Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Carry Around A Lot of Stuff

I'm starting to feel confident that the new year will be entered with a lot less baggage being carried around on my back.  It seems like every day I am startled by another realization of something I have been holding onto.  Stuff that was painful, or full of grief, or anger and bitterness.  Identifying all of these burdens is allowing me to lay them down.  I don't actually want them anymore.  They are heavy, and will make me twisted with the effort it takes to hold onto them all.

Putting them down is hard, too.  There are times that it feels so brilliantly easy to give up on a feeling of obligation, or a feeling of unworthiness.  Just letting it go, and there - ahhh, lighter!  But after a few minutes of dwelling in the light and relieved feeling, the heavy one jumps up on my back again.  Guilt for past sins, guilt for the way I act while carrying all of this stuff sets in.  I have hurt people, I have been selfish, I have been foolish, I have been mean.  All of this is human, and I need to just get over myself.  The guilt is really just to punish myself for being human, and not the superhuman I was taught I should be.  Religious baggage is part of the package, though I thought I never had any of that.  But the Catholic need to be pure in all ways including thoughts really does stick, even though it is so harmful to everyone.

I think that a great way to move forward is to embrace the idea that today is a fresh start, every moment is.  I often have a glimmer of that idea going, but it burns up as I tackle the challenges presented from all of my past foibles.  I get caught in laying blame, usually on myself, and the whole cycles starts afresh.

Today is today, what happened before is over, and tomorrow will be tomorrow.  Today, I am going to start a mantra for myself of "Be here.  Be here.  Be here."  The intent behind that is to notice when I am starting to get panicked about what I did that got me here, and to instead let the feeling pass and return to being here, where I can be "better" and start making progress towards repairing anything that went awry.  Or, be here so I can enjoy the goodness that came out of what I did before.  All of my judgments really haven't been helpful, or at least they haven't made me feel good so far.  Time to teach myself to drop my stories and stop being a slave to them.

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