This aha moment happened a few weeks before my 45th birthday, and for the first time in my life I decided to celebrate my birthday.
I planned to go with my husband and my children to a restaurant and celebrate the day I was born and celebrate my life. I smiled until my cheeks hurt, I didn’t hate this day anymore.
After a few weeks, I started having recurrent thoughts and the feeling that I was kissing the world good bye.
For some reason I was going to die and all the death and rebirth I was experiencing was just bullshit. This enlightenment and “happy” time was just a little prize, a little tap on my back, extra time from life to say goodbye to my family, friends, and everything that was important to me. I felt a knot in my stomach and I started having panic attacks again. That was it. I was going to die. It was impossible that I felt peace, happiness or freedom. I was dying. Period.
I tried to stop these thoughts and feelings, but it was harder and harder. They multiplied faster and faster. I went to my therapy session with Charity and explained what was going on. After a long time talking and analyzing we came up with this. I had been paying my entire life for every single breath I took. I was paying for daring to be happy sometimes. I was paying for every second of my existence for forty-five years. I gave it all. All I had inside of me, and more. Well, the only thing I had left to pay with was my own life. I had to die.
But the only thing that was dying was my old “unhealthy me” life. I had just found a new way to torture myself. But all the hard and honest work paid off because with the help of Charity we could see how the last kicks of that monster, the guilt, was trying to do with me. I didn’t let it sabotage my accomplishment.
I practiced awareness and became more observant of my thoughts. I could see the guilt coming from far away and not let it take me for surprise. I also learned something very interesting. I didn’t fight it anymore, I just accepted the way I felt “ok now I feel sad” or “yes, I feel guilty now” even though I knew I wasn’t, but when I just accepted those feelings, when I didn’t fight those monsters, they would eventually go away, and what remained within me was my peace and calmness.
I learned that it is very important to practice, practice, practice. I have to always check on my thoughts, especially when I feel low, or sad, or in a bad mood.
Almost every time I checked to be in constant awareness, I discovered that I was letting my thoughts, or my monsters play with my peace. They have been there for almost an eternity, almost my entire life. I needed time (and still need), patience and compassion to take care of my inner garden. To turn those negative thoughts into flowers like I deserved. Little by little I learned that I had to be proactive in my growth because nobody else could do it for me.
One of the things that I do now is to ask myself what do I want, what do I need and then honor it. It is very hard at the beginning, I never did that before because I was busy surviving and paying to the world, to the monsters, my parents, my teachers, my clients, my neighbors, society or who knows who or what. I started with very small things, one step at a time. Allowing myself to enjoy a book in a rainy day on Thursday in the morning, or taking a nap. I let myself do things and get out of the “I have to,” “I should,” “I must.” My new way is “I want to” and I do.
I had never done this before, taking care of myself. It even sounded weird. Being aware of the respect and compassion that I deserved made all the difference with my journey.
I have the right to have the right. You have the right to have the right.
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