We live interesting, scary, weird times. Some days I get anxious just thinking about seeing what’s happening here and around the world and avoid the news. This also makes me anxious because I don’t know what’s going on. 😀 It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle. I also feel outside of my body at times, looking down at all the insanity, the hate, the exclusion and feel hopeless against this dark tide. It’s a lonely place to be but also a lie.
One Person with One Life in Her Hands
I am only one person. These small hands cannot change the world by themselves, but I am not powerless. I have the power to speak my voice. To demonstrate. To be an example. Those things give me solace and strength because they connect me with like-minded souls, like you. My actions give me purpose versus throwing a tantrum in my apartment, which I have been known to do but does nothing to bring change.
But I also have lost sight of something too. Something, perhaps, even more important.
My life is in my hands. The political climate may scare and anger me, but my small living is the result of the barriers built by me and my insecurities. Society may play a role in their construction but it’s 2017. I know better. I’m under no one’s thumb. I’m well-read, politically versed, socially-aware, believer in gratitude and God and fully capable of tearing down those walls within me.
It’s Up to Me to Take Charge
The other day I was swimming laps and my body was tired and ready to quit. But I wasn’t up to my goal (I keep slowly adding more laps) so even though I was tired, I kept chanting “I think I can” over and over and proved myself right: I can do it.
That’s right — I, Tanya, Can Do It. I have the power. Me.
I cannot control what others do and think. I have no magic wand to wave and rid the world of hate or misogyny or war. But I do have control over me. And for a long time, I acted as though I didn’t. To be fair, depression makes it really, really had to see your power. But I fell so hard and laid down. Gave up. Thought this was the best I could manage.
I was wrong. I can do more. Be more. Am more.
Clearing Out the Fog
First, I must rid my mind of the false beliefs that keep me afraid and uncertain. Their hooks have sunk deep into me, so I resort to old tricks to retrain my mind. Years ago, I attended a self-help retreat and one of our activities was a mental diet or to not have any negative thoughts, which is impossible. The point of the exercise wasn’t to eliminate our negative thoughts but to be aware of how frequently we had them and often times over small, inconsequential things.
For example, Trumpcare unsurprisingly brings out lots of negative emotions from me. But more so about him and those behind the bill. At the same time, I spent plenty of time and energy berating myself over breaking a Dollar Store hair clip. Trumpcare may make me want to scream but repeatedly calling myself “stupid” and “dumb” over a broken hair clip is more damaging to me because I’m hurting me. My mind hears me say over-and-over that I’m dumb and stupid and eventually, it will believe it.
Our group leader taught us to have a saying or chant that we would yell (or say in our head) to change our thoughts when we find ourselves being negative, especially towards ourselves. I honestly cannot remember what phrase we used but mine is now, thanks to Emperor Baby Fists, going to be FAKE NEWS.
I’ve Got The Whole World in My Hands
Or at least my whole world is in my hands. I have big dreams and goals. Desires and aspirations. For a long, long time I talked a big game about them. How I was going to conquer them but between you and, I lied, not with malicious intent but because I lacked the confidence to achieve them. I secretly harbored fears my dreams were beyond my abilities. Or even, at times, my worth. Some days I still find myself believing those old thoughts but I know to yell “FAKE NEWS” and move forward.
This time I’m going to actually figure out what I want, now and in the future, and create a real plan. Not one to forget about in a week or two or only pay lip service to when asked about it, but one that I will actually follow because I can do whatever I put mind to doing. And right now, my mind is going all Nike on me and saying, “Do it. Do it. Do it.”
When have you surprised yourself by what you can do? How do you motivate yourself to go from “think you can” to doing it?