
I drank some wine tonight…
specifically to alter my mood.
I was feeling anxious
and exhausted from enduring
the difficult feelings.
I wanted them to change.
I want to escape these feelings.
I wonder why I had children.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t.
I wish I could run away.
My children are the only reason
I’m still here in this part of the world.
I’ve thought about leaving this planet
many times this past year.
I’ve had more thoughts like these
since the holiday season has arrived.
The anger is back and so is the depression.
I wonder how long I can make it
feeling like this.
I don’t want to have to take pills.
I want to lick this on my own.
But it is licking me.
I’m angry at life.
Then I feel guilty for feeling angry.
Then I’m ashamed that I haven’t
fixed my life by now.
I keep working to improve myself,
but the deeper I dig
the more faults I discover.
Why did I start digging in the first place?
I could go on forever,
but you probably wouldn’t read this,
and your reading this is one of the only reasons
I’m writing this.
I thought this was for me,
but really it’s because I long to be seen
and heard and understood.
Thanks for listening.
There is a struggle
between the old way
and the new,
an attachment to familiarity
and a yearning to break free.
My body is tired
and my mind is weary
but my soul knows
this is the only game in town,
and so it says,
There have been many times
this past year and a half
where I was sure
I didn’t want to go on living.
The pain was too intense,
the grief too deep,
the anger too hot,
the overwhelm too suffocating…
and I just wanted to escape.
But somehow, magically,
at just the point when I had reached
the peak of my pain
and was ready to give up,
someone or something would show up
to help me give life another chance.
I am so grateful for the incredible grace
that has flowed through my life,
always giving me reasons to stay alive
when I was ready to reject everything.
I give thanks to the one who knows me,
to the one who knows exactly what I need
to always give life another chance.
This afternoon I was really wallowing
(Hey, at least I can see it.)
I was feeling sorry for myself,
lonely, listless, lethargic, worthless,
abandoned, powerless, broken.
And it finally struck me…
If this is my rock bottom,
then I’m doing pretty well.
I’m safe, warm and dry in a home
(even if it’s going into foreclosure
and I have no idea how much longer
I’ll be here).
I have plenty of food available,
electricity, running water, a car that works.
I love my work as a yoga teacher
(even if I am not currently being paid enough
to support myself and my two children).
I have so many books chock full of information
right at my fingertips; I can read and learn.
I can write.
I can reach out to a friend
(even if Depression lies to me
and tells me that no one cares).
And I realized that this is all about focus.
Which thoughts am I focusing on and believing?
And can I focus on thoughts that will help?
I can try to shift my mind
(even if I have tried and tried a million times
and I keep ending up back here).
I can put one foot in front of the other.
I can breathe.
(even if I doubt this will ever change).
Clearly, I need to focus on facts
and ignore the parenthetical nonsense
(even if it seems impossible in this moment).