No one can be there for you 24/7 and you can’t be there for people 24/7 either. Folks have lives outside of you and you have other things going on.
Yeah, you will be disappointed and let down in this life. You don’t have to be mad and upset with people that couldn’t be there for you. Because guess what? You’ll let someone down. They’ll be disappointed because you couldn’t show up.
There isn’t but one person that can be there for you 24/7 and that’s you. And even that’s shaky at times. There is a GOD that is there 24/7. And that’s going to have to be enough if you’re going to depend on any being to get through this life. So, forgive them, give grace and mercy. You’d want it. Let it go. They are only human and so are you!
On my way home from dropping my daughter off at campus Sunday, I felt my mood change. It was like that light switch. I am now familiar with it and I knew what was happening. Familiar, yes. Understand it? Not quite. I am always so frustrated when depression hits “out of the blue” or I can’t figure out what triggered it. If I know what the trigger was then I can better address it. But when I do not know, I get upset. I get angry because I don’t want to feel the way I am feeling and it takes some time for me to know if this is light depression? Moderate? Are we headed towards severe? I get anxious. I get…frustrated.
I just didn’t have the energy to figure it out Sunday evening because I was tired from the ride. I was able to make dinner and to just do the best I could to take care of myself. I showered. I did my nightly routine. I decided to just tune everything out and watch TV. I made myself comfy on the couch and called my parents and texted my daughter early to say my goodnights, etc. I thought maybe if I can just sleep when it’s time for me to go to bed, I will be okay Monday. I did not eat healthily that evening. I snacked quite a bit. Note: On my way home, I tried listening to positive things like a sermon and things that interested me on YouTube. I didn’t want to sink too low, too fast.
I woke up Monday and I was still depressed. I said to myself, “Well, this must be moderate depression. I feel like I can fix me something to eat. I don’t want to be bothered. I can still do a few things on my list that are easy for me. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to talk.” If this was severe, I would not want to do anything. This includes fixing food. Getting out of bed. I wouldn’t want to hear any noise. Go anywhere. Do anything.
It feels like strings of cans tied to my ankles and making noise every time I move. Weird. I know. The noise is the sharp criticizing negative inner dialogue that takes place during these episodes. If I drop something. “Clumsy.” If I can’t remember something, “Stupid”. Or just crazy thoughts from current, the past, “Look at you. Can’t even get dressed. No man wants to be around you if you ever get one. He can’t take this. Hell, people can’t take it.” “What the hell is wrong with you? Why was I born with these issues?” “What is wrong with my brain?” “Can’t live out your dreams like this.”
I FIRED BACK. LIES. GO TO HELL. IF HE CAN’T DEAL WITH IT, HE’S NOT THE ONE. PEOPLE ARE STUPID. I CAN NAME FRIENDS THAT UNDERSTAND. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT DO GET IT. THOSE THAT DON’T, DON’T MATTER. I CAN ACCOMPLISH MY DREAMS AND REACH MY DESTINTY. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE THESE ISSUES AND ARE SUCCESSFUL.
When it’s severe, it feels like a mountain on my back or like I am carrying around twice my weight. I imagine. So, instead of fighting it, I followed my normal morning routine. Well, sort of. Pray. Instead of coffee I wanted something cold. Read. Meditation. Post. I prayed some more. I called my parents so that I could see how they were doing and to let them know what was going on. I didn’t feel like being bothered unless it was urgent. I do this for two reasons: If you don’t tell the people you talk to daily, they will think something is wrong and worry if you don’t answer. Second, if I do answer and I have this mood they will take it personal because…they don’t know what is wrong.
Eat Well. I ate well for breakfast and lunch. I snacked well, too. I made myself do yoga for depression. It was restorative yoga where the poses were held longer and were to target specific areas of the body. I almost said forget it. But I stayed with the practice. I gave into it. I opened up my notebook of affirmations and I read some and then I wrote some that came to me during this depressing episode.
Even in my depression, I am loved. I deserve love. I am love.
I am worthy of love. I am still valuable. I still deserve to be happy.
