The jig is up.
I’m on to you.
I know how you work now.
I know that you’ve been conditioned
to believe negative thoughts,
and you are going to keep regurgitating
until I choose to train you otherwise.
Well, my dear brain,
I’m choosing to train you otherwise.
I won’t believe all those horrid things he said.
I won’t believe that I was worthless.
I won’t believe that it was all my fault.
I won’t believe that I was just a taker—
I know I wasn’t.
Brain, it’s time for the TRUTH.
I did everything I could.
I was ENTITLED to my own thoughts and feelings.
It just didn’t work out between us,
and this wasn’t my fault.
I tried to get us to marital therapy.
I tired to share my experiences, my hopes and fears.
I thought if I worked hard enough on me,
things would get better.
It’s not my fault.
Brain, I can’t stay married
to someone who just doesn’t love me, okay?
I can’t stay married to someone
who isn’t willing to be responsible for their part.
I can’t stay married to someone who blames me
for everything that goes wrong in their life.
Brain, I deserve more, do you hear me?
I deserve so much more.
I deserve someone who loves me
not in spite of my shortcomings
but because of them.
I deserve someone who lights up
when I walk into the room.
I deserve to be made love to
so tenderly and sweetly,
with care and reverence.
I deserve to be celebrated for my gifts,
and supported and encouraged in their expression.
After all this time, brain, the jig is up.
You don’t get to tell me how this goes anymore.
I don’t want my present to be a recycled version
of my painful past.
I get to choose. And I choose love.
And health. And happiness. And celebration.
Thanks for listening.
We think 74,000 thoughts every day.
Over 90% are recycled.
Of those thoughts,
the vast majority are negative.
After two years of living in terror,
I’m ready for some new thoughts.
I’m curious about this tendency of my mind
to fixate on negativity.
I’m noticing the effects of my thinking
on my body, my health, my perception.
I have read and learned enough about the brain
to understand we are hardwired
to continually scan our environment
for threats to our survival,
and to see pretty much everything as a threat…
it’s how our ancestors survived.
But I am interested in much more
than survival...much, much more.
I want to thrive.
I want to open fully into the light
to sing my life
and dance my joy
and love this place called The Universe.
All of the work I’ve done,
all the meditation,
all the writing, the therapy,
the Twelve Step Meetings,
and still my mind stubbornly persists
in seeing the world as a dangerous place.
Oh my mind,
will you ever relent?
At what point does one feel ready
to reinvent oneself?
At what point do we become willing
to release the pain imprinted in our DNA
and write a new story for ourselves?
If we identify with our pain
we won’t be willing to let it go,
because its leaving would signify our dying.
But we need to die
to be reborn to eternal life.
If the self isn’t pain,
what is the self?
If the pain died away,
if it dissolved into the nothingness
from which all thoughts come,
who would be there
to witness what remains?
Let me find that witness.
I’m tired of all this surface stuff.
I’m ready for a deep conversation.
Ahh, settling into this moment,
and it feels wonderful, actually.
I had this realization
that my mind was stealing my joy.
I was giving my attention
to painful thoughts—
and believing them.
But then, I chose to think differently.
I chose to focus on
what is working in my life,
how fortunate I am
to have my health,
And suddenly I realized
how rich I am,
how truly sacred
this moment is.
in the absence
of those painful thoughts,
all that is left is
gratitude and joy.
Ahhhhh, thank you life.
I was at home,
and it struck me…
If I’m feeling bad
and there is no one around,
I’m the one making myself feel bad.
If I’m feeling good
and there is no one around
I’m the one making myself feel good.
My thoughts are determining how I feel,
and this is true,
but only 100% of the time.
If this is true
when I am alone,
then it is true
when I am with others.
I can blame others
for making me feel a certain way,
but in the end,
I choose how I feel inside myself
based on how I respond
to the external circumstances of my life.
That sure is a lot of responsibility…
No wonder so few people take it.
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).
I’m being vigilant of my thoughts.
I’m choosing ones that support
growth and evolution.
This is really new for me.
I’ll keep you posted.
I realized I can do this.
I can redirect my mind.
I can think better thoughts.
I can help myself feel better.
I can focus on what I want.
I can release the past
by believing in my future.
I am strong.
And I can learn how to be stronger.
Breathe into your thoughts.
the way wind disperses
old dried leaves upon the sidewalk.
Let your breath
blow the thoughts away
and clear the path
to greater things.