I sit down to write on the heels of messages from two very different individuals. These two have nothing in common as to where they live, their profession, their personality, or their family life. They are about as opposite each other as one can get. Yet, their messages mirrored one another in every possible way.
They are stuck in a rut of sadness and anxiety. Their words, self-talk, and desperation are consuming them, and I feel for them. I feel for them because I was there in that pit, where darkness seems to follow you wherever you go. It’s a place that you are certain you will never recover from, and one that brings not only emotional turmoil, but physical as well.
While it has been a long while since I’ve lived in that soul crushing place, my body remembers it well. It remembers it so well, in fact, that I find myself popping in for a visit time and time again with nothing to attach it to. The anxiety, the sadness, the ache that takes up residence deep within your chest; the voices that tell you you are not good enough, or the belief that no matter how hard you try, you will fail. The self-doubt that crowds the best of situations and the tears that come for no obvious reason. It all can come back.
Interestingly enough, it is coming back because my body believes that is the norm. This I know. It has been trained to believe that this is how life is and the body simply reacts as it remembers. We have to train it to react differently. Way back in the day, I wrote a piece called “Recreating Memories.” In it, I spoke about how we can rewrite the script on places, experience, and moments so that they do not remind us of the terrible things that we associate them with. Over the years, I’ve proven this to myself (Oh, and there is plenty of real research to back it as well.) time and time again. Over the years, I’ve reassociated certain things with happier memories and those memories are what I know now (i.e. Disney equals happiness with those I love. Disney does not equal my ex-husband’s abusive behavior).
This year, my focus is to start rewriting the script, and dialog, that plays out in my head all day long. My intention is to share that through my writing.
So, where to begin? I can only speak to my own journey and what I’ve learned from others that are way ahead of me on this path, but here is step one.
Determine what it is you want today, this month, or even this year, and make it tangible. Write it down. These are not goals. Goals are something you aspire to, things you feel will make you a better person in some capacity. Goals are things that we often associate with not attaining. Intention is what you intend; what you aim for. It is something you are doing for a specific reason that is good for you. It is ongoing.
Here’s an example. One of my intentions is to write more. Why? Because it grounds me. Writing is how I sort it out, organize my thoughts, and meditate on the possibilities. It is my go to, and when I don’t use my “go to,” I get caught up in the daily stuff (as I mentioned in my last post). I’ve also set the intention of focusing on the positive. Basically, I’m not rehashing my past, but rather moving forward.
Part of rewriting the script is taking on a new perspective and that takes practice. Part of that practice is waking up each day and redirecting thoughts from the negative to the positive. It involves vanquishing anxiety when it rears its ugly head and avoiding triggers that bring on sadness, regret, or shame. It is moving forward with your head held high and a smile on your face. It is you taking control of the emotions that are holding you back and keeping you from enjoying the beauty in life.
And, that is where I will leave you for today. Go set your intentions. Start small and stay positive, but consciously make note of what you intend to do and why. You are the author of your life. Until next time…