I can feel myself tense. And tense some more. And tense some more.
And then I remember, “Exactly where and how I am, right now, is perfect.”
It’s easy for me to forget that. It’s easy for me to worry…and to not even realize I’m worrying. It’s easy for me to get caught up in all I haven’t done and all I haven’t done right.
Especially the all I haven’t done right. My childhood carved deep grooves of “you’re wrong” into my psyche. I guess that makes sense when the man you call the Messiah banishes you. (Long story there. Read to the moon and back to hear it, or ping me directly and I’ll tell it to you.) Or when your mom leaves you to serve this Messiah, and you’re told so often how lucky you are to sacrifice living with your mom, and you know you miss your mom, and you know you’re sinful and “wrong” for missing your mom.
I’m happy to say that I don’t live in those grooves anymore. But I’d be lying if I pretended that they’re not still there, in my brain, still somewhat too easy to slip into.
But, as someone reminded me today, and as I remind myself over and over, I now know what to do when that happens. I know how to slip back out. Or at least how to climb back out. Or, if I can’t even do that, how to have understanding and compassion for myself that I’m there at all and that I can’t, quite, right now get out.
First, I have awareness. As they say, it is the first step. (Shout out to my older child a number of years ago who said to me, somewhat disappointedly, “You never told me ‘awareness is the first step’ is from AA!” Spoiler alert. It is from AA.) I quickly notice when I’m stuck in one of those shameful, “I’m wrong” grooves, perhaps because I no longer live in them fulltime, or even mostly fulltime.
Second, I have tools. Tons and tons of tools. I know to reach out to someone for a reality check. I know to do a reality check with my own brain. I know how to call out the lies I was taught (“that’s the cult talking”) and the lies I needed to believe in order to survive. I know to breathe. And to breathe again. I know to meditate or to look at/for something that will soothe my heart (hello yellow birds!) or ease my anxiety. I know to name it as anxiety and to see it as separate from me, not as me.
I know that I can remember, once again, that I am perfect and that now is perfect. Just as I am. Just as it is. And that there are no more Messiahs to banish me and no more bogeymen in the bushes to ambush me.
I know I am safe. I am whole. I am here. And I am now.
And now is perfect, just as it is.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!