I suppose everyone goes through different phases in life and it depends a lot on what’s going on around them.
Recently I have let my surrounding and the goings on get a grip on me. A suffocating grip. One that I want to be free of. Desperately.
It is in my power to free myself. I just have to want it and I have to try harder. It’s not use to be complacent and let life happen to me and walk all over me.
It’s like everything has been piling up on top of me. I need to shake it off. No, this is not a reference to the Taylor Swift song by the same name. It’s actually a reference to a story about a donkey.
Yes, a donkey. They’re adorable and loving. But back to the story. I can’t remember where or when I heard it. However, it is likely that it was in one of the many inspirational speeches that were given at the I-can’t-bear-to-remember-how-many assemblies that I have attended over the years.
Basically the story went something like this:
A farmer wanted to rescue his donkey that fell down a well. He tried to get the donkey out of the well with ropes and who knows what else, to no avail. Eventually he decided to shovel dirt into the well. The dirt fell onto the confused donkey’s back. He shook each pile of dirt off his back and stepped onto the growing pile of dirt beneath his feet. This continued with more and more piles of dirt falling onto the donkey’s back, to be tread under hoof. This way the donkey rose to the top of the well, all the way into the loving arms of his owner.
We can all see the moral being to shake off all the bad and negative things until you’re out of your own sticky situation or difficult times. I have been rather annoyingly frustrating company to myself, and probably to everyone who has spent time with me. Most likely because I have just let everything pile up onto my shoulders and I haven’t done anything about it.
. . .
A conversation with my best friend jump-started me into getting out of this rut that I’ve been stuck in. Or my ‘well’, I suppose. I’ve been letting the dirt pile up on my back. Actually, that explains the feeling of suffocation that has been plaguing me.
I have said it before and I will say it again that I’m a dreamer but I want to be a doer too. I have been dreaming too much instead of being focused on reality. This attitude has ensured that my assignments felt like torture and deadlines resembled death sentences.
Now that exams loom before me, I have decided to be less passive in letting life happen to me and caving to the desires of others. The butterfly stickers on my walls are my witnesses, along with my stuffed animals. They bear witness to my promises to myself, as well as my attempts to stick to them.
I thought that because I felt trapped in real life that I couldn’t find any escapes. That there was no outlet. I was wrong. Writing is my escape. My outlet for my feelings and my frustrations.
I slipped into old habits. It is too easy to tumble down that slippery slope when you first lose your footing. The only way for me to overcome this is to be vigilant in sticking to new habits until I have forgotten the old ones entirely. If I don’t, I will succumb to the weight of the world and it will bury me alive.
. . .
I recently read a book about learning to love yourself. Repeating it to yourself over and over again until you do. It was then that I realised that I had wondered back into my old negativity to some extent. When I couldn’t say that one little phrase: “I love myself“.
After all the hard work I did in the past to learn to accept myself as I am, I still felt uncomfortable saying it. I can’t really remember a time before reading the book where I have actually said those words. If I have to be honest, I can’t think of many other people who can say it to themselves either.
It’s easy enough to say it to others. That you love them. We all have heard the phrase “You can’t love someone else, until you learn to love yourself“. Easier said than done. Because how many people can actually say those three little words to themselves and mean it.
I for one have said that I hate myself countless times. Deep down, after the amount of times I have said negative things to myself about me, there’s no wonder that I struggle to believe anything different.
I also haven’t been treating myself with love. Indulging in unhealthy foods, avoiding any mention of physical activity. It is all too easy to be complacent and let the unhealthy side of life trick you into following it’s path with promises of sugar and endless naps.
My yoga mat is calling and I actually ate five different kinds of fruits and vegetables today. Not a lot I know, but it is a start.
. . .
On my original journey towards accepting myself I discovered guided meditation and visualisation. It did wonders for my life and this new book also suggests a few forms of meditations and different kinds of visualisations to focus on.
I think I fell off the wagon when I though that I had ‘fixed’ everything in my life. So I just stopped doing all the healthy and positive things that lead there. I thought I did what I needed to do after I felt better, so then I didn’t need to meditate, visualize or focus on mindfulness anymore. Except that’s not how it works.
Nothing is a quick fix. It will only help you if you continue with the practices, long after you think you have ‘fixed’ things. Otherwise you will fall backwards once more.
You can’t expect to train your body and go to the gym for one year and then suddenly stop out of the blue and expect your muscles to retain the strength for the next 40 years. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way with anything in life. Even mental habits have to be practiced with dedication, otherwise you will not keep any of the benefits for long.
So here I am again, close to the past but with better knowledge about how to continue on my journey. I am starting of with 30 days of Yoga Camp (check out Yoga with Adrienne) and some meditations and affirmations. I will let you all know how I feel after completing the 30 days.
. . .
Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end. – Robin Sharma
All that is left of this semester are the exams and then I will finally have holidays again. Next semester will be fresh start in more ways than one. Our university is going through some changes, and I may be changing my major.
Now, I am not a lover of change and it scares me slightly. Nevertheless I am determined to accept the changes and work hard to make some more. We need to adapt to survive after all.