I feel a wave of tension. It starts in my stomach, or maybe my heart, and works its way up. I feel it start to envelop my body – from the outside in somehow, while it also seeps into my brain and invades me from the inside out. It quickly forms itself into a familiar sensation – shame – and begins to engulf me. I feel it taking over, feel myself begin to cave into it.

Then I remember to breathe.

I take a deep breath, and consciously feel my feet on the ground. I call it out – displaced shame, old shame – naming it so that I can separate myself from it.

I take another breath.

It amazes me that I can fall into shame for no reason whatsoever. That I can – for a moment – be aware of something I said or something I didn’t do, or sometimes nothing at all, and plunge into feelings of self-loathing or disgust.

I take another breath.

Each breath brings back to now. Each inhale slows my racing heart, and each exhale grounds me in the moment. And in this moment, I am always okay.

When I am in my current breath, my mind stops racing. When I am in my current breath, my heart rate drops. When I am in my current breath I can remember to pause, to ask for a hug, to see love and joy and connection.

Can I be in this breath right now? It’s a good place to be.

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