Cognitive Dissonance Should I sit or stand mi caah bother speak well look well be well you are your own master. hustle hustle hustle got to stay in the race. to be a tough rock or a tender grass "oh what a rat race, yeah!" "Got to be true to myself" - but be like everyone else. yes? Got to get up when told so people will see that I am good at taking orders. I will be free but maybe... maybe to much freedom is dangerous? I must cry! I must scream! I must set the place on fire! I must whisper or whimper Spit my Seething displeasure vomit up howling disappointments. Be calm and say nothing - remain respectful all the time... I am hurt healed I am a monster beautifully made imagined real blinded by a light that makes me see clearly. regurgitated slugs hang suspended mouth ready to devour spare a prayer... scabs at all stages congealed across picket lines... Ineffable incandescent beauty illuminates Gossamer A web of lies fleeting like a butterfly's fragile wings. "Oh what tangled webs we weave" until we have no silks to hypnotize but regrets borne from grieve.
I have found it difficult over the years to protect my peace of mind and to stay sane. There are persons in our lives – some well intentioned, others not- who constantly threaten our overall well being. They come with demands, expectations and problems and you feel you must address them. Before you know it you have taken on more than you can chew and find yourself choking. You look around and find no one to save you, to perform the Heimlich and you panic wondering how you can save yourself. The analogy above seems a bit extreme even overly dramatic but, there are many persons who leave themselves opened to being so frazzled by live and people that they end up feeling as if they’re always on the edge of doom.
When I was smaller my granny once asked me why I can never say no to any question asked -especially when it comes to food! Being cheeky I immediately responded, no! However, this has become true in instances where I should say no, dangerous instances when I have made decisions that continue to haunt me to this day. This penchant for saying yes to everyone and everything – especially when I know I should not – has affected my mental wellbeing overtime to the degree where I struggle with making the simplest of decision because I am afraid of history repeating itself, afraid to fail once again, afraid of being so disappointed that I could have another mental breakdown…
So I am slowly working on creating a safe space, internally and externally, that will protect my peace of mind. Sometimes when you are really good at something you are rewarded somehow for that or those talents that you have. Often time, in my experience anyway, I note that more pressure is applied more expectations and little or no reward is returned. If you are not careful, you become the expert you is attached to that expertise and your fragility is disregarded. If you are not careful, persons begin to expect you to carry them, because “oh I can’t do this and you are good at it, so help me here,” becomes “do this for me , send this, I tried but only you can do it”. You end up exhausting yourself trying not to disappoint everyone and keeping that halo others have knighted you with. So, the task now is to use my talents to help and not carry others. To say no when I realise that my kindness has become a weapon against me. What about you?
Since this pandemic I have spent a little more time away from certain people and I realise this is a good thing. Through this semi-isolation period I have come to realise that the presence of some persons only serve to make me more anxious, less productive and less happy. So I don’t call, they don’t call and we are all happier that way. I also no longer watch things that cause me anxiety, like the news or go on certain social media sites . I realised I was caring too much about things that did not matter, getting angry and anxious when I really should be taking the time to focusing on the things that really matter in my life, things that would impact me now. Instead I have withdrawn somewhat from looking outward and trying to find happiness in the people and things around me and really thinking about how I can control the things I can control. I can control me, my thoughts, my action and my sense of well being, but, it takes time and it takes will power.
You want people to think the best of you – or not it depends on your state of mind. Many persons want to be liked, to be admired to be recognised for doing good, for being good. However, for me this is no longer important, instead what I want to do is protect my peace of mind. This may mean offending others or may be perceived as offensive to other but you can never please everyone; therefore, we need to have a greater sense of being in control instead of allowing ourselves to be controlled by external forces and influences that have their agendas.
And if you try to find that peace and become swept away by the chaos around, reach for that shipwrecked debris to stay afloat, drift your own way and ask yourself, “Where is my peace in the midst of this chaos?”
When you see all your faults mirrored in someone else
it becomes clear.
We are not what we think we are.
When the monster you are looking at is yourself,
somehow the Hans version of the fairy tale
becomes the reality.
What stands before you is the monster you tried to deny.
The one coming up
when you thought you slayed it.
What a train wreck of a reality,
so much so that it's hard to look away.
You cower in fear at how ruthless you can be.
You stand paralyzed by the evidence of your vicious intent.
When you can look no more,
can listen no more
see no more
you either surrender to it
slay it one last time.
Health is the greatest gift,
Contentment the greatest wealth,
Faithfulness the best relationshipBudda
I use to believe that success was measured in how much you had and how much you were able to do in a short mount of time. However, lately I have been taking my head out of the stand and I noticed something. Better yet I realized something, you don’t always have to be first out of the blocks first or fastest to win the race. I use to think, because I was taught this, that all you had to do was make it early, then success for a lifetime was guaranteed. Also, with my heads in the clouds, I thought that all you had to do, was do the “right thing”, be a “good person” and things were guaranteed to work in your favor. Now for me this mindset has led to many disappointing dead ends. I had to learn the hard way that life does not take place in a vacuum.
Bad things happen to everyone, and no one can ever be perfect.
There was one idea of success that I was told about when I was younger and only one that mattered. It was the success based on working hard, not ruffling any feathers and being a team player. Now maybe nothing is wrong with each item on its own, however, for me, what happened was that I interpreted it in such a way that it affected me badly, not only physically but mentally as well. So I spent my 20’s trying to fit into where I thought I should be and now it feels as if I first have to unlearn all the things I told myself I needed to learn even if it killed me, literally. I need find out what works for me, in a world that can and will happily leave me to be me.
