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10thousandthingseternal

Balance, Happiness, Peace

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mbttao

Myself

On top of the last three months this past week and a half has been miserable. My boyfriend and I broke up, very one sided, and I’ve taken it a lot harder than I thought. I laid in my living room just feeling totally hopeless. I started to get angry at myself. I was angry that I was so upset and affected by the breakup. It’s difficult to get out of bed, to feed my dogs, I hardly eat anymore, I don’t go hiking, I don’t clean my apartment etc. It’s pretty pathetic.

Today, however, I saw my counselor Mina. I always feel so much better after seeing her. I get to talk through everything and gain insight. Well today  learned that I’ve been grieving (duh). Grieving the loss of something potentially great but realized that wasn’t all. As I talked to her I hardly spoke any about how I was upset with Tyler, because I’m not. I’m upset at myself. The relationship, or the end of it, isn’t even the main source of my depression as of late. It’s myself.

I realized I was angry, frustrated, sad, and many other feelings at myself. It started with the beginning of the relationship. I felt like it was moving too fast but ignored that feeling and let it move forward anyway. Then it was the birth control. I have a VERY strong opinion about birth control, even before taking it, but I threw those thoughts out the window and did it anyway. I cared about what other people thought about me. Telling me to suck it up my periods can’t be that bad. Well they are that bad, but I’d rather suffer through them than put up with birth control. So ultimately I threw all of my beliefs and values out the window and what went with all of that? Myself. I threw myself out the window.

I’m not just grieving the loss of a relationship and a friend I’m grieving over the loss of myself. I walk around not know how to feel, what to think , what to do. I’m so lost. I’ve never felt more alone.

I want to make it clear, the relationship moving too fast is no one’s fault but my own. I don’t blame him, not in the least. I just get mad when I see that if I just listened to myself and how I felt then things may have turned out differently. I want, and need, to find myself again. To recover from the damage, mentally and emotionally, birth control has done, and the damage I’ve done to myself. I’m on the right track. Today I’m choosing to wallow in my sadness and stop suffering. I finally got out hiking this weekend with the dogs. I started my laundry. I go to class and get my homework done. I’m starting to hang out with friends again. I got to the gym on a regular basis and getting back into Kung Fu as well. These are all things I love and make up who I am. If I keep it up then I have no choice but to find myself along the way.

 

 

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Gonna Be Alright

A more personal post so don’t read if you think it may make you uncomfortable.

I’ve been going through a lot over the last 3 and a half months. I started, for the first time ever, birth control. I have terrible periods and decided to try and get them under control. The first one I tried I was only on for a week before deciding I couldn’t handle it. I had headaches on the time and was very irrational. Things that would never upset me would send me into crying fits. For hours. So I stopped and a few weeks late I started the mini pill.

Now, I thought this was the one. I felt fine, there were no adverse side effects and I never had to get another period (yay!). Well a month goes by and I start to feel a bit dejected. I thought maybe it was a funk. I started to see my counselor again, I reached out to a friend to help me learn how to meditate. I know I needed to start working out again and eating a bit healthier. So I slowly started. Well, nothing worked. I continued to feel detached and it just got worse. One day I woke up completely depressed. One week I spent four days straight crying. I cried at LEAST once every day, for four days. For two and a half months I didn’t feel like myself and it slowly got worse.

If any of you have had a panic attack you know how I felt. You feel as if you leave your body and watch as you cry, shake, and struggle to take a breath. That’s how it felt. No matter how rational I could think in my head it would never translate to my body. To my actions. I continued to do things I didn’t want to do. I had no control over my body or m feelings. I talked to a lot of people trying to get out of this funk. I would tell people I wanted to get back to who I was and the people who have similar beliefs as I (like the Tao) told me things I believed but deep down I couldn’t agree with. They would say, “There is no you then and you now.” They would tell me that this was a part of me and sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. I appreciate the advice, and while normally I would agree this time I felt like they didn’t understand. This wasn’t me.

I’ve been depressed before. I know what it’s like. I’ve been up and I’ve been down in the dumps, but never have I felt like this. This was on a whole new level and no, this was not a part of who I was.

The depression, anxiety, and irrationality got so out of control that it put a lot of pressure on the relationship I was in. Things started to go south fast. I realized he was pulling away and I was losing him. A week ago I decided to stop taking the birth control. The first two days were still rough. Two days passed and the medicine was out of my system but I still didn’t feel like I was in complete control. My boyfriend, at the time, wanted to break. I told him I couldn’t do it. I told him I felt like I had nothing. I was in such a dark place and he could see it. We decided to stay together, at least for the time being.

