Resistance. I don’t want to write today. I am not going to judge myself for not showering this weekend…ugh. Back and forth, one-step forward, one step back. I want my body and house to be clean. Focus. Self-care is hard for me. Day Two has been a lot harder than Day One in building this habit into my life. Yet, I am moving through this…even though I am not motivated.
I want to have everything in order-my house, my work, so I can reward myself by playing outside. Instead, I check my email, look on Facebook, and think about all the things I didn’t do this weekend. I want to feel unburdened by all of the demands on my life. I want to feel free.
Recently, I told a friend that for me, freedom is to live fully without compromising others and myself. I am really good at listening and counseling my friends but find it much harder to listen and follow my own rules.
Part of me is afraid to be happy. Why should I be happy while other people are suffering? It's kind of selfish to be happy is what my internal voice tells me. Then I sit with that fear-what if I let go of being unhappy? What does that look like?
There is something in me that believes if I am happy then I am ignoring the suffering of others. Although, if I am unhappy then I am more focused on my own unhappiness than being of service to others.
As a woman, I have been conditioned to put my needs on the back burner to everyone else's. It’s hard to imagine what liberation looks like when so many are suffering.
At the present time, it seems like every minute the world is about to collapse and if it hasn't collapsed in the last five minutes-it will definitely collapse in the next hour.
How does one find balance when the world is unbalanced?
Our culture loves stories of redemption and recovery. I am a huge fan of self-help books that tell stories of failure turned into victory. The books frequently speak of a person that has pulled themselves out of years of suffering amidst the darkest of circumstances until a singular spiritual awakening propels them to immense success.
Sometimes, I imagine myself being a motivational speaker on stage presenting a lecture to a hundred-plus audience sharing my journey of suffering and redemption. Now more then ever we want to be seen-social media allows us to project our story for a large audience. It can become addictive. Another platform to be seen and heard. But how much are we actually listening or seeing each other? How much are we curating our lives to project an ideal image rather than revealing our authentic selves?
I’m still working on this. Recently, I have noticed that in certain spaces-I become an exaggerated form of myself. When I feel uncomfortable-I start performing. This is a defense mechanism to keep myself from being vulnerable. It is exhausting to be constantly performing. This performance agitates my body. It’s a hard act to sell when you ultimately just want to put down your guard.
Activism requires a certain amount of performance. As an activist, I have learned to tell my story as a tool for social justice. Being a spokesperson, during the Flint Water Crisis, was very uncomfortable for me. I realized it was hard to process the full impact of that trauma while being in front of the camera.
Sometimes we tell ourselves comforting lies that keep us living in fear.
I have kept a few good lies going for a long time:
1) Work Harder. No excuses. Be a better person
Learning to be gentle with myself doesn’t equal complacency.
2) You can’t be happy if other people are not happy
Being happy doesn’t equal apathy.
3) If I am successful-someone will be hurt
Being successful doesn’t equal the exploitation of others.
Healing can happen alone or with other people, but it takes time. There is no fixed moment of actualization, rather it is a process of making and unmaking our world and ourselves. Yes, there are defining moments in our life that wake us, change our being, and reckon us to do some things differently. Yet, no one goes through life without difficult moments. There are ups and downs, relapses, setbacks, and loss.
Being healthy is a practice-it takes regular maintenance and habitual ritual to continue to be healthy. Healing takes patience. I am not very patient with myself. I want to finish this writing to do something else. Yet, the more I resist-the longer it takes to write.
Moving through resistance.