I just got back from a really great trip to Michigan to visit family. It’s good, but kind of hard to come home. It’s nice when you can escape reality for a while. We ate a shitload of food, drank wine every night, went to an art fair, lakes, and watched slides my aunt dug up from the 1960s.
I’m not sure how much longer my grandparents will be in their house so it was good to see them. It’s the one house that has been constant in my life — I’ve been going there since I was a kid.
I was very worried about the plane rides, as I haven’t flown much in the past few years and get claustrophobic and anxious. But I did OK. I can’t tell you how much I WISH I didn’t have anxiety, but I do. I tell myself that I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels like I would like myself better if I wasn’t anxious.
I guess you can like yourself no matter what “stuff” you have, because everyone has their stuff. This has been such a battle for me. Maybe that is the purpose of my life, just to learn how to love the pieces and parts I carry.
On the trip I mentioned above I started doing something where whenever I felt anxious I would think and picture the things I love instead to try and refocus. And really feel the love as if it’s right here with me now. It was so calming and nice to visualize peaceful, loving images.
Like my cat… any fuzzy baby animal… places where I’ve lived…. a huge swimming pool with turquoise water… flower pots… an old cottage…. neighborhoods where I’ve gone running…. my favorite time of day (dusk)… people who just naturally make me feel comfortable and loved… writing dialogue and how good it feels to put a scene together…. dancing in a room of people… painting a piece of furniture…
Do you remember that scene at the end of Neverending Story? It’s the last scene of the movie where the empress tells Bastian that the only thing left in the entire world is one grain of sand. The only way for the world to be rebuilt is for him to make wishes. With each wish he makes the world will be reborn.
Maybe that’s how we can think of love.
Each time we choose to think of love instead of hate we are rebuilding our world inside ourselves.
I found it is actually fun to think of these things. I haven’t deliberately thought of tried to vision anything in ages. It’s like closing your eyes and just picturing a place or image or person. You can actually see stuff in your mind. And then you see another and another thing you love. It’s surprising.
Be willing to hear the unpleasant. Be willing to face the uncomfortable. Surrender the belief that you cannot deal with confrontation, rejection, or abandonment by forgiving yourself.
Photo by Jan Michniak