An excerpt from “Moving Away From Comparison to Personal Development.”
Have you ever had something bothering you…on your mind but when you sit down to write for 5, 10, 15 minutes you don’t feel any better? You feel like it accomplished nothing? Like there is something that you are still clawing at or that is clawing at you and you still have something that needs to be fleshed out?
I used to feel like this. I’d wake up feeling some sort of general anxiety. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly but felt like it had something to do with “apples”. So, I’d took out my journal and started writing about apples but then my mind wandered off and I started writing about celery and grocery shopping. You get the point. At the end, I was still thinking about apples as if I had more to say but that was more distant. I still felt that pesky general anxiety about apples.
About two or three months ago, I decided to try something new and created a title for my journal entry. Lets call it “work”. I was only going to write about work and I was going to write every single thought and feeling I could think of about work in that session. I brain-dumped on the page(s) and once I was done, I had nothing else to say about work. My mind was unburdened. I released all of the anxieties about work out on the page and I felt so much better.
Then I did it again, with other things, like people in my life, goals, other interests, and most important other anxieties. What this did for me was turn down the dial on my anxieties and depression. I could convert more energy to the present instead of on the past or the unpredictability of the future.
I became happier, more focused, and self-aware.
Through this practice, I’ve found that there are feelings that we hide from ourselves—our subconscious’s defense mechanism. When we write without editing or filtering or judging, we allow our subconscious to release some of those feelings in a safe space so we can do something with them. What we do with them is individual to each person. What we have now is more information about what’s going on in our head, and less in our head to manage. We can free ourselves through this constraint.
If it pleases you, leave a comment below if this is something you do or have tried because of this post.
This morning, I finally decided to confront my change in behavior. What changed? For the past week or so, I hadn’t done my morning journalling or written anything creative. I wasn’t doing my morning meditation or oil massage. These are things that serve me, ground me, inspire me, and make me feel my best each day.
But I’d discovered something new. Mobile Living. This excites me and I’ve spent hours this week reading articles, watching videos, and window-shopping this lifestyle. Its something I’m going to make happen. When? At least 3-5 years down the road. The thing is, I have more immediate goals like getting accepted to grad school when is a 1-2 year goal. I wasn’t focused on that this past week.
When I find something new, I’m like a whale.
I dive deep forgetting to come up to breathe and about the stuff I left bobbing at the surface.
I hadn’t given myself time to process this new interest, by writing about it, and setting aside time to explore it without cutting into my self-care time/daily routine.
Putting time towards this new interest will not help me in the long-run if I can’t even accomplish my now-goals. I journalled this morning and realized that my priorities were out of order. It happens sometimes. Now I can re-focus on my more immediate goals which makes those long-term goals more of a reality.
Now things are back to normal.
Why don’t I want to see her?
Why does she make me uncomfortable?
She’s awesome. So herself. Unafraid. Or afraid and courageous. So much of what I don’t have…yet. She makes me want to jump and move and scream and laugh but depression says no. That’s not you. You will never experience passion or lightness like that. Remember all of that pain? That sticky nettle pain. It’s already hardened around you. Sugar crystals. Crustacean in amber. Face locked in a choked cry. Preserved. Forever. Look at how beautiful that is. See that right there is you. Stay. Sit. Simmer. Don’t change.
Depression gets too excited. I see it now. Feel it hugging me into the warm dark. Womb. Regression. Fear. Pain. I have a fire inside me. Hear it. A roaring freezing wind sticking against your cheek like a snowflake.
I don’t know what depression wants from me. I know what I want of myself. When you see someone who is so themselves, it can make you feel like you’re not good enough, like what’s the point, like you’re going to fail. You can’t fail at you. Whatever isn’t grown when you plant the seed, is not meant to produce in your life. Plant the seed, say the words, do the things, think Big thoughts, and you must do this often.
Plant the seed when you’re scared, when you’re tired, when it hurts, when other’s say it won’t grow.
What new hobby have you been telling yourself you’re not skilled enough to do? What person have you been too nervous to introduce yourself to? What position have you been telling yourself you’re not qualified enough for? The only one who can grow your garden is you but you have to give yourself a chance. If you never plant anything, how can you expect to have a vibrant, fruitful life. We have to work on ourselves. No one cares as much as we do.
Don’t look at your neighbor’s garden and get discouraged. Be happy for them. Take in the energy of their colors, smells, and shapes and start working on you and do what you want to do. There is no wrong or right way to produce. Cultivating our own technique is how we create a diverse healthy community of beautiful individuals.