Archives for posts with tag: there is no try

I started the morning with meditation. Coffee came later. 🙂 Nice morning for it. Not much to say about it. Pleasant morning.

It’s a work day, in the time of the pandemic. I am grateful to be employed. I’m grateful to be housed. I’m grateful that so much is going to so well in my life right now. I sip my coffee and sit quietly with thoughts of what is going well, what feels good, what is working out smoothly. Thoughts of sufficiency, thoughts of contentment.

…The point is not that my life is perfect, the point is to spend more time “dwelling on” what is going well, rather than investing that time in ruminations of what “sucks”, what “isn’t working out”, what is “holding me back”, or things that are painful, problematic, or inconvenient. Seriously. It’s a key practice I can’t recommend strongly enough; spend more time contemplating what is working, what is pleasant, and what you enjoy in your life, than you do fussing or bitching about what isn’t going as well. It has the potential to change your implicit experience of life, to change your actual brain, and could result in a more pleasant experience of life, generally. It also just feels better.

We don’t just find our “happy place” – we also create (or destroy) it.

…Isn’t “feeling better” one of the things we’d all like to do? “Being” a “pessimist” (or someone who is very negative about life) is not a permanent affliction (doesn’t have to be, anyway) – you can choose. 🙂 Yes, I’m even suggesting that in the face of living a “terrible” set of circumstances, it is possible to have a better experience than you may be having… with some carefully chosen practices, practiced with care and consistency, over time. No guarantee, of course; I’m not an expert, nor a doctor. My results have varied, surely yours will, also. Still… over the past decade I’ve gone from being a very cynical, rather bitter, wholly negative human being to someone who is generally fairly positive, mostly pretty optimistic, comfortably content much of the time, who feels a secure sense that, generally, most things will (or could) turn out acceptably okay. 🙂 It’s enough (for me). Life feels pretty good, mostly.

…There are a lot of implied new beginnings in that last paragraph, not gonna lie. A lot of work has been involved in getting myself from “there” to “here”. I still have occasional down days and blue moments. I still sometimes struggle with my emotional wellness and mental health. I’m a human, being human.

I finish my coffee with a smile. Go for a walk? A soak in the spa? Do some yoga? Start work early? I think things over…

…It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Sometimes finding a happy place is surprisingly close to home.

Was it me? Was it them? Is anyone at all “right”? Is anyone “the good guy”? It doesn’t feel like it. We’re each having our own experience. Really listening to each other – both of us, reliably – is not a thing right now. This shit went so wrong that even the neighbors are awake with it. It’s not okay. I can tell I’m not “the good guy”. It’s pretty much a given that I’m not the good guy, any time shit blows up; complex PTSD is nasty shit, and most of the time, in most circumstances, when things fall apart this badly, this fast, it’s on me. I’m not being hard on myself, or sarcastic, or fatalistic, or catastrophizing. It’s just statistics. If something goes this badly, this quickly, I can reliably assume with considerable likelihood of being correct that it’s me, because far more often than not, it is. My words. My actions. My reactions. My… something. My PTSD. It’s hard to take, as answers go, and at least right now I’m feeling mostly despair and that bleak sense of “this again?” I feel like I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. Metaphorically speaking.

…I’m so tired of it…

…I’m so tired of me.

Is this “who I am”, when it comes right down to it?

I’m tired of PTSD. So tired of it. The unexpected flash of unreasonable anger/frustration/rage/tears that sweeps in out of literally nowhere, and just lays waste to every fucking thing that could ever have been good about a moment is beyond comprehension, and seems defiant of management or control. It leaves an emotional film of unpleasantness and sorrow over everything that follows for some time.

…But… I have all these excellent practices… all this therapy behind me… all these good intentions… all this fucking work. My demons howl with laughter and general merriment. I can hear them like a Greek chorus, “Fuck your practices you stupid meat puppet! We fucking own you. We will own you until it kills you or destroys everything you love.”

Sure, there’s shit my Traveling Partner fucks up, too. He’s human. I think it’s easy enough to acknowledge his humanity. Sometimes he’s wrong. Sometimes he’s an asshole. Sometimes he’s not either of those things, and shit still goes sideways. I’ve got to acknowledge that he definitely loves me, too; how else could he have stayed through so much of my bullshit? How else could he continue to approach me, seeking to calm things down and soothe me when he is hurting, himself?  Is it enough? Is love actually enough? Can it really keep me trying? Can it really lift me up? Is love enough to get me to hang in there through another freak out? Another break down? Another fuck up? Another moment of missed communication, sabotaged joy, lost delight? Is love enough to endure more of this shit? Is it unreasonable to expect it to be?

What do I even do right now? (What do I even do right, now?)

I’ve lost my appetite. My coffee tastes sour. My head aches. My tears just keep slowly flowing down my face. This is an incredibly painful moment. We’re on the edge of doing something really wonderful together… and I continue to suck as a human being. God damn it. Fucking hell. This is miserable.

…Why am I choosing misery?

(Breathe. Exhale. Let it go. Breathe. Exhale. Let it go, some more. Breathe, exhale, let it go, be here – present in this moment. I remind myself that I am “okay right now”.)

So, now what? I don’t know. I know my partner is hurting in the other room. Emotional pain because this was a painful moment. Physical pain because he’s a human, and aging fucking sucks; old injuries hurt worse as we age than they did when we were recovering from them. Both of us are hurting. There’s no physical violence in this relationship, but we sometimes treat each poorly. Harsh. Unkind words are for sure “better than a punch in the mouth” – but they aren’t good. It’s not what I want from myself. It’s not want I want for myself.