Being mindful of what you do is more important than, running with it. When things happen that you never expected, stop and think what you want to do with this sudden twist. I made mistakes in how I handled sudden changes, impending changes or sudden windfalls, and I have many regrets; regret, it is a bitter, brittle pill to swallow. It doesn’t matter what it is, before you react, especially to something unexpected, good or bad, stop and take the time to think things through. Pray about it and take the time to check in with yourself before you react. Once you have come to a decision don’t change your mind or you could waste time trying to do damage control.
It was always important to be the best at everything. So I tried to be perfect. Perfect daughter, niece, friend and worker. However, this is impossible. Also, perfection takes too much work and second guessing your choices, until it makes the thinker crazy and lonely with bad choices. Plus, I don’t think anyone was measuring my level of perfection.
When you try to be perfect, people always expect you to be a certain way and when you can’t maintain it but try to, the only one to suffer is the person working around the clock to keep that perfect phantom perfect alive.
So, I have decided to stop.
To stop and take a break, and procrastinate from procrastinating from being real.
Being real is much harder than faking it. When you are real you have to be honest. I now confess that many times I did stuff, not so important stuff because I wanted to be on the “right side”. I said a lot of stuff, really unimportant stuff because I wanted to, “be good”.
So It’s health over wealth. No more trying to be the success that I think I should be, but, the one I can be. The world I occupy is too small for me, so out the door I shall go and see what peace lies behind it.
Wish me luck…
How to defeat bad habits? When procrastination is your best friend and negative talk has been your only support for so long, how do you have a reversal of fortunes?
I am sure that asking the questions are easier than answering them. It is normal to seek inspiration and the motivation to do great things from outside. From those who have overcome obstacles that seemed impossible to overcome. However, does it really matter if we are inspired by others or from within? I once heard an actor say he was never inspired by another actor. So how and why did he become one? Well there are specific things that each of us want to accomplish or would like to achieve, should we wait on someone to come along and inspire us to take the plunge and pursue what we want to pursue?
I have come to realize that it is easy to become swept away by the expectations of others and end up going in circles. If everyone was to do everything and make all their decisions based on what they thought others expected then most dreams would die a swift death. The greatest blockage to our success in any area of life, can be our unwillingness to make the tough decisions, because we don’t want to offend or disappoint anyone.
However, maybe it is time to make those decisions and forget about being a disappointment. Maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to be inspired from within and not from anyone. Maybe it’s okay not to have fantastic heroes that are goals, but a quiet confidence about what lies within.
Maybe we should not aim to inspire anyone but just be real, and that means being willing to show the strengths and vulnerability as they naturally occur.
Well, this may seem a bit harsh but, listen to me for a minute.
We all want to belong somewhere to represent something and to realize that we have a community we belong to. All very human and hence very natural. However, as the picture above shows, just because you fit doesn’t mean you belong.
That image is genius for the simple reason that sometimes when we pray we pray to fit somewhere and not to belong there. Now we may not have thought before about the difference but it’s very important.
Now common sense says when you fit it means you want to be there you have inserted yourself in the mix but no one else may want you there except you. Imagine that situation – well most of us can because we have tried or are trying to fit in – you struggle all your life to be accepted somewhere where all you have experienced is a struggle and not triumph.
Now to belong, the word even sounds so right, so warm and inviting, is something different. To belong means that you want to be there and you are wanted there. In such a situation others will uplift you, support and guide you in the right way. There is no need to struggle because you are with people, whose support you fully have.
But guess what? We don’t need to fit in, because fitting in a choice that we make. We don’t need to do what everyone is doing or chasing the same dream. We don’t need to panic because we have reached a “milestone” and don’t have everything nicely figured out. We can throw away the goal post all together instead of just moving it! We certainly don’t need to chase anyone down to be seen; that leads to burn out. Plus, it means that you will never go beyond a certain point because you have limited yourself in a space you never belonged in the first place.
Instead, do what makes you happy, it’s hard for many but all we can do is work at it. Also it helps to be around people who you have things in common with, this too is hard for some, but again, not impossible. So, there is a running theme here, if you want to belong you have to step outside that comfort box and do the mileage.
I’m sure that if we really want to feel comfortable in our skin and experience some of that sublime joy that belonging brings. the work won’t seem hard at all. There is a quote that I wan leave you with a mind-blowing, earth-shattering quote:
THE OPPOSITE OF FITTING IN IS BELONGING
Some of us would take our time, if we knew that we are rushing to our deaths― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Thank God it’s Friday”, never sounded as sweet as it does, when you’ve had a trying week.
So it’s important to remember to take things easy. At the end of the day we really can only do so much and no more. It’s amazing how terrible something appears to be until we are on the other side looking back at what was. Nothing seems as bad as it was when it’s over, and even for one perfect moment, there is a sense that there are no impossibilities.
Great, we have survived the week and we now feel invincible and we deserve to take the time to recuperate and seek a quiet moment to get ready for things yet to come. It really makes no sense to carry on with things that we realize are a burden to us. Instead, what we need to do is to let go of some of the baggage we struggled with this week. It’s okay to let go of missed opportunities and unrealistic dreams. It’s okay to grow a little older, because with it comes a little more wisdom. This is the wisdom to make choices that will enrich our live.
Also, while we are at it, let’s release all bad vibrations into the atmosphere and collect to ourselves, positive wholesome energy. After all, each day, week, month and year is another opportunity to finally attain your inner peace.