I don’t create the space.
I let other things/repeat thoughts/stress creep in.
Each time I walk into a room, thoughts of what needs to be done in that room barge into my mind to plague me.
Kitchen – dirty cupboards, inside and out, purging required
Bathroom(s) – regular cleaning, cupboard cleaning, purging required
Basement – furnace room & storage space, purging required
Bedroom – clean, reorganize closet, purging required
Windows – need cleaning
Paint – all main areas could use paint
Kitty litter – ugh
I think of the people I would like/need to see or call. The seminars I would like to attend.
Guilt arrives thick as a cloud of gnats. Little squirmy bugs that sidle into the crevices of my psyche. Good old-fashioned overwhelming guilt sucks the life blood right out of me. I have developed a habit of blaming myself for whatever isn’t perfect. I blame me for not being able to keep all my stuff up to snuff. I shouldn’t have sat that extra hour or two enjoying my coffee playing solitaire. I shouldn’t have watched TV. I am weighted down by a million imperfections from streaks on the bathroom mirror to not having good meals ready each night for supper. I cannot seem to hold back this slippery trajectory of thought. Inwardly I project my anger/frustration on myself and others.Tried and judged without trial. If only I and everyone in my life magically took off all my invented and real responsibilities, I could do what I really want to do. These thoughts orbit my mind.
I pause in my writing. I am feeling horribly uncomfortable confessing my illogical thinking process out loud. I check Facebook, Instagram,text messages. A bit of sweat rises on my face. I turn back to my computer determined to continue.
Shame & vulnerability researcher Brene Brown says, “projecting your stuff, making it someone else’s accentuates your thoughts of being unlovable or uncreative”. In my case I could say, if I was loved, then all of those items listed above would be done. If my list was done then I could create. Therefore, the fact I cannot create is because I am on my own. NOT true.
I put pressure on myself. I struggle with creating structure which would allow me space to accomplish what I really want to do. Structure is hard because it is boring and hems in my thinking. Not having structure means I can’t suss out time for what I am driven to do. Write. Write a book. Write articles.
My neck gets stiffer and stiffer. I feel the tense mess in my jaw and temples as I write. I feel a pop in my neck and have some relief. I can’t relax. I become more and more tired. I don’t walk outside. I don’t get fresh air. I work on a cycle of “to do” lists that never end. I also barely accomplish anything on the list = guilt guilt guilt. Sleep becomes harder. Mind races more. Each morning I open my eyes and my list ticker tapes it’s way across my eyeballs. I plan what I will do and in what order. At the end of the day I lay in bed and the unaccomplished list ticker tapes it’s way across my eyeballs. No relief. Not yet.
What is it you want my niece asked? I have no problem popping off the answer. Quiet. Be a hermit. Write. Have less things in my life.Have energy to do the things I love. I put together a mind map of my week. I put it aside. I ignore it.
I know that when I do things on my never-ending list, I feel less burdened, freer until the list once again begins to grow. Throw out the damn list my younger brother said to me once. Because my mind is so crazy,busy, beautiful in its imagination, I need the list to ensure regular responsibilities get done on a systematic basis.
If I don’t vacuum each week or only clean the bathrooms every other week, I am burdened because it’s not as clean as I would like. Perfectionism.A little.
To do the things I love and am good at.
Spending time with people.
I consider how I feel when I can make other lives a bit better, even if it’s only for a moment.
I want to save the world and the hurting people in it.
I still feel the sting because I didn’t have change or a hat or gloves or shoes to offer a young man begging at a corner on a particularly cold day last week. Walking up and down between the stopped vehicles in running shoes, a head band and no gloves. I was warm and toasty in my vehicle on my way to a warm and toasty office to return to my warm and toasty house. It was American Thanksgiving Day. I wondered what he had to be thankful for. I wondered about who loved him. I wondered about where he found belonging. I have change in my jeep now. In a bag I will put hats, gloves and some protein bars. This young man did not appear to be starving…as in food. But to be out on a street corner in the cold seemed to indicate a starving of the soul.
“Why do you talk so much?” My daughter asked me last week. “To drive everyone around me nuts.” I responded. Not true. My talking is an extension of my non-stop thoughts. Addicted to one’s thoughts. That is me. An overflow of thoughts in themselves are not a problem. An overflow of thoughts without action are a problem. For me. Clarifying what actions to do, at what time, at what rate is my formidable task.
There is a war fought ferociously inside my mind. A battle between what I really want to do for me and what I really want to do for other sand what I really don’t want to do for both. It is a hard war. Throughout my life I honed the skills of diversion through laughter so I needn’t deal with the uncomfortable. Living in the uncomfortable and facing up to myself and what I want or don’t want sometimes makes people around me uncomfortable. I don’t like uncomfortable. I love peace the most. I have loved peace at great cost to myself. I have loved peace at the cost of honesty. I have created peace spaces at a great cost to myself and the people I love. Being allowed to be honest about what I wanted was knocked out of me a long time ago. I stockpiled my emotions. As Brene Brown says, “you stockpile until your body turns on you. Depression. Anxiety.The body always wins”. It was recently pointed out to me that as a child I was both overstimulated and ignored. I reflected on this. I still spend time in that pattern. I still cannot manage either.
Balance = Tight Rope Walker
My to do list only has the power to haunt me when I allow myself to believe I am in this alone. I am not. I have peeled back so many layers of junk I am convinced I am at the centre, my core, only to find out I am not. I pray that at my core I will find contentment. Contentment will be my jewel.
My dream is to be content everywhere I find myself. Inside and out.
My dream is to contribute with my creativity everywhere I find myself.
My list of life’s mundane things like cleaning (cat and human toilets-really tired of those) do not define who I am or what my life’s accomplishments are. I was in a space of emotional pain last week. I thought it was physical pain, tired. I attempted to off load my pain as I am wont to do instead of feel it. Instead of figuring out what was going on, I projected. I projected onto myself and onto others while keeping my words and thoughts to myself, floor draining my energy. I needed to learn to feel my pain instead or eat cookies, read a book, or watch TV. I needed to turn my feelings of “I am not enough” and “who do you think you are” into “being me is enough”.
I created a story last week about unaccomplished lists and deprivation that cut me out at the knees. It was a confabulation. Made up. I let it cut into my dreams of contentment, contribution and creativity. Last weeks story was a shitty first draft. Inside the shitty first draft I learned more about myself. Last week I took my eye off of being kind and courageous, of living life outside myself, instead I turned inward. This week I started a revision of that story.
My shitty second draft says I take responsibility for my emotions. They belong to me. I do not need to fit my emotions into my perception of what I think other people expect of me. I choose to be me with my own feelings, wants and thoughts.