I've got a paradox within my life; I dislike the mundane and routine-- yet I get so overwhelmed when things change. My mind seems comfortable with consistency and incredibly disrupted when they changes; however, I also find that I grow the most when change is occurring. It makes sense, I'm sure that most people can agree that outer change strengthens our inner world, as long as we allow it to.
But for me, sometimes, it's overwhelming in my head.
Thinking of this brings me back to when I was in Thailand; I had just taken two overnight trains to get back to the foundation that I started at, and to stay there for my last night before returning home. But with so much change in my outer experience, my mind was still swirling around and confused at where I was. Within those past three days, I had been on an island, traveling to the main area of that island, departed and said goodbyes with a dear friend, on a boat, back to the mainland, on an overnight bus, in Bangkok at 4:30 AM (that's a whole other story in itself…), spending hours in a 24-hour cafe, in a hostel, taking another overnight train, and then in northern Thailand and back at the foundation I had started at. All of this was a whirlwind for my mind, and it took a long time to catch up. I was back in a bed and normal room at the foundation, and I had a dream that night that I had lost my luggage at the train station, I couldn't find a place to stay for the night, and everything was chaotic and confusing and I didn't know what to do. I woke up so confused and actually did not know where I was; it took me a good three minutes of wakefulness to finally recall everything that had happened within the past few days and where I was now.
It's like I have pieces of my identity left in each place that I go, and my mind sluggishly pulls them back up whenever I leave. This is why I fear change a lot of times; because when things change, I don't know "who I am" anymore. I get anxious, bug-eyed, consumed with ideas in my mind and worries.
And I notice it happening every time something switches in my life. Something that challenges what I accept as ordinary.
This happened today for sure. Today is my last full & nannying day for three weeks in San Francisco. The mother's mother-in-law is coming to stay with them during this time, and so she will be staying in my room, they will not need me, and I'll be moving back in with my aunt for a bit. Which I am excited for because it will give me a chance to reassess, have more free time and freedom through that, and also spend more time with my family.
However, whenever things change, I get anxiety over those last moment that I am in the older place. And that was this today. I was scheduled to be helping out from 12-8:30, which is different from a usual day of babysitting the kids. This, mixed with the thought that my "identity" or perceived normal will be changing tomorrow, makes me feel like the ground under my feet is unstable. And so I was once again out of it and bizarre. And I got the feeling like I couldn't escape. Not that there was anything wrong or bad in the situation. But just the thought that this is what I was doing and that there was no way out of it was what killed me inside. Again, illogical and irrational. Yet it happens, and consumes me. And with my mind-body connection, the stress that I was causing to myself reflected in my physical health. I started to get a fever, couldn't keep my eyes open, my stomach began to feel sick, and just that thought "i can't escape" would be churning in my head. I ended up telling her that I wasn't feeling well and got off early. Which I still can't decide if this was a good decision on my part or not. Because I don't want to be ruled by my fears and anxieties, yet I also want to care for my body when it wants a break.
But I realized something: I actually wanted to be sick. I wanted to be sick enough so that I could leave. I wanted this not to happen, I wanted to "escape." And so I think my body was helping me fulfill that wish…. But I get so caught up in that that my mind just consumes me and all I can see is this fear and all of these ideas of who I am and my identity if I choose to do things differently and fear of what's to come… It overwhelms me. And I feel afraid to make any decisions when I am in that state. It frustrates me as well. And I feel afraid that this has been happening more now; I fear that I may be slowly filtering back to that way of living-- with separateness and living from fear and isolation.
I feel that I healed so much when I went to Thailand; I fear that now, with again a scheduled life and not so much spontaneity, I might fall back into that place… I don't want to. I have to overcome the fears in my mind. Because I fear that the fears won't go away. But that's just fear toppled on fear.
I read a really great Facebook post from Elizabeth Gilbert yesterday. It talked about loving all of the parts of ourself- especially the sides of us that we run away from and try to shelter and hide from others and ourselves. To be able to acknowledge them with love is how they can feel accepted, and they will no longer have any power over us. We have got to stop seeing them as bad and hating them- for then we are only doubling the hatred in our hearts.
Like MLK Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Here's the longer quote, which I just found and love…
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
It's not what happens to us in life, but how we react to things. I'm going to try and react, always, with love. Love amidst anything. And I'll see what will come of that.
I <3 you,