I had a hard day yesterday, and I can’t blame other people for my cloudy disposition. I acknowledge that certain moments triggered my feelings of anxiety and fear, but the feelings themselves were my own. The frustrating thing about self awareness is taking responsibility for all aspects of myself. Self accountability is the key to manifesting the life I want, but sometimes awareness, especially on hard days, feels torturous.
I make my hard days even worse by being overly critical of myself when I am experiencing rough times. When I am struggling with my anxiety, my overthinking ways, living in the past (even if it’s one second in the past) or the future (attempting to exert control over a non-existent future, fantasizing), I know I should still be gentle and compassionate, but I feel irritated with myself. “I know better,” I think to myself harshly, “than to overthink and feel anxiety!” I know I am capable of feeling those uber-bright, super-positive vibes, so when I can’t find the bright side, I feel like a failure. I feel wrong and ashamed of my current state of anxiety, of overthinking when there’s nothing the matter, and I bring myself into an even lower state.
Instead of being hard on myself for having a tough day, I want to start saying, “Well, this is where I am today, and I love myself.”
‘When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?’ – Kendrick Lamar, “Mortal Man,” To Pimp a Butterfly
Codependency is a need to control. I’m facing my codependency toward other people, but yesterday I realized I also need to address my codependency, my obsession with control, toward myself. I need to accept myself in all my moods, not just the good ones, and when (not if) I find myself in a negative mindset, I must allow myself to exist without judgement and simply let the feeling pass through me, like a gust of wind.
I am struggling to release the false concept that if I can control myself, then I should be able to be in a great mood all the time. But the reality is, I can’t – there are some days where I just feel extra tense and I find it more difficult to relax my mind, and that’s okay. I’ve realized that being a full human being means accepting bad moods just as easily and thankfully as good moods.
I’m still having a hard time making sense of this, because a part of me still feels that I can and should simply control myself into being happy, all the time. But that idea leads to low self-worth on my part, because as a human, I do have bad days. When I rag on myself and try to manipulate myself away from feeling *all* my feelings, telling myself to be happy so that I can be worthy of life and love; arguing with my higher power to prove to me that I am still loved, I get sucked into a looping vortex of self-hatred.
I must consciously pull my brain away from the fear that says, “I knew it – good things aren’t meant for me – I am weak, failed, shameful. I should be able to control my mood into the state of positivity that I was in just yesterday, but I can’t, which confirms that I do have something to worry about, that I do need to feel concern.” It’s a deeply insidious thought, surely meant to protect me in some way, but it is in fact woefully unproductive and is a form of self-sabotage.
The Four Agreements, an amazing book by don Miguel Ruiz, states that I should do my best every day. Duh, right? But the critical part, at least for me, is that my best changes from day to day. Each day is unique, so my best on Monday will look a little different and feel a little different than my best on Friday. I remind myself of this concept when I am having hard days, because my best may not bring me to a point of elation as it does on good days; no, on bad days, my best may just be keeping myself steady.
I choose to be thankful for the rough, challenging times like I experienced yesterday. I am thankful for the tough days in the same way that I am thankful for the good days, and I choose to see them all as a part of the Yin and Yang of my life. Good days are not a reward for being perfect, and bad days are not a punishment for being not good enough. I choose to simply accept the happiness, and the sadness, as they come to pass, and release them with appreciation back into the Universe. I make this choice out of a deep trust in my own capabilities and in my higher power.
Accepting tricky days for what they are, without negative self judgement, allows me to stride into this day free from self-hatred and self-doubt, and instead be open with hope, and freedom to delight in Sunrise.