-By Tamara Mckenzie
Behind the silhouette of a woman that walks vivaciously through this world, seemingly clothed in confidence, is one that has bandaged her scars with perfection and overachievement.
Girl, what do you need?
There seems to never be any satisfaction.
A man, a bag, more money?
Seriously, what will it take to satisfy you?
I stared at my reflection in the mirror and wondered all these things. What was it going to take to fully love myself? I immediately started to quote mantras and affirmations to drive out the bass of self-defeating thoughts. It didn’t work.
How long are we going to do this?
Until you lose weight?
Until you get that promotion?
How long do I have to fight to love you?
I was exhausted by my thoughts, yet my mind kept jogging. So, I inhaled a deep breath and transitioned into some belly breathing to bring my anxiety down. On my last exhale, I reflected…
There have been moments when I’ve become so lost in the image of developing myself that I focused too much on the negatives. I’ve focused on the past and everything I can’t control. I crave the release of this confinement so that I can roam peacefully and freely.
I can’t help but wonder (Carry Bradshaw voice) how do people unravel the words and traumatic moments that have bound them so tightly?
My immediate reaction is to hide beneath alcohol, weed, sex, and “add to cart” to lift myself.
Being 36 and unwed with no children seems to be an equation for spending a lifetime alone. With no male suitors in sight and the dating pool full of pee, I feel like I’m destined to brave this cold world solo.
Even though I’ve been alone for a while,I learned to love deeper. My work with children has widened and deepened my heart for humanity. I long to share this with a family of my own, but I sometimes wonder if I’m getting in the way of that.
Could anxiousness, bouts of perfectionism, and constant self-criticism be what I need to abandon to reach that level? Or maybe my time has passed. You see, it’s a vicious cycle of thoughts, of back and forth questioning and self-examination. Is anyone else on this nonstop flight with me?
I long for the day when I’ve shed the final layer of self-defeating thoughts and fully completed my metamorphosis to be secure in my own right. I want to be fully present, once and for all.
Here’s the deal… thoughts are powerful. You have the ability to sculpt your existence with your thought patterns alone. Due to trauma, some of us have a bit more work to do to reach that level due, but it’s still possible.
The issue is practice.
How do you practice positive self-thinking when you feel exhausted and defeated?
How do you practice when just getting out of bed and taking a shower is a victory for the day?
I may sound like a complete lunatic this after just divulging my own Achilles Heel, but it’s possible. For now, I’m on a quest to live within my purpose and shed any grief of societal norms.
We have to let go of what has existed and what is yet to come and just be still. All we have is the present, and if you operate under that level of mindfulness, the depression of the past or the anxiety of the future cannot take root.
We all have desires we want to see manifest. Some of those things seem so far away from existence that it seems impossible. Our thoughts tend to shift to those impossibilities. Those thoughts tend to make us analyze ourselves, distort our self-worth, and assign blame. Those behaviors tend to lead to negative coping strategies like codependent relationships, depression, anxiety, and addiction. Once you understand the cycle, you begin to understand the importance of embracing the present and framing each God-given day as you would like to see it, even if you are at your lowest point.
The practice of the present is a gift. Even when you feel exhausted and defeated, the practice of giving yourself love and light in the present is imperative. Instead of denying yourself love until tomorrow, when you obtain a goal, or feel accepted by others, embrace the practice of the present.