Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. – Zen proverb
No mud, no lotus. -Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. – Buddha
These three quotes intertwine, for me.
Lotus flowers grow in the nastiness of mud and then have to crawl their way to the surface to blossom into the beautiful flowers we know them as.
The past is said and done. It’s gone and has zero hold on who you can become or what you can do. Yet, simultaneously, the past has everything to do with who we are right now and how we perceive everything, including our options and selves. Also, how we use our past changes everything for us.
That first quote… It has many meanings. But for me, I haven’t figured something out yet. Something I just can’t put into words.
Words are important.
What are some quotes that really resonate with you?
Especially once the holiday season trickles around, I hope you challenge the thoughts you’re feeding yourself.
What is the OPPOSITE that might be true, instead?
A lot of people tend to roll their eyes at positive self talk.
But what’s going on in your head, every day and night, 24/7? YOU are your closest relationship throughout your entire life. Are you abusing yourself?
Try searching for positive things that could be possible. Most likely, they are.
Our brains don’t know the difference. So when you keep telling yourself that you’re ugly, you’ll never lose weight, never get that dream job, never be strong or good enough… your brain is listening. And it’s really good at it’s job. It then goes about searching for things outside of you, to prove, to back up the claims you’re making.
Kind of like information bias.
So, what are you feeding your brain?
Constant self talk about how terrible and powerless you are? Because if so… why not try asking yourself what positive things could be true, instead?
Instead of, you know, berating yourself for not having perfect positive self talk. *wink*
You can always rig the game to work in your favor. Best way to do that? Start with how YOU treat YOU.
It’s a funny word, trash. What’s trash to one, is treasure to another. Pointless clutter to yet another. Retro decoration in someone else’s mind.
It’s an odd time, right now. Different ideals and opinions, pains and joys, opportunities and road blocks, tugging us in opposite directions, all wanting our attention and backing.
Maybe take a moment. One to yourself. Just breathe, look around. What trash is holding you back? Whether it be physical or psychological. What trash is actually treasure in your life? Something you thought could only be gross and pointless, an unneeded weight or ugly, but in actuality holds a gift in it’s hands for you. A lesson, an idea, example, hidden desire, etc.
Maybe you’re not sitting in a dumpster. Maybe you’re the King of Buried Treasure.
It’s been…. a minute since you’ve seen me lurking around here.
*dramatic drum roll*
I gained weight, have more medical issues for which I’m now waiting to see new specialists because no one knows what’s wrong with me or how to help, my only YouTube microphone died (but my patrons came to my rescue and I was able to buy TWO new microphones), and then my grandma died due to covid.
Now my family and I spend every moment of our spare time cleaning up after my hoarder Nana who refused to get help going through her 2 large storage units or mold filled trailer… which we now have to pay for while we go through them on our own (with gloves, masks, and lots of alcohol wipes). And can I just say, at $100 a pop at the dump, we’re living in sticker shock land. Not to mention the growing death/funeral costs due to her also refusing to get a life insurance policy (yes, she was easily capable), which has currently put us into $8,000 of debt.
We live paycheck to paycheck.
SO I’M A LITTLE TEENSY BIT STRESSED OUT AND EMOTIONALLY CONFUSED.
Not to mention emotionally and physically exhausted.
And you’re probably thinking that sentence up there was a wee bit harsh. You know, the one that said, “my hoarder Nana who refused to get help”. I mean, she died. I’m supposed to be epically upset and talk about her like a perfect human being now that she died, right?
It’s been an odd time. When my grandpa died, I grieved. I even blogged about it.
But this time? I’ve been so quiet because I’m not sure how to really work this one out. Our society is so big on shaming us if we don’t allow our family members to abuse us… because they’re “family”.
That guilt trip comment like, “you should be glad/feel lucky that you still HAVE (insert abusive family member here).”
*burns with rage*
Just because you lost a family member doesn’t mean I should be HAPPY that I have that same family member if they’re ABUSIVE.
Abuse is abuse is abuse. Whether or not that person has family blood.
Anywho. Mini rant over.
I’m not grieving my grandmother. Which bothers me. I feel SAD that I DON’T feel sad that she’s dead.
I understand that most abusers were abused. I understand that there was a reason she was the way she was (many reasons, in reality). I understand that she gave birth to my fabulous mom. But it’s also true that she then TORMENTED my mom (and then me to a lesser extent, as I spent a painful amount of my childhood alone with her). I also understand that Nana passed down and continued the family habit cycle of abuse.
And it makes me sad.
This isn’t to bash my grandmother. In fact, this isn’t about her. It’s about me.
This is simply me being honest. Trying to pin down exactly what I feel. I don’t think we talk about this often. We act as if we’re supposed to talk about the dead like they were saints, no matter how they truly were. Unless they were like, Hitler.
So I guess this is just me dealing with it in the only healthy way I can think of: say it out loud and let it be seen. Maybe it’s the writer in me. Writing it out and bleeding myself dry of the bubbling confusion. Maybe its the only way I’ll be able to even access any positive memories of my grandmother, by getting the heavy truth off my chest in a format that’s therapeutic for me.
I want to move forward with this WITHOUT following the cycle handed down to me of focusing on the negative and holding onto my anger.
I hope if you have a family member, or someone close, who abused you, that you know it’s perfectly okay to feel EVERYTHING you feel. Maybe you do feel sad at their loss. Maybe you miss them terribly EVEN THOUGH they abused you and you’re angry with them. Perhaps you’re filled with a swirling flurry of emotions. Or numb, empty, shocky, or strangely unaffected.
I think that’s what bothers me so much. I’ve viewed her body in her coffin. I’ve said goodbye. I’m packing away or throwing out damaged mementos. And I feel…