As summer gives way to the brisk days of fall, we prepare for the long haul till the holidays. Gone are the dog days when bygones are able to be bygones. Back are the long, tedious hours of continuous labor, unending to-do lists, activities for the kids, activities for the parents, the coming and the going that we so often do mindlessly, habitually.
Like the rest, I also get into a pattern. I go. I keep going even when I feel that there is something important that I ought to consider amid the chaotic schedule I sometimes keep. Something? Someone. That someone would be me, of course.
This week has been a struggle for me. I resurrected an issue that has since past. I would like to bury it again but, as always when my brain digs stuff up, I cannot. It won’t go away. I cannot get it to roll off my shoulders and sink back into the earth, which means that it is time to take care of me again. This means facing facts and making decisions and clearing out the superfluous clutter that has clouded my brain this summer while I’ve been marching on in superhero mode.
It is amazing what clearing out mental clutter can do for you. First and foremost, it alleviates a tremendous burden from your shoulders. Literally. I am amazed how many people who come into my Pilates class have no idea how to let their shoulders fall away from their ears. They sit hunched up and try to get through the exercises because this is just another thing to accomplish on the day’s list. I am also astonished by how much neck and shoulder tension they feel relieved when they finally learn how to let go of their world at the door, and how few of them pick up as much baggage as they dropped off when leaving class. It is awesome to see! I am grateful to be a part of the process that helps them but in the end, it is really their choice.
Just as it is my choice to bury matters I’d rather not deal with until they fester into worse matters or not. Just as it is my choice to cling to negative feelings or not. Just as it is my choice to complain about a topic forever or deal with it, cross the bridge, and get over it. No use crying a river when the solution to the situation rests in the palm of your hand.
I am not sure how I will deal with it. I know I have to. It won’t go away, remember? Besides, I’m the sort that does not like drama in my life. I like to be serene whether or not my schedule reflects it. I will get there, however, but getting there has nothing to do with action.
It has everything to do with accepting one of the most important truths in the world: you cannot control others’ thoughts, words, and deeds; only your own.
I tell myself this again and again. Intellectually, I understand that there are cruel people out there determined to have their own way by any means possible. They have no qualms about stepping on others to achieve what they perceive is success. It is never right to demean another individual. We all are guilty of it. We get tired and frustrated and discontent and a whole slew of other negative emotions which leads to output by speech or action.
I think that is why I struggle. I do not want this to turn into a boiling pot of negativity. I want to take what has been negative and make it positive not just for others but also for myself. See, I’m taking care of myself. Only then can I help others.
So, while I’m working out the kink in my week, don’t forget that single most important rule to live by. You cannot control others’ thoughts, words, and actions…and you really don’t want to. Therefore, if you can, let go of the things that cloud your head. Give your brain air to breathe. Then, whatever remains that proves bothersome, examine it. Deal with it. Accept yourself for your strengths and weaknesses and, if needed, give yourself permission to forgive you (or others). It is good to be emotional through the process. It is never good to take those emotions out on another. You end up injuring yourself more than you will ever harm them.
And what value does health have if we constantly hurt ourselves?