Happy Monday, everyone! This week I’m gonna get a little personal and talk a bit about my adventures in mindfulness and self help. This is all from my own experience, and I hope that anyone reading can find some value in what I have to say!
Recently I’ve found myself to be in the process of mastering total control of my own emotions. Overthinking and intrusive thoughts have been my enemy for a long time. Coming back from my first year of college and making some serious lifestyle changes alleviated this problem for a while, but, a drawn-out stint with strep throat hit me right where I was weakest. My tonsils are especially vulnerable to it for one reason or another, and way back in 2014 I was hospitalized for the same thing… so my paranoia reappeared suddenly, obnoxiously, and without warning. A long-brewing fear of suffocation made itself apparent.
Now, being the private and secretly stubborn person that I am, pretty much no one outside of my immediate circle knew I was even sick… or knew the amount of inner turmoil it was putting me under. The extended inflammation and triple-dose of antibiotics didn’t really help my mental state either. I turned to my journal to vent and ruminate 99% of the time. Mistake or not, I refused to look weak in front of anyone! I was incredibly inspired by the fierce independence of spiritual abhorrence, in basic terms, during this time of mainstream nihilism. I’d rather dig around the ugly parts of myself in private than ever utter a complaint to anyone. I felt a serious obligation to be bright. (Maybe the Virgo perfectionist tendencies in my chart are showing themselves. I embrace it.) Everyone that loves me has made it clear that they disapprove of this tactic….
In all honesty, that three-month-long phase of my life made me into a completely different person. I think some wars need to be faught alone. Didn’t someone say “The journey to enlightenment is walked alone”? However relevant that may seem, it was crucial to me. I’d like to think the Universe sentenced me to some forced introspection. I needed it. My break from hardship hid the actual fragility of my mindset… since it’s pretty easy to think you’re tough when everything is going as planned.
So, swollen tonsils and residual chest inflammation came to me as merciless teachers. Doctor after doctor stressed that there was no serious danger, my system was just overwhelmed, and it will basically solve itself at its own pace. I did not like this answer. I was forced to grin and bear it. Uh… excuse me? I wanted to confront God or the Universe or whoever or whatever did this, and ask it do you know who I am? Seriously, I was pretty offended at the entire world at this point. Can I talk to the manager?
Well, I ended up talking to myself. A lot. I realized I had mastered the art of ignoring my feelings instead of actually changing them. Hello, escapist tendencies, nice to see you again. But I’d like to comment that our culture revolves around surrender to these tactics. That was the breakthrough. Did you know that fear and excitement are neurologically the same? And, although conditioning is hard to overcome, you have the power to change everything. That’s just psychology. Interestingly enough, personal power motifs echo through mysticism in an almost identical way. There’s a spell for everything. It’s a pretty cool way to attach your beliefs to something more tangible, culturally and historically interesting, and magical– if you’re willing to go there. I certainly am.
This is easier said than done, of course. In an especially notable moment of clarity, maybe sitting at the bottom of the shower, a metaphor came to me. Emotions usually feel like a steel ball being thrown right into your solar plexus. But you don’t have to have the wind knocked out of you. If you see it coming, you can catch it by your side, spin around with its own momentum, and throw it right back.
Is there not something magical about that?
Hopeful and open,