The next day was still rough but I felt better. The fourth day I felt much better. By the end of the first week I felt like I was almost back to normal. It also showed me other symptoms the birth control was most likely the cause of. My anxiety was gone. My depression was gone. Everything I would worry about the week before I didn’t care about anymore. I could lay in bed at night and my mind wouldn’t be going a mile a minute. My mind was much more calm. My hypochondria was back to normal (while on the birth control I 100% believed I had MS, three cancers, diabetes, and dyslexia. Not I’m not joking, that’s truly how I felt). I could sleep again. Before I could never sleep more than four hours without waking up. I didn’t have nightmares anymore. I didn’t spend everyday crying about things that I had not control over. I started to feel more motivated. I started enjoying the things I loved to do again. This is who I am. Sometimes I feel as if I’m almost better than I was before going on the birth control. I was like a different person and that person is not who I am. It’s not even a part of me.

I feel much better. My boyfriend and I talked again tonight after going on a date. We broke up. I called a friend, took a hot shower, cried, had some positive self talk, ate some ice cream, and I know I’m going to be okay. I’m an amazing person. I feel bad that my boyfriend spend three and a half months out of a four month relationship getting to know someone that I wasn’t but I’ve done everything I can. It’s out of my hands, I’ve been through worse and I got through it, alive. I can do it again.

I’m not trying to scare anyone out of birth control. I’ve learned that hormonal birth control just isn’t for me. I’d rather put up with a terrible period and a roller coaster of emotions once a month than live in the mind of someone I’m not.

I’m just happy to say that I got through this. Thought nothing actually happened in my life (death of a family, running out of money etc, etc.) it felt as if my world was falling in on me. I’m happy I had the strength to recognize the cause and finally decided to stop it. I did lose my boyfriend but I’m okay. Everything is temporary. Bad feelings. Good feelings. Relationships. Nothing lasts forever.

I’ve never been in such a dark place and while other people have much bigger problems I just hope people realize they can get through it and their not alone. Their’s always someone. My closest friends are hundreds of miles away from me but their always their for me. Sometimes I do feel alone here but I’m not. And in the end I know I can rely on myself. I give myself a pat on my shoulder. Going through this has helped me see just how strong I’ve become and I’m proud of myself.

Reconnecting

I get pretty down in the colder months of the year. It’s getting better each year but it’s still not great. I often disconnect with myself, who I want to be, and the things I love. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend, but maybe too much. Like I wrote in my last post I haven’t been hiking, weightlifting, or done anything I usually love to do. Struggling with this internal struggle I realized that maybe it’s time to practice Wu Wei. There is such a thing as trying too hard.

So the last few days I started reading a new book, spending time alone, playing games I like, and today I took my dogs on a walk in the woods. I wouldn’t quite call it hiking but with snow sill on the ground I thought it would be fine. They really enjoyed it as did I.

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It’s jut a little bit but I can feel myself getting better and returning to the person I really want to be. This is a short post but I feel good and I wanted to write about it.

Impermanence

My last post was four months ago and it was about being a little lost, slipping back into old habits. Well a lot has happened in those four-months. I finished a semester of school, met tons of new people and friends, improved my Japanese, went to a Maroon 5 concert, saw old friends, and met a guy. Unfortunately, I’ve also become a different person and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

I was struggling a little bit four months ago but the last two or three months have been tough for me emotionally, mentally, and internally. I started seeing my counselor again and I’ve been desperate to get in touch with the Tao again; but every time I read it or read about it, or meditate on it, it’s like my brain just won’t let it sink in. I literally feel like two different people and it’s exhausting. The girl that’s coming back is not the girl who went hiking on her own every week, she’s not the girl who went to Alaska, she’s not the girl who felt like she could handle anything, good or bad, thrown her way. This is the girl who let an unhealthy relationship last longer than it should have. This is the girl who didn’t believe in herself, she didn’t trust anyone, all she does is worry. This girl hates herself.

Life is good. This semester has been amazing but ever since I started a new relationship I’ve changed. It’s not his fault, not at all, and I’m trying not to blame myself. I’m trying my best to show myself some compassion but it’s hard. I just end up being angry at myself. When you’re with someone new and you like them and you feel like you want to be with them all the time you find ways to make more time. That means you cut time away from the gym. Maybe just ten minutes less, then twenty, then thirty, until you don’t go at all. You go to Kung Fu practice less. If he doesn’t want to go hiking you don’t go either. It’s easy to do. It’s easy to get lost in something good. There are two reasons I’m trying not to be so hard on myself. 1) It’s a new relationship. I’m not perfect and I’m human. This could literally happen to anyone. 2) It’s winter. My counselor has told me I have SAD and as soon as it’s cold out I get depressed. I see less sun, it’s not warm, I don’t want to leave my warm apartment. This isn’t new and it’s biological. By saying it’s biological I’m not excusing myself for the behavior but I have to understand, and other people need to understand, fighting something that’s happening chemically in your body is hard to do. All I can do is think about how this time last year I was much, much worse. I need to focus on the progress I have made.