Even under this dark cloud, I deserve the sunshine.
This too will pass. It’s just a moment. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning and morning can come at any time.
I will wait for morning. I don’t have to wait perfectly. But I know morning is coming. Always.
I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to explain it. I just have to know I will be okay. God is with me. God is with me. God is with me.
Later Monday evening, I begin to feel lighter. Yes. It was lifting. I felt like talking to a friend that called earlier. I felt like going for a walk and I did.
Early this morning my tummy was aching. I have had issues with it since January 2023 and mentioned it to the gastroenterologist who I saw this week. I was there for an unrelated issue. I will have a colonoscopy as well as an endoscopy next month. Sounds like joy, right? Well, as I got up this morning and began my day, I didn’t feel well emotionally either. I was a bit conflicted about what I wanted to do and also there were other things weighing on my mind. I wanted to go out to dinner because my aunt wanted to take me out for my upcoming birthday but, I was not in the mood to sit through a lackluster sermon. I opted to listen to a livestream sermon and I found myself feeling disconnected and distracted. I was being triggered by one thing and distracted by several and this was creating disconnect. I wanted to escape somewhere and I also wanted to not hear anything. I wanted silence but, I felt there was something in this sermon for me.
There were two things, “Glory has triggers, too” and “There are times you will have to go back to what you left and there are times you will have to leave a place for whatever reason”. I understood the latter to be a reminder of seasons. There is a season for everything. Also, there are some places in life you never go back to and some people as well.
While I recognized my trigger this morning, the sermon opened up my eyes to the fact that not all triggers are bad. Some you have to face in order to release the power it has over you. And some triggers remind you of good places, good times, and good feelings. Some triggers remind you of who you are or how you overcame something similar. It gives you the power or strength to do it again or to move on.
This morning I decided to make a choice to silence the trigger. I feel good about the choice I made. Today, I want the simplicity of life. I want the CHILL of the day. I want quiet vibes. I want to sit at the park or by the water and feel the breeze. I don’t want to talk about anything stressful and I don’t want anyone that is stressful to call me. Radio silence. So, as I run one errand today, I will probably go to one of my favorite parks and relax. I will take my planner, notebook, and earphones. I think I need this as I prepare for my birthday and receive my “marching orders” for the year.
I have a habit of procrastinating when it comes to making my dreams and goals come true. Last year I did really, really good and stayed on task. I was laser focused. I was not easily distracted or deterred by the work of it. It paid off. and I like that feeling. I seem to be able to execute projects or things for others to the “T” and even plan out things for vacations. I can organize and execute. However, when it comes to my dreams and goals I seem to procrastinate. Let me tell you how therapy helped me.
Therapy helped me to see that I was afraid of success. It helped me to understand that the very goals I want to achieve are in the category of the very things I was told as a child would not make me money. Instead, I was instructed to take a safe, secure route. Now that I have the opportunity to be creative, I hesitate. I procrastinate. One book that is on my list is titled, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Changing or getting rid of habits that keep you from reaching your goals or improving yourself is inner work. It is literally brain and mind work that extends outward in the form of actions. I have not struggled with procrastination but, I have also struggled lately more than ever with the awful habit of mindless snacking. I could literally eat the apple in the photo and turn around and eat the donut, too! I know it’s connected to something emotional but, I have yet to figure it out. Anyways, I believe that you don’t have to always or only seek professional help to help yourself. I think books are an amazing way to do inner work and to grow!
Definitely check out the link from Psychology Today about habit formation. It was very interesting! And helpful!
Have you ever read a book, other than a religious book, that helped you?
Self-compassion or compassion for yourself is an elixir to your spirit, soul, and psyche when you make a mistake or fail. Instead of judging yourself harshly, instead of being overtly self-critical, you show yourself some grace and mercy. As long as you are living you will make mistakes and you will fail (failures are just lessons and arrows pointing you in a different direction).
