letting love in (+meditation journey)
on saturday morning I woke up with great great anxiety. Obviously "great" in this sense is heavy, daunting and painful. I haven't felt that kind of anxiety in a while. You know the kind that interrupts your dreams to remind you that you are falling behind, that you messed up or bring up something someone said or didn't say 3 years ago...
I wanted to get up and go for a run and just get away from it all, but I couldn't get up. I tried to go back to sleep and I couldn't. So I just laid there under the sheets trying not to think so much and ignoring what came up. My chest felt like small sized dog was sitting on it (and this is not as cute as it sounds). The longer I sat there the more I felt like I was hopelessly sinking deeper into the mattress. The world outside my four walls felt distant like even if I screamed no one would be able to hear me.
Like I was trapped in a dark box.
I didn't want to go to an event that was happening in T-minus 2 hours since my anxiety whirlwind because I honestly just wanted to be alone. I know myself and if I stayed home alone I was not going to leave my room or do anything merely productive til they got back home. So, still lying in bed, I meditated for 3 minutes...then magically got out of bed. It just flew away and I felt free. As corny, cheesy and cringey as that sounds, that's exactly what happened.
I felt a high degree of hopelessness for no apparent reason one minute then felt it swiftly leave my body...
It's as if the anxiety that made itself a home on my chest that early snowy morning, noticed it was unwanted and packed up and just left. There was no fighting it or rebuking it, it just flew away...
I've been meditating everyday since saturday just to be aware of my breath and the underlying thoughts that lead me to my mental implosion. Mindfulness is consciously sitting with the negative, old, detrimental thoughts and getting to the root of them through stillness. The only reason something from 3 years ago still pops up when we're minding our own business or claim we are sooo over it, is because we haven't actually dealt with it. Maybe we claimed that we did, or attempted to, but never really shook hands with our problems and relationships and sent them on their way.
I've been meditating for almost three years now. It has been at times; rejuvenating, eye-opening, exciting, expensive, depressing, daunting then rejuvenating all over again. I recently posted my meditation journey on my instagram if you would like to read that also. But basically meditation found me after a negative conversation with someone I really care about. Even though my intention was to be protective and show my concern for them, words were said that didn't quite reflect that. Being hellbent of showing the other person their mistakes and shine a light on my reasons as to why I was inevitably right, made my actions less loving.
I was no longer coming from a good place but of manipulation, control and ego. The energy that I was putting out wasn't of love, understanding nor did I value the law of seeing yourself in everyone else. It no longer makes my stomach turn thinking about it, but it makes me laugh because that person and I are in better space now and I'm not that person anymore. But at that time there was a huge disconnect between what I was feeling, how I feel about that person and the words I was saying.
Meditation has honestly helped me make that connection between mind, body, spirit (as well as heart). I'm not talking about chakras specifically but it does apply here if that's what you're into. To be aware about what I am feeling, what I am thinking, what my body needs and my deeper self as well as being able to see it in other people. Namaste is to honor the light in other people. That's honoring their mistakes, their decisions, their personality and their values. Just as I see, feel and believe in something, someone else is allowed to do the complete opposite.
I don't want you to leave this post thinking I used to be controlling or inconsiderate of others, but I have to admit I didn't give people enough space to express all that they are, like I would want someone to do for me. I would pretend to listen just waiting for my turn to talk, I would ask someone "how are you?" only out of habit and I would see fault in others when they didn't come through for me.
If someone cancels last minute, or if a date is running late or anything having to do with not being punctual. I will take it very personally; which I'm okay with, because do you know how hard it is to leave the house some days after you made plans but no longer want to go and you're ride is late. Or you're sitting uncomfortably in a coffee shop waiting for someone to show up already??? I don't like to waste time nor do I like to go out often, so being late and leaving me stranded in public is still a faux pas!
Anywho, that's not the point. Point is, if I were late for something I would give an excuse that I believed is acceptable. But I failed to see that in other people. I failed to see that my problems are not unique; that they too could've been stuck in traffic, or got an important phone call, or got called into work, or that their cat just threw up or, they had a panic attack didn't want to go anymore but made it here anyways... I failed at seeing myself in other people. I saw my problems as my own as if they are not universal. Maybe that's the thing about anxiety...feeling like you're the only one who's life is a crummy mess. But there is so much comfort in knowing that you are not alone. This, of course, doesn't make your feelings less valid just because others go through the same thing. Especially when it comes to losing my uncle to Stage 4 Cancer just 2 months ago, knowing that he is not the only one who is/was a victim of this illness and we are not the only family to have taken care of a sick loved one or bury him is so comforting. Meditation is my reminder that I am not alone. That everything that has breath deserves compassion (this includes you, the planet and people you don't really like).
Since my uncle passed, I have been feeling outside myself, in deja vu or in limbo. Feeling asleep when I'm awake, feeling like I've already lived this day many times before or to feel nothing at all... Listening to my breath reminds me that I am infact here. The end of the year is coming quickly and although we are still grieving and figuring ourselves out over here, the only meaningful gift to myself is that connection with everything outside myself. To open up every part of me that is closed off, angry and depressed and attempt to let loving energy in