I know all of this. I know what I need to do. It’s still hard for me to do it and it’s hard for me to not be angry at myself when I mess up or slip back into old patterns.

I’ve been reading more and more on Taoism and even Buddhism recently and something that hits close to home is compassion, mindful thinking, and impermanence.

“Who are you without words, emotions?…

let the feelings come then ask who are you without them?”

Compassion should be show to everyone but if you can’t show compassion to yourself then you won’t be able to truly do it for others. Anyone who needs to hear this like I do I’m gonna write it here. You are all you have. Yes you’ve got friends, family, loved ones, pets, but ultimately how you see yourself is what really matters. If you don’t love yourself you can’t love others. If you can’t see that you’re beautiful you’ll fail to see the beauty in others. If you can’t show some compassion for yourself you won’t be able to do it for others. We are human. We are by no means perfect. Even in Buddhism it takes many lifetimes to reach enlightenment. You won’t do everything right and you have to be okay with that. Sometimes you’ll say things or do things you don’t mean. Forgive yourself.Be aware that you suffer too. It may be minor suffering like mine but it’s still suffering and in order to move forward you have to recognize it, show yourself some compassion, forgive yourself, then move forward.

Thinking mindfully is being aware of your own feelings. Why are you angry, sad, lonely, scared? Find the true causes of these feelings and accept them. Accept your past and your present and you can change these negative feelings into positive ones.

Impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. Even in lifelong relationships death eventually will separate you. This goes the same for feelings. Being happy doesn’t last forever but neither does sadness. Don’t let a moment of anger burn bridges you may want to cross later. Clear your head and think mindfully, show compassion for yourself and for others and you’ll see that it will pass. The negativity will pass.

My sadness won’t last. This internal battle between two people won’t last forever. I have a choice of letting one reign over the other and who I decide stays is up to me.

I’ve lost sight of who I want to be because I let go of who I was when I was happy and enjoying every up and down of life. I love hiking with my dogs and finding new waterfalls. I love to study Japanese and hope to be fluent one day. I love going to the gym and lifting weight. I love practicing Kung Fu. Without these what am I? I’m anxious, afraid, sad, and not me.

Writing this has made me feel better. When I write I can see everything I already know sorted out in front of me. I don’t need to be with someone I care about all the time to be with them. I don’t have to give up things I love to be with them. I’m only sabotaging something good by doing so.

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“Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest are seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.”

41

Self Talk

Sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself.

Believing in myself is something I have struggled with since…forever. It’s not like I didn’t have the mom who told me “You can be anything!” I just never believed her. In the past, especially as a teenager, I clung onto the negative. I clung onto the words of the people who told me “No” or made me feel silly for asking questions. I did this for a long time, even into college. However, while in high school I was given a tool by my first counselor that would help me eventually overcome this. She told me about how children hear the negative and remember the negative for more than the positive. I’ve thought about this again and again and still think about it today. It reminds me to not cling to those negative words.

As life goes, however, I sometimes still fail at doing so.

Even with my newly discovered self have those days where I doubt myself and hear only the negative things people say. Of course this is normal. As the Tao says, sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down, but I’d like to make these days far and few between. In my opinion they still show up too often.

I’m going somewhere with this. Really.

Well I’ve noticed that even with all of my positivity (which is apparently not a word?) I’m still very very bad at self talk. You know, those conversations you have with yourself. For me they usually end up like this: “You’re not good enough. No matter what you do it’s never enough. You’re ugly. You’ll never accomplish any of your goals. What makes you think you can do that?” and it goes on…. Pretty bad…I know. But I’m aware that it’s terrible. Would you ever say this to anyone else? If you would, you’re not a very nice person, but most people wouldn’t. So why say these things about yourself?

I started thinking about it a while back and thought, “Maybe I’ve heard it so much from people that I started to believe it.” That makes sense. It’s does happen, but that’s not why I say these things to myself because nobody has ever said those things to me before. No one but me. So where does it come from? This is something I explored with my last counselor and we came to the conclusion that I’m somewhat a perfectionist and I hate failure. So, here how that works for me. I want to be the best at something but if there is someone better than me instead of working to reach the same level I give up before I can fail. So many time I’ve given up something because of the possibility of failing. That’s the short version of that.

