On uncertainty, and self-compassion

I’ve always wanted to be important. To do something “important.” Is that a sign of neuroses, or merely indicative of a passionate personality? I liked to read The Boxcar Children series as a kid, but as an adult I’ve turned almost exclusively to non-fiction. Maybe that came of believing “I can figure things out,” as a reaction to the depression and mental stewing that have overtaken me for years. I’m getting a little bored of trying to figure things out, though—at least in terms of “what’s wrong with me.” I think I’m ready to do things differently.

But can I escape it? Here I am, with time on my hands with which to “do something,” and I’m writing a journal entry on what’s going on in my head. Pathetic.  No. Just habitual. Time spent on stewing has reinforced the neurological pathways between “I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing” and “There’s-something-I-should-be-pursuing.”

I read the other day of the importance of self-compassion. There’s a website with guided meditations, but I think I’ll create some of my own here. [I’m a rugged individualist–always wanting to do things my own way. Hmmm. Better yet–I’m a fearless experimenter.] Here goes:

  • It’s going to be okay. Worrying is painful and unproductive. Life has a way of teaching us all things we need to know.
  • Uncertainty is in the Universe’s game plan, it appears. Trying to force certainty is vain—in both senses of the word. I don’t have to know everything, or even what tomorrow holds. Each day presents me with lessons to discern, interpret, or ignore. Maybe the lessons add up to one great whole. Maybe they are magical merely for the meaning they give in that moment. (Don’t I love feeling connected with grander things when I am given a lesson that seems supernaturally in sync?) I can enjoy the ambiguity-laden lessons, without understanding all things.
  • It’s okay that I’ve been confused of late—and of longer. It is evidence that I have a keen mind, a discerning mind, which is willing to do the work of exploring. I can be kind to myself by emphasizing the explorer in me rather than the neurotic personality.
  • I can identify the feelings and circumstances that trouble me. I can keep track, but I don’t have to solve them all at once.
  • I am blessed with people who need me. Our lives intersect regularly, which strengthens the web of human sympathy and support. I am part of an entire ecosystem of lives, and derive much of my energy from the symbiosis.
  • I’ve come a long way, baby—even if the steps are hard to trace. Who I am today is so much more interesting than who I was at an earlier date.
  • I like my mind. I can help it to be kind.

I feel a little better. Time to go pick up my kids.

About Shaunalei

"Peace by Piece" is a storehouse for my exploratory journey of discovery and healing. Feel free to reach me at: shaunalei@codepoet.org.
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