In my teen age years and up until about my late 30’s I was really hard on myself when I made mistakes. If I dropped something or spilled something, I would say harshly, “You’re so stupid. You can’t do or get anything right.” When I started working on the job and I was corrected for making a mistake, I took it personally. Especially, if it was delivered to me harshly. This was a constant thing with me even after a very good coworker explained to me the difference between criticism and correction. It did help but the feeling of inadequacy was still there. I was in therapy and the subject came up. Much of our negative self-talk comes from our home environment, relationships with others and our personal experiences.
If you’re being told something negative each time you mess up or if you are being harshly criticized over and over, you make a connection that you are inadequate. You may think something is wrong with you. Now imagine if you accept that and from there on out when you make a mistake you start to beat yourself up without anyone’s help. Your parents’ voice, your teacher’s voice, your boss’s voice, your partner’s voice becomes your voice. It becomes part of your inner dialogue.
But once I began to correct myself with something as simple as spilling coffee, “You’re not stupid. It’s okay to spill something. As long as you are living you will spill something. Everyone does. It’s okay.” I felt better about myself. I must have inherently known to NOT say things to my daughter like, “You’re stupid or dumb” when she made mistakes or harshly criticize her for making mistakes. Even when I was upset at what she did, I knew better than to ingrain those words into her psyche. I would say, “It’s okay to lose a board game. It’s okay we can clean it up. Next time, ask for help. It’s okay if you didn’t score a100 but you scored a 98 (She went through a period of crying at school when she didn’t make a 100!)” It’s strange how I never made the connection to do that for myself until later on in life. Well, arriving is better than never arriving at all. I still correct myself to this very day when I make mistakes!
When you make a mistake, the worst thing you can do is criticize yourself. It is self-compassion that gives us the POWER to face our mistakes and to come out on top! PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION AND IMPROVE. RISE ABOVE IT. CORRECT OR RE-ADJUST. TAKE A BREAK AND COME BACK TO IT. SELF COMPASSION! And if you really want to elevate your being and brighten your inner light, have some compassion instead of criticism for others when they genuinely make a mistake.
I have a friend that deals with reality by not dealing with it. He likes to pretend that his world is perfect in public. He puts his parents and marriage on a pedestal to the world. He is in photos that would make you think all is well. Yet, in his private life there is a different story. He’s the type that makes idle threats about what he’s going to do and say but never acts on them. He’s the one that upholds the wrong doing of his father by being silent. He needs the acceptance of that parent. Plus, the public thinks his parents are amazing. Deep down inside, he’s drowning. The things he does, the moods he has, the thought patterns that keep him trapped, all connected to childhood, religion and young adulthood experiences. He internalizes all of his grief, sorrow, hurt, disappointments, and I worry about the toll it takes on him physically.
If you are ready to heal, grow, improve, stop a bad habit, if you have lost too much and too many people, then take a couple of deep, deep breaths and prepare to go inward. In fact, you may need an oxygen tank because it’s going to take many deep dives to get to the root of some things. Some people start in shallow waters and then make their way to the deep and some just jump in. It’s an unraveling. Some said it’s like peeling back and onion layer by layer. But for me, some of my baggage had more layers than an onion. And if you want to know how long it takes to be healed, check out my other blog post from last week https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2023/01/11/how-long-does-healing-take-inner-work/
You just may have to admit that you are not perfect. You are not always right and may be rarely right. You may have to tell yourself the truth about your household, your feelings about it. You may have to tell yourself the truth about how you grew up and that perhaps your parents were not so perfect, either. You may have to untangle the web of your actions and behaviors. This can be some work and this is why most people leave this earth bound instead of free. They remain the same, sad or angry, silent or pretending, trapped in denial, and steeped in open or hidden misery.
Truth and Honesty are like ammonia or some strong cleaning agent mixed with water. Mixed just right it can get the job done without damaging what it is cleaning. If you ever decide to HEAL or CHANGE you can’t do it without Truth and Honesty. Here is what I have learned about inner work, it’s rewarding. It’s freeing. The “work” can be tiring, dirty, exhausting, but when you are clean, when you come into the light of understanding why you do what you do, say the things you say, act a certain way it gives you knowledge. It gives you POWER to be your AUTHENTIC SELF and to walk in the fullness of your destiny. It gives you WHOLENESS like you have never known but before you may feel like you are being ripped apart. Fear not. It’s only so you can be put back together, with some new parts and reprogrammed. This is when people will say, “Hmm, you’re acting funny. You have changed. There is something different about you.” And it will be true. There is something different about you when you do the work of healing yourself.