Recently I’ve come upon a new source of confidence. My black belt.

Never in my life have a completed a long term goal. Ever. I’m not kidding. Whether it be related to school, riding, writing or fitness I’ve never reached the long term goals I set for myself. I’ve always wanted a black belt in something (I mean who doesn’t?). It shows your dedication, determination, strength, and discipline in that specific art. Even when I was a brown belt in Kung Fu I still had those thoughts that I would never be a black belt. I told myself I didn’t deserve it and reminded myself I’ve never finished anything that I’ve started. Then I got my black belt.

What do you know…I did it. I finally completed a long term goal.

“How long are you gonna live your life thinking everybody else is better than you?”

-Kimi ni Todoke

It’s not just completing the goal that gave me more confidence. You see, I also compare myself to literally everybody. When I go to the gym to workout I notice the women who are prettier, stronger, and more athletic than I am. I do the same thing when I go to a yoga class. The same thing at school. I especially did this with one of my best friends. I constantly put her on a pedestal. She’s one of the most amazing people I know, I still believe this. I feel like she’s perfect and can do anything. One thing I looked up to is her black belt. How cool! I always thought that. Now I have one too. Not only did obtain a goal (finally!) but I’ve done something that my best friend has done. This doesn’t sound like a deal but it really is. The fact that I’ve accomplished even one thing that she has accomplished makes me feel like I can do anything.

Anyway, I’m writing this on a not so great day. It’s not that my day was bad, it wasn’t, but emotionally, internally, It’s not a very good day. Especially for my self talk. So I’m writing this almost like letter to myself. I’m writing this to remind myself that I’m capable of doing anything. I can achieve my goals and I know this because I’ve done it. I am capable of finally getting the abs I’ve wanted! I can get A’s in all my classes. I can do the splits! (which I actually did for the first time today!)

It’s truly amazing the power of the brain. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. Just remember, having others believe in you is always nice but you must believe in yourself.

I’ll end it with one of my favorite quotes (actually from My Little Pony but it’s perfect):

“No matter how many times others tell you you’re great, all the praise in the world means nothing if you don’t feel it inside. Sometimes to feel good about yourself, you gotta let go of the past. That way, when the time comes to let your greatness fly, you’ll be able to light up the whole sky.”

-Spike

 

 

Black is the New White

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Cheesy title, I know. I’ve written in my last few posts that I’ve been in a slump lately, having no motivation and just feeling a little down in general. Well after yesterday, August 13, 2016, I feel as if I’ve found what I’ve been needing.

About three years ago my Kung Fu brothers and I started Shaolin Kung Fu. Yesterday we all tested to first black. It was a great test, probably our best ever! It’s an amazing feeling to get your black belt after three years of training, dedication, hard work and eating bitter. However, after going on this long journey to black I’ve learned that black is just the beginning. It’s now that the really hard work starts and I have to be more dedicated than ever. With black comes a whole new load of responsibilities. Thanks to the many friends and teachers we’ve made it this far and have so much more to go.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

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I’m excited to start this brand new journey and it’s just what I’ve been needing. I’ve really struggled with confidence in every aspect but also in my martial arts, it was in this test that I finally saw a little more confidence come out and translate into my martial arts. I’m excited to keep learning and get better.

Stay tuned!!

What I Seek

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

33

I’ve decided to write a little more about why I’m trying to blog more and what kind of journey I’m going on exactly. To start I’ll tell you more about myself, my life, and my dreams. For starters, I don’t have an especially sad story, but I’ve been through my own share of personal struggles and everything is relative.

Growing up I’ve always been very shy, and self-conscious. I harbored a lot of self hate and even now I constantly compare myself to those around me. This has stopped from doing many things I’ve wanted to do. In high school I was depressed and saw a counselor for a few years (till I left for college). It was a great help and I loved my counselor but I was still very young and at the time I didn’t realize that going to a counselor wasn’t going to fix all my problems.

In college I was still depressed. I hardly had any friends, was alone a lot and just struggled with the image I had of myself. I literally hated who I was. So, I started to see another counselor my third year of college. She was also amazing. She helped me through a few tough break ups but she also jump started my interest in Taoism. I started to learn that I could see a counselor and it would help but it could only help so much. I had to also help myself. You see your counselor maybe once or twice a week, well, what about all the days in between? That’s up to you. Finally, I realized this and started to work on myself through counseling and on my own.

