I was listening to an audiobook today and it mentioned how Joy is found in adversity, challenge, and personal growth. How Life tempers us in ways that we can appreciate later. The Dalai Lama was giving a poignant example: having been exiled for over 50 years from Tibet, he was reflecting on how, if he’d never been exiled, he would probably never have been able to assist in spreading the teachings of the Buddha in such a spectacular fashion. That he would have been of far less use, sitting in a golden cage in Lhasa…And considering how many people and places he’s interacted with in his years he’s grateful in that regard for his exile.
All in all, a really good reflection on how what we take as adversity also contains blessings, gems among the coal, if we care to look. I’ve been thinking about how to apply that to my anxiety. If I take time to reflect, I can say that I know far more about thoughts, thinking patterns, and the mind then if I had never turned to meditation. More compassionate towards others and more sensitive in all senses of the word. And that I ultimately became raw, deeper, and more REAL in a very visceral way than I was before anxiety started coming into my life.
That was in my 20’s – I think the triggers were being kicked out of my home, experimenting with mindfulness, and moving across the country to Texas. Somehow, these brought to the surface serious insecurities that I’d always been able to avoid and mask.
Social media really is bad for people. Especially when I’m in a reflective mood, like right now. Now, I really do value the connections I’ve made over the years. But when I’m feeling somber I start dwelling on what didn’t work out. The people I wish I’d gotten closer to but couldn’t. Guys I wish I’d let pursue me into having a relationship with. The living situations I fled from. Family members I don’t talk to. Facebook is the wreckage of a dozen previous lives. It’s…Hard.
I have a few more grey hairs. It’s interesting how they grow at odd angles compared to the rest of my hair. Mostly, they’re on my chin but I see a few at my temples. I’m hoping I get a random patch of solid white because I happen to think that’s pretty sexy on guys but I doubt it’s in my genetic cards.
I look at the grey hairs, old memories, and Facebook and feel somber. Almost 36 and I’ve made an utter mess out of things. Well, what are things, really? No one reads the book about the person who simply grows up, gets a job, finds his true love, and lives a carefree life of bills and Saturdays mowing the lawn. That guy finds himself on his deathbed filled with regrets. Nearly everything I ever wanted to do, I went out and did. Considering how my anxiety ties both hands behind my back I’ve done some incredible things. Still, I feel somber for some reason – as if there were some other way it could all have played out. As if I could have had a bit more courage, could have told a few more people the truth in my heart, could have powered through a few more experiences. But all that’s just silly guilty indulgence, isn’t it? Also, I’m 36 (in June) and I’ve somewhere between 1/2 and 1/3rd of my life lived, maybe even 1/4th! That’s pretty dope.
Tomorrow, I have my second EMDR session. I’m finally in a position to be able to afford professional help and I’m waking up excited every day to see what sort of person emerges from our work. Last week, post-session I felt extremely energized, body-wise. Not in a good or bad way, just “activated.” It’s a sensation that sometimes occurs after an hours-long meditation session. I associate it with “stuff moving.” I don’t know how true that is, but since that’s the entire point of EMDR, I think it’s working.
But that night, I found sleep nearly impossible, which also happens sometimes when I do intensive sits. My body remained activated, sucking at my attention, and my mind races all over the place. It kind of sucks, to be honest. But it’s to be expected as we’re sort of ripping the bandage off of painful experiences in EMDR therapy.
Tomorrow, I’ll also be having a look at a couple of houses for rent in Gastonia. There’s a 2-bedroom with lots of potential garden space that I’m really excited about. I’m still committed to being self-employed again soon and not being homeless is the next logical step, haha.