At its core, inner work is the process of getting to know yourself. It’s a form of introspective self-care where you can help yourself let go of harmful attachments, habits, people, and thoughts. -brainmd.com
The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. It determines how you treat yourself, how you treat others, and how you allow others to treat you. I did some research and along with my personal experience, came up with some signs you may need to work on yourself. I’ll say after reading some of this I can tell you that WE ALL probably need to do some inner work.
Inner work can be scary and daunting because it requires you to take an honest look at yourself. When was the last time you were honest with yourself about yourself and NOT blamed others or came up with excuses for your behavior or thoughts? You can’t control others but you can learn to control your responses. And even after you become aware or honest, what do you do about it? Shrug your shoulders? Apologize over and over and secretly say to yourself, “Why do I keep doing that?” Maybe it’s not your behavior that’s an indication that you need help or to work on yourself. Maybe it’s your obsessive worrying that is anxiety. Maybe it’s your mood swings you can’t explain but expect everyone around you to just deal with it or get used to it.
You think negatively or have a negative view about yourself/other people, gender, cultures, etc
You suffer from anxiety and depression
You’ve had a traumatic change in your health
You’re going through or have been through a rough patch in your life
Your childhood was not the best and deep down you suspect it has impacted your thinking. other relationships and your behavior
You don’t treat yourself with respect and/or you don’t treat others with respect
You are in an unhealthy relationship
You allow people to take advantage of you
You have unreasonable expectations of yourself and others
You are unhappy with your life
You are a habitual giver and you give more than you can afford or have to give. This includes time.
There is a persistent feeling of emptiness, unfulfillment, or failure
You have anger issues
These are just a few examples. Have you ever read a book, talked to a spiritual leader, or therapist because you knew you needed to do some inner work? If you don’t mind sharing, what were some of your signs?
I was going to post about something else but this has been on my mind as so many people struggle with sacrificing themselves for things or people they were never called to sacrifice for. They seem to be sacrificing their happiness, their joy, their lives, their freedom, and destiny for things that depreciate quickly and for people whom obviously do not deserve the sacrifices.
I see how this self-sacrifice is related to Inner Work. Some are making sacrifices and are YET unaware they are not getting anything or much in return. They have not discovered what the empty feeling on the inside means. They have not experienced frustration. Oh, but when they come into awareness of the unbalance, they will face a choice. A choice to stop it or to continue doing the same things hoping for different results.
Others self-sacrifice because it’s something they have done their entire lives. Putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of their own. It may have started in childhood by putting parents’ wants and desires ahead to please them. Yet, unhappy in the family business or as a doctor. Maybe it started when they became a parent and now it flows into the role of husband or wife. It flows into the job. Making sacrifices and even volunteering to stay over so much people expect it of you. “But you always stay over. You always change shifts with me.” The moment you can’t, it’s a problem and you’re being selfish. I know you may have heard that before. Things like, you’re a wife now or husband now and you must sacrifice your happiness, needs, wants, dreams, and desires. It’s the “godly” thing to do. The honorable thing. All the while you are miserable as hell. And Hell is pretty miserable.
Then there is the one that “saves the day”. You’ve been saving the day since you were young. Maybe you were the older sibling or the most dependable one. You drop what you are doing to “save the day”. You had something planned but dare not tell your mom or pops you will have to take them tomorrow if it’s not urgent. You must save the day. You’re the good one. Everyone wants to borrow money from you. You stay in relationships you know you should have been left but, you can’t let the other person down even if they are letting you down. You need to be the hero because you need validation that you are worthy of their love. You need to be needed even if it makes you sad.