My biggest goal was to be healthy and balanced. I needed to find a way to be emotionally healthy, mentally healthy, physically healthy, and socially healthy. At the times I was completely out of balance. I worked out all the time so I was physically healthy but in every other aspect I was lacking and with the help of my counselor I discovered a lot of this was due to the self hate and the amount of pressure I put on myself. This wasn’t about other people not liking me and not wanting to be my friend! No. This was about me not liking myself and believing I wasn’t good enough for anyone or to do anything worth while.

Well, after a few years of seeing my counselor she told me one day, with tears in her eyes, that I didn’t need her anymore. That’s not to say I was completely fixed, one hundred percent balanced or anything like that. It meant I was in a much better place than I was and I had the tools and drive to better myself on my own.13652932_10210056074988262_1239694355102842871_o

Today, I have more friends than I’ve ever had. I actually think I’m pretty cool and I have a lot more confidence. My journey is about the woman I am and the woman I want to be. I am by no means perfect. I’m far, far, far from perfect. I still struggle occasionally with body image, motivation, and self-love, but I’ve come a long way. I will never be perfect but I know I can be better. I still have ups and downs but they are far and few between, and less dramatic. These good and bad moments with myself are always going to happen because that’s what balance is. For something to be good something has to be bad. All I want is balance and happiness.

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F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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I often think about the quote “We don’t see things as they are; we seem them as we are.” -Talmund/Anaïs Nin. Well, if this is true then I’m awesome, because the people I surround myself with are incredible people. These are just a few of the great friends I have! Really words can’t describe what my friends mean to me. All of them. Including the ones I don’t see or talk to much. I just know some really really amazing, beautiful people.

The friends I’ve made in the last year are all a part of my journey. This may be biased on my part but sometimes I feel like they are more relevant to my life than many previous friends that I’ve had, but maybe these friends a result of my journey. I’ve changed a lot and the people I hang out with have changed. By this I mean, I really didn’t have many friends before. I was always shy, depressed, self conscious etc. You know the usual. Now, I’m completely different. I love my life and my friends are a part of what make it so amazing.

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.”

-33

I do see myself in these people but I also see room for improvement, on my part. These people are driven, beautiful, inspiring, smart, and all of the other positive adjective you could use to describe these people, but it shows me where I still lack. My journey will never be over, not until I’m dead. So for now I use every moment, such as the night in this picture, to learn more about myself, about people, and how I can improve. I can’t wait! ❤

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Follow me on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/jl30stmars/

 

Land of the Midnight Sun

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This summer I took a trip to Alaska to visit my Aunt and Uncle. What a great time! We started the trip off with some kayaking near Denali, rafting in Talkeetna and a stay in their beautiful cabin! What a beautiful state, I didn’t want to leave. I think the only reason I came back was because I missed my dogs so much.

Anyway, I feel like Alaska really spoke to me. Something about the place made me slow down, calm down, and feel a little more at peace. I’m sure the nature played a huge part in that! Seriously though, instead of letting road rage take over and the need to get places faster, I felt myself relaxed and often found myself going below the speed limit. There is so much you can miss if you’re in a hurry. Alaska really has it all. The mountains, the ocean, the wildlife, it’s incredible!

Before going to Alaska I finally felt like I figured out what I want to do with my life. In this aspect, Alaska shook me up a little. I came back to good ole’ Tennessee feeling a little lost (again!) and also kind of dejected. Tennessee is beautiful but it’s nothing like Alaska. Maybe it’s because everything is so new to me but I suddenly didn’t want to go hiking with my dogs or anything. My excuse is always “It’s too hot and too humid!” How lame. I still feel a little “lost”. I’m not sure what I want to do and everything I think of I’m not sure how to get it done. I definitely need a way to find my motivation but I’m so worried about the future. I’m slipping a little out of the present here, which definitely explains my sadness, and thinking about the what ifs. What if I end up in a job I hate? What if I spend my whole life working with no time for my martial arts, my dogs, hiking, writing, etc? If that happens then I lose my identity. Who would I be? I want to find a way to be myself and do the things I love while still being able to pay the bills.

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The Tao Te Ching teaches not to dwell in the past or future and I definitely agree, but planning should still be considered. Somehow I have to find a way back onto the path. I need to get out of my head and experience the present time. I will find a way to do it, even if it takes some time. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. It’s all about balance. I must stay positive, work hard and I’m sure everything will come together. I hope, however, the  path leads me west to those incredible mountains and breathtaking scenery.

“The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

So sometimes ahead and sometimes behind,
sometimes hot and sometimes cold,
sometimes strong and sometimes weak,
sometimes on top of it, sometimes under.

So don’t strain, spend too much, be smug”

For more pictures from Alaska check out my Instagram!!!

https://www.instagram.com/jl30stmars/?hl=en

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