“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
I read this quote yesterday afternoon and paused for an extended moment. My body heaved a sigh of relief as the word “yes” settled into my soul. Can you feel that?
I am in the process of re-loving myself. Yea, I’m not sure if it sounds all that catchy but I imagine the act as something similar to falling in love with your partner all over again after experiencing a slump for 10 out of 20 years of marriage. In my case, I’ve witnessed 27 years with this body of mine and yet, I still treat myself like some odd-ball foreign substance.
My tiny baby ego likes to hoot and holler at me with obvious-matter-of-fact statements such as, “Oh, you think it’s ok to take a full day off from everything? Clearly, your laziness will never get you anywhere in life,” and “Haha! Do you think people are actually going to love you once they see all your faults? It’s best we start making our get-away plan,” and then there’s the constant, “I’m sorry Anna but you just don’t have what it takes to better this world. It’s best just to worry about everything and take zero action instead.”
I’m disgusted with my mind just writing out all of that trash talk. The amount of trash talk that dictates my life path is just absolute insanity. Insanity. But the whole catch is that it’s all a cycle. I have garbage thoughts…and then I hate my garbage thoughts…which, in turn, produces more garbage thoughts! Isn’t being a human just the absolute best?
So, anyway. I want to take out my trash.
If you don’t have your trash in a trash bag when you take it outside, you will inevitable drop little pieces on the floor here and there as you try to bundle it all up in your arms and carry it out the door. You think you’ve got it all under control until you look back behind yourself and realize that your neighbors are watching you drop little pieces of trash all over the lawn outside of your house. Oyvi. Instead, you must patiently, bit by bit, pick up each piece of trash and throw it in a large black bag. (Or, use a bag from the very start, but for the analogy’s sake, pretend you didn’t have one.)
Funny how we think we’re in control until suddenly, all of our negativity and backlash spew out at a co-worker because “she talked to me in a condescending way and doesn’t she know that I’m smarter, better, faster, not to mention absolutely patient and kind, so, who does she think she is to tell me to cut the limes length-wise instead of in halves!?!” Pure craziness, folks.
Now, I bet you’re asking, “Where do we get these mental trash bags for all of the garbage talk that our egos are throwing at us, Anna?” Well, let me tell you! It’s this amazing new things that people are calling:
Haha, what? Yea, I’m there with you. Unfortunately, to deal with the ego, we must spend some time listening to the ego. But we must listen to it as though we are kindly and tenderly listening to a small child babbling on about a big fire truck they saw and wow, wasn’t it so fast! Instead of telling the child that actually, no, it wasn’t a fire truck, it was just a snow plow; we typically nod, smile, and affirm their feelings. But it doesn’t mean that we have to go on affirming this notion that snow plows are fire trucks for the rest of the child’s life. Instead, we get curious with the child and say, “Interesting, why do you believe this is true?” Similarly, with our egos, we don’t have to affirm that we must have pissed off our friend Nancy because she never calls anymore and therefore, WE ARE UNLOVABLE. Instead, we must listen, acknowledge the feelings that arise but REFUSE to let the feelings ascribe absolute meaning to who we are as individuals. Things happen. I mess up. A lot. But that doesn’t mean that I AM a mess up. I’m still, I’m still Anna from the block.
It is within the act of being absolutely patient and kind with my thoughts that I seek to find this stillness and inner silence. For example, I am currently working on giving myself an actual day off. I work 4 jobs right now and I have typically used my one day off per week to practice yoga poses, plan yoga classes, run, read self-help material, clean the floors, rearrange the furniture…you name it. Anything to distract myself from actually just being alone with myself. The funny thing is that all of these activities were committed in the name of “bettering myself.” But I’m starting to realize, if I don’t actually know myself-what parts of myself do I even want to better?
So, that’s why I am re-routing my path to re-loving myself. I am learning to get curious with all of the thoughts that come up when I am alone. I am learning to love the beautiful being within me. I am learning that my path won’t arise from playing hopscotch on all of my friends’ and lovers’ paths. No, I need to pick up the chalk and start doodling my own lines-even though I might not always draw them perfectly straight.