Oh how much easier my day would have been…
If I had just said: “I need to go back to bed,” OR
“I’d really like to read for awhile. Would you like to read on the other end of the couch?” OR
“I’m going to put my earbuds in while I cook and listen to some music. Do you need anything before I do that?” OR
“I’m going to take a long walk. Will you please be sure your chores are done by the time I get back?”
For some reason, today I just didn’t have it in me. The new learning felt harder than the old habits, and here I am, with the headache, resentment, and fatigue I had on the first day of this particular school. I spent today hearing that old tape of “I have to do everything.” I was saying it in my head even when there was a live human standing in front of me asking what he can do. If I weren’t so tired, I’d find that pretty funny.
Even with that level of ridiculousness, it is different this time. I know it is, because here I am after only a few hours, seeing it. I’m watching what I’m doing and keeping it from getting worse.
I’m recognizing my pattern and reminding myself that it’s okay, forgiving myself for stuffing it when I could have chosen otherwise. Taking a deep breath and simply bathing the thought that I, in fact, DON’T have to do everything. In actuality, for at least a single moment, I DON’T have to do anything. There. There it is, the crack in the cage.
This is the way of progress. Sometimes it’s open and free and joyous. Other times it’s remembering what not to do. Sometimes it’s reminding yourself of the thought you’d like to believe because there is so much great evidence for it. Sometimes it’s just about breathing.
What tapes are you playing for yourself? What do you do when you see your patterns? Are you brimming with resentment and fatigue? Are you blurry with uncertainty and an undoable to-do list? Are you breathless, but not in the good way? Are you ashamed? Are you impatient and frustrated with yourself for not changing more?
Stop. Breathe. Notice. Breathe. Forgive. Breathe. Question. Breathe. Adjust. Breathe.
If you get stuck on these, I can help.