Friday, September 23, 2011

The Art of Loving Me

by N. Jane Allio
Photo contribution by Alana Saporiti

     You know those days that seem to get you down? I mean really down. They take the wind out of your sails and the sun out of the sky and everything turns into a very big deal very quickly? From this state of mind it gets easier to get angry and frustrated - the red cloud takes over and the fire burns wildly in your eyes hungry for fuel to fan your flame. So consumed things begin to slip from view.
     This week I found myself having wallowed in such a state for days - or to be quite honest a few weeks. There were so many reasons I gave myself to why I was 'justified' in my state and why I 'deserved' to feel this way and everyone in close contact with me could suffer too. However, there was something that wasn't settling right. If I was truly justified in my self pity, then why were things just getting worse? 
     Then Tuesday morning I read a story about this overweight woman in Over-eaters Anonymous who couldn't get a hold of her disorder, no matter how many meetings or support groups she went to she couldn't give up gorging. Then one day she went to an OA conference where the speaker challenged the audience with these words, "If not now, when?" The words were like dynamite to the dam of pent up 'stuff' within me and they began to overwhelmingly flood my mind and I gave each a voice and listened. After taking time to hear each one, I began to realize I was the common denominator! I was the one hanging on to past hurts and frustrations. I was the one beating myself up over little things, not cutting myself the slack I so easily cut others, I was the one not listening to me, and I was the one angry with myself. When was I going to stop holding on to these ways? When was I going to start changing? When was I going to acknowledge I am an emotional human and accept each emotion? When was I going to stop denying myself happiness? When was I going to start to live each day fully? When was I going to start loving and accepting all of me? Tomorrow? In a few weeks? It had already been a few and I was miserable. No, I was going to do it now. 
     I decided to take the day off from troubles, worries, frustrations, anger, bitterness, and self-degenerative behaviors, and spend it instead meditating, listening to and following my intuition and inner guide, doing the things I truly desired to do - if not now, when? So I took a walk around the waterfront, reflected, wrote, read, went to a coffee shop, the library, and had a wonderful day. I stopped holding onto the past and trying to re-live it. The past is gone, all we have is this moment to do and be who we are but we must find the courage to live presently without fear. 
     My journey is not over - I have many more exciting lessons to learn, but I know this is the blooming of a beautiful loving friendship with only person that truly has the power to change my life now. Me. 

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