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.
“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.”