…I just want my pleasant relaxed morning back. I want to roll back the clock and treat my partner well, and feel well-treated in return. We missed our moment. I can’t refuse to own my part in that. I can’t turn away from my critical failures. The way out is through. We learn best through our mistakes and failures. Growth is uncomfortable.

“Begin again.” It’s feeble, but I heard it. That’s something, I guess. I think I want to, too. I just don’t feel confident about the outcome, right now. 😦 That’s even okay. It’s enough to make the effort. It’s enough to begin again.

…and again…

…and again…

We become what we practice. It’s time to practice calm. It’s time to practice loving words. It’s time to practice listening deeply.

…It’s time to begin again.

 

I woke last night abruptly, sometime in the wee hours. My brain was working overtime on something that was on my mind; my weight. I find managing my weight difficult. It’s a common enough challenge, and I won’t bore you with bitching and fussing, we’ve all got our own Tale of Awful with regard to beauty challenges of one sort or another, and other writers write well and powerfully about how our self-image is affected by culture, advertising, internet trolls, our upbringing… all that. I won’t bother to re-hash it.

I had gone to bed irked because I gained some weight that I’d fought hard to lose. Again. I woke up because my busy brain continued to contrast, compare, filter, collate, and sort information from a number of areas of life where I have (or have not) progressed and how I understand things to have worked in that instance. I woke because my brain got finished with that project and urgently needed to get my attention back on it asap. lol Peculiarly (encouragingly) I woke feeling hopeful and aware – aware of how I affect my progress (or lack of it) – and how I can get control of it (and myself) and make more powerful gains toward my goals. Nice.

Yeah. There are gonna be verbs involved. 🙂 I can even sum it up pretty briefly; I need to eat mindfully. No kidding. It could be literally that simple – and will likely be every bit that difficult. I know the quantity of calories I must limit myself to, daily, in order to lose weight. I have a decent understanding of my nutritional needs, and what the content of those calories must be. I want very much to be both healthier and more attractive, and I like it when my feet don’t hurt just from hiking a couple miles. I have the means to ensure my pantry has the type/quantity of basic ingredients needed to meet my needs day-to-day. I miss my goals when I fail to approach food and meals mindfully. It’s so easy to take my eye off good portion control simply by being casual about it, eye-balling something I’m ‘sure of’ now and then… which quickly becomes ‘so much easier  than’ measuring things all the time… which ends up with portions easily three times what I need to be healthy. The small mistakes add up in pounds. Damn it.

I dislike constant oversight, and living alone I don’t have any… but oversight is something that has value, if I am not willing or able to manage my life with that level of detail… so… can I do this, or do I need help? My brain says I can do this – and what woke me is how similar what needs to be done is to all the other tasks and processes I’ve worked to improve on over the last couple years. Mindfulness matters. It’s not even fancy or complicated – be here. Now. Show up. Be attentive. Be present. Enjoy the thing I am doing, in this moment I am doing it, awake and aware. Mindful. It’s the opposite of ‘mindless’ – it’s the opposite of ‘auto pilot’, and the opposite of ‘eye-balling something I’m sure of’. Mindfulness requires that I step through each routine, and handle each task, so entirely committed to it that those ‘I didn’t realize I…’ moments are minimized.  Before I go to far down this exciting garden path of feeling encouraged… It’s clearly not ‘easy’, or no one at all would need to have it pointed out, or would need to learn mindfulness, or practice it – we’d just do it!

I woke up realizing that a lot of what I struggle with in life would perhaps less difficult, less trying, less awkward, less painful, less embarrassing, less regrettable, less aggravating altogether if I were more mindful. It seems a given simply because at each opportunity to be more mindful on which I have been indeed more mindful, there has been a lot less struggle. Case in point; shortly after the new year, my new physician was fairly blunt that I need to take off some weight to overcome some of my pain management challenges. That’s pretty motivational… if that’s all it takes… right? Well, and for about 8 weeks I reliably lost 2-4 pounds a week, seemingly without real effort, by being very mindful about all matters related to food. Then… I got distracted, took my attention off the details, and gained some of that weight back. Again. Damn it. Fuck this gets frustrating. I went to bed last night being pretty hard on myself about it. I woke remembering very specifically that the emotions that surface through ‘being hard on myself’ about my weight quickly undermine my progress; depression wants calories, fancy soothing dessert-y calories. So does loneliness. So does yearning. Shit.

Practicing mindfulness with regard to food and eating allows me, as an emotional human primate, to feel what I am feeling, and continue to practice good practices. There are, as it happens, verbs involved. Yep – and my results vary. It’s why I’m still practicing – and probably always will be. It’s why I have to begin again. Again. 🙂

This? This is not a tale of failure – it’s just a few words over coffee about a common source of frustration in a very human experience, and what I will do about it, myself. It’s the doing that’s the real challenge, and it can be done. I’ve done it before. I’m eager to begin again, and I’m feeling fairly fearless about approaching the matter. I take a moment to appreciate that I know what needs to be done, and what works for me – that’s an excellent starting point on any journey.

An obstacle - or something to see along the way?

An obstacle – or something to see along the way?

The sun is up… Time to begin again. 🙂