There is a quote on the inside of my gigantic Creativity mug. It’s something to do with bravery; I mainly just ignore it while I’m grasping on the mug for dear life, hoping the peppermint tea will magic up some fresh words instead of just a refreshed palate. Maybe I do need to drink more liquids…. but I surely, surely need more words.
When I was languishing away at a red light the other day, listening to my three year old scream for the shoes he’d pulled off and thrown out of reach, I decided to make a mental list of the things I wanted to change most in my life. My screaming toddler was, surprisingly, not even on the list. I can take his irrational screaming. He’s three and I love him for it. I wouldn’t change a thing; except maybe having the magical ability to reach tossed aside objects with nothing but willpower.
But my list looked something like this:
1- Finish my novel. THE M.A. project. Or just A Novel in general.
2- Lose enough weight to feel healthy again and enjoy clothes shopping.
3. Make my parents and husband (and others in my life) happy and fulfilled to, selfishly, deviate my worrying away from them and back towards goals 1 and 2.
I can’t do much about 3. It’s something I’m learning in mindfulness therapy. The other week I learned an important mantra regarding others in my life:
“I am not their Higher Power.”
There is a Higher Power at work. But it’s not me. It can’t be me. I need to let go of the weight of everyone else’s burdens. Even when they are people I love.
So, people I love:
I am not your Higher Power.
The other mantra I learned was this:
“It’s okay to walk in the sun.”
Even when other’s lives are cloudy, grey, uncertain. Sad, lonely or full of regret. My natural tendency is to carry others’ sorrows.. To make them my own. To try to FIX EVERYTHING. And when I can’t, I take on other’s pain. I feel like it’s not okay to be happy. To be productive. I self-sabotage myself to remain stagnant. I don’t know why; if you have a good psychotherapist, send her my way.
But this doesn’t need to be the case.
It is OKAY for me to walk in the sun.
I can work on my novel, without guilt. I can aim for success in the thing I most passionate about.
I CAN lose weight, for myself. I can devote the time and energy it takes, without falling into emotional sand pits.
There’s this thing that’s common with anxious people: we think the status quo will keep us safe. Will keep others safe. It’s a lie our brains tell us. Part of the Magical Thinking we anxious people are so blessed with.
I believe that my goal of losing weight is tied to my desire to finish my novel. I need to nourish my soul, my creativity, and not just my body.
I love the journey my soul is on.
I just need to remember to invite my body and talents on the journey, too.
I’m sitting on a pile of short stories I’ve been afraid to submit anywhere. Stories written during my degree in Creative Writing.
Perhaps those will be the weight I shed this week. You never know unless you submit.
And It’s okay to walk in the sun.