Unauthorized sacrifices can wear you down, out, and take you out of this realm. It can have you living outwardly or secretly a life of misery. We do have to make some authorized sacrifices in life. Most sacrifices are not pleasant. However, I want you to think of this scripture from the Bible, “Obedience in greater than sacrifice.” If you obey, you don’t need to sacrifice. King Saul of Israel disobeyed God’s command. He thought that by altering God’s command, he somehow developed a better solution than what God had outlined. This is the context for the statement “obedience is better than sacrifice” spoken by the Prophet Samuel.
If you obey the soul, the Spirit, God, your spirit, your gut feeling then you would not have to make unauthorized sacrifices. I have sacrificed for people and they have been ungrateful and in return I would get angry. God never told me to do those things. I was conditioned to do those things trying to get something that was not there. Or trying to look like the best employee to receive the position or trying to “save the day” and make everyone happy at the expense of my own happiness. I don’t believe God has called us to this type of sacrificing. There is no way you can convince me that a loving God would call you to a life of unhappiness by the way of unauthorized and habitual self-sacrifice. Be obedient to the soft spoken, “Stop. Leave. Do not say yes. It’s okay to lose this friendship. It’s okay to back out of this relationship. You’ve sacrificed for your children. Now go and do you.” Be obedient to the “something” saying to you, “You need therapy. You need to listen to your quiet inner voice. You need to listen to how your body feels when you agree to these things. The anger. The sadness. The loneliness.” I mean if God didn’t join (or there is no divine connection) the relationship, marriage, friendship, or job then you don’t have to remain when it’s time to depart. Everything has a season, a reason, a lesson, and a lifetime. Locate yourself in these unauthorized sacrifices.
As a person with underlying conditions, sleep can be allusive. In addition to insomnia, there is pain-somnia (the inability to sleep well due to pain through the night) and then there is the thing I do from time to time. I am wired and cannot sleep until late into the night or early morning. This year I have ensured I go to bed on time for the most part. I have created a flexible routine.
Today there is a culture of “Grind until I die, Team No Sleep, or I’ll Sleep When I Die”. Sleep is seen as a sign of a lack of drive and weakness. Boy, if they only knew the power of sleep. I dream most of the time when I am sleeping. I get messages for myself mostly when I dream. If I don’t sleep. I don’t dream. I like to dream. Sleep gives your body time to repair cells and rejuvenate itself. We were designed to sleep. Sleep can help settle, declutter, and clear the mind. It can give you new and fresh ideas. It can give you strength and the power to keep going. You can run circles around people that intentionally do not rest. Some sleep but not many rest. Rest involves your whole being and not just your body. Keep this in mind when it comes to sleep. I added the parenthesis of mind and spirit on the list below.
Getting enough sleep has many benefits. It can help you:
Get sick less often
Stay at a healthy weight
Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
Reduce stress and improve your mood
Think more clearly and do better in school and at work (mind)
Covid. Fortunately, I have a mild case and by now I am past the initial phase of fever. My most dominant symptoms were extreme fatigue and sleepiness. I could hardly sit up or stay awake. My fever broke quickly as I only had it one day. I did have sharp head pain off and on. But overall, I have been blessed not to have it as so many others have had it. I also pray there are no long-term effects because I have enough long-term health issues for this lifetime.
The body is strange or maybe I should say, amazing? During this time with Covid I haven’t had much joint pain or muscle pain until yesterday. This is an indication for me that Covid is leaving the body. You see, rheumatoid disease and fibromyalgia are conditions in which the immune system attacks itself. This is why they are considered autoimmune diseases. Well, my body still has the “sense” to fight other foreign things when it enters the body such as Covid. For a time, it stopped fighting itself and has been fighting Covid.
This morning has been a slow morning. I feel weak and as if I am dragging along. I don’t think it’s Covid. I think it’s just me as this happens some mornings. It’s very cold here in Memphis today. I can’t tell if it’s physical, chemical, or mental or all of the above. There’s a hint of moodiness and melancholy. Usually, on the bright side, things tend to get better as the morning moves on. I will help myself by doing some yoga and controlling what I can. I may drink an energy drink as well!