I’m learning to listen and to say less. Why? There are many times that I feel disconnected and adrift from friends, family, and society in general. The root cause is all this baggage that I carry. We all carry baggage with us. How we handle day to day life determines how much baggage we carry and how it affects our life in the future.
Maybe you’ve learned how to unpack your baggage and move on. All the places in my mind where I’ve shoved the baggage over the years recently exploded and presented itself in very disturbing ways. I really felt as if I had ran into a brick wall and I couldn’t move forward until I learn how to handle the anxiety and even anger that seems to spring up out of nowhere and over the simplest things. The feeling of being overwhelmed, adrift, and fake was constant. I could not resolve those feelings on my own. Sure, I could go to my doctor and probably get a pill to numb those feelings. But in my view, that solves nothing. So I’ve sought out a professional to help me sort out all of those feelings and emotions.
I thought I might be overreacting by seeking a professional. After all, I felt my life was rather ordinary. Actually stepping outside of myself and looking at my life, it is very good. But I do have all these many feelings and even memories that seemed to suddenly need attention. I can’t shove them back into the closet. So I guess it really is time to deal with them.
My goal? Authenticity, connection, and living my life with no regrets. We all know that we are responsible for our own happiness. But sometimes that knowledge gets lost in the moment and in the emotion. I bounced from anger to deep sadness to despair and finally a deep depression. There were times that I simply sat and stared into space. Sometimes with no thoughts at all and sometimes thinking of just running away and even at one point simply ending it all.
So the last couple of weeks I have learned to take a moment and just breathe. When the emotions bubble up and bring the anger and anxiety, I’ve learned to take a moment and just breathe. I’m practicing mindfulness a few minutes each day, maybe with a walk or a quiet mount to really become aware of the world around me. And most importantly practice gratitude. It’s hard to stay unhappy when you sit down and think about the things you are grateful for. Sometimes it’s as simple as closing my eyes and being grateful for the cool breeze on my face.
On Friday I felt like I made a real connection with someone that I see somewhat regularly. How? I shut up, looked him in the eye and really listened to what he said. The guy even smiled! Why! I think he might have felt that the information he was sharing was actually being received. I had my own opinions, but to be honest they really weren’t important. Just the old ego wanting to let him know that I was smart too. So I bit my tongue and let him take center stage. I left feeling good about our conversation.
One of my faults is taking on the responsibility of others. Not because they asked me, but I sometimes insert myself into situations or think I need to fill the silence. Sometimes I feel the need to explain myself when no explanation is necessary.
So my goal for this week is to listen, to just answer the question, breathe in and breathe out, and close my eyes and feel the breeze on my face.