Last night I woke up three times to pee. Three times! Sadly, it’s not unusual since birthing children. Each night, my feet hit my spanking new carpet with the triple plush mat underneath, and I pad off to the bathroom like I’m stepping on a Tempur-Pedic cloud.
“Thank,” I say as my right foot takes the first imprint. “You,”I say, as my second foot follows suit. I get about four thank you’s in by the time I reach the toilet.
Of course there are always things to be thankful for, but lately I am nearly brought to my knees with gratitude over what I don’t have.
I don’t have the pit of shame in my stomach, I don’t feel the pulse of anxiety in my neck, I don’t have a ball of anger in my gut, I don’t have heaviness in my chest, I don’t have fear and I don’t have regret. I don’t have the questions that plagued me for most of my life:
“Did I do something wrong? Is there something wrong with me?”
Honestly, it’s a miracle with what’s happening in my life, which historically would call for my autonomic nervous system to stand at attention, ready to keep me up half the night. I’d curse the pressure of my bladder at three am waking me up, only to endure untold tossing and turning
Then my brain would pop off following suit:
“I can’t believe he or she did that, said that, are being that to/about/toward me! Did he/she really go there? I mean, I can’t believe it!”
Flipping and flopping I’d feel it in my abdomen while I turned against myself,
“Maybe I really am that bad?”
I’d be up for an hour writing a speech in my head. Every day that went by being snubbed or mistreated would be met with a new entourage of victimization.
But now, the absence of questioning myself, the clarity of circumstance, the inner sanity in the midst of utter chaos… well, it’s created a euphoria. I am no longer (or at least not currently) dumbfounded by much that happens, by how people behave or what they do or say.
It’s taken dedication to get to this place, and no I’m not silly enough to believe it’s a final destination.There are still times when before I know what hit me, I’m back in my unconscious program. But that is called being human and I don’t beat myself up for it anymore either.
It turns out that a steady practice of awareness, of intentionally settling my body down even when I have every right to be outraged, is quite worth it. It pays dividends to consistently ask the question “What would love do?” instead of defaulting to reacting out of the survival emotions of fear, shame, self-righteousness, victimization and the gang.
Yes, I’ve had to hold myself accountable. I’ve had to unmemorized destructive emotions. I’ve had to learn to validate myself rather than continue to look for it in all the wrong places, to give my power away, to blindly follow without question.
But it’s been worth every step. I am profoundly grateful for the soft landing I find three times a night in my heart, and on the souls of my feet.