this year, my post-holiday ennui found me so depressed, I pulled my profile off of the main social media site many of us love to hate and started a new one, inviting all the friends who wanted to stay connected to come over with me. I would say just over half of them made the jump, a few of them haven't figured out I'm gone yet, and the rest of them don't really care that much and chose to let me silently slip out of their lives unnoticed. it was necessary for me to clean house, but I couldn't figure out how, so I left the decision up to the people who clicked the 'friend' button in the first place. am I sad about losing some of the people who chose not to reconnect? very much so, considering one of them is my child's other parent, but c'est la vie, non? I found out exactly what I wanted to know - who wants to be included in my life from a social media standpoint, and who doesn't. I'm guessing those folks don't want to hear from me in real life, either, so - better to know the truth, in my opinion. short of dragging everything I 'own' into the street, setting fire to it, and roaring out of town in a vehicle labelled 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow or Bust' (and causing great distress to my child), this was the closest I could come to a readjustment of my energetic field. moving out of this horrendous apartment complex would help, too, but that will take time and planning, and I needed more immediate relief. *while working on this post, it was brought to my attention that the neighbors have been making a concerted effort to get me kicked out of my apartment. while their discriminatory attempts will not succeed, moving out suddenly seems like something to get done sooner, rather than later.
but believe it or not, I didn't come to the page to piss and moan about less-than-authentic friends, I came to the page to work on my mantra for the new year. while I'm not someone who says mantras with any sort of regularity, or prays at all, or even remembers to express gratitude nearly as often as I do anger and resentment, I do generally strive to improve in the areas of my life that I find lacking, and hold myself to a certain standard of spiritual well-being and mental clarity. as it's nowhere near as difficult for me to make up a writing exercise for myself than to attempt to do yoga and meditate everyday, I'm hoping, perhaps, that the one may lead to the other in the way 'faking it until you make it' helps our intentions come to fruition. there is so much pent up stress and negativity contained in my body that doing yoga actually releases more internal anguish than I am able to cope with for any amount of time. it feels as if there is a black sludge oozing out through my muscle and bone - an evil entity seeping into my brain, demanding in its insidious voice that I cease this activity immediately, or suffer harsh consequences - a feeling that causes me to hunger all the more for release.
so, in the spirit of said release, I am choosing to type out the ugly phrases and judgements that kick themselves around my head when I get low so I can negate them by making a mantra of their opposites. are you ready? if there are triggers for any of my readers on this list, I apologize - just skip right over them and move on to the positive. here we go:
- my mommy hates me/never wanted me
- my family has disowned me
- I'm fat
- I'm ugly
- I'm stupid
- nobody loves me
- all my romantic relationships have failed
- I'm useless/worthless
- I'm a bad mom
- I'll never be any good to anyone
- no one would miss me if I weren't around
- my life is a mess
- no one wants to hire me for work
- living in poverty limits my child's chances for success
- my apartment is always a mess
- I'm a lousy cook
- no one wants to hang out with me
- nowhere will ever feel like home
- all my clothes are old/unstylish/worn out
- I am the subject of hurtful gossip
- my mother did the best she could with what she had. she fed and clothed me as long as I lived in her house, and drove me to the hospital when I was broken. she even came to rescue me from a crazy date, once, when I called late at night for a safe ride home. though I have tried to reconcile with her on many occasions and failed, the healthier choice for me is to recognize the good she did rather than the bad she does now, and let it go. parenting is hard work, and whatever else it was she wanted out of her life other than raising us kids with our dad, I hope she has found it, now, and comes to know peace. also, she stayed with me for two weeks when my son was born, and gave him his first bath because I was too scared to do it myself.
- my body is an incredible gift, and it is (I am) strong and healthy. all the parts do what they are supposed to, and are still intact after all the previously mentioned trips to the hospital. I feel incredibly blessed to be alive, mostly sane, and whole.
- I'm beautiful. sexy, even (to some). my skin is smooth and supple. my hair is full and lustrous. I could go on, but I feel as if I'm being unfair to folks who may have body issues by enumerating all the things that society equates to attractiveness about myself. double-edged sword, huh?
- I am intelligent and articulate. I graduated from both a great high school and college, and I enjoy continuing my education through research and inquiry. if I don't know something, I know how to find the information to learn about anything that interests me.
- many people love me. I know this because they tell me so. I love them, too.
- my romantic relationships of the past have been based mostly on animal attraction. fun as that may be, I am at a place in my life where I require more than basic instinct, and I am willing to accept and wait for Mr. Right, while give Mr. Right Now a wink and a pass (and most of my exes still love me - bless their hearts, I love them, too).
- I make myself of use whenever and wherever possible, and am of great worth to certain individuals, including the one to which I gave birth.
- I have proven myself to be a kind and generous parent. while most of us 'do the best with what we have', and I tend to favor a tough love approach, I have been there for my child 24/7/365 for an entire decade, now. I do it all on my own, and my kid is thriving, so...yay me.
- I do good on a regular basis, for folks I know, and folks I don't.
- my child would miss me terribly if something happened to me, and possibly some of the people I tend to 'be there' for would as well.
- while my life may be less organized than it has been in the past, it still functions accordingly, and I continue to get things done on a regular basis.
- there are several people who avail themselves of my particular skill set on a regular basis, and often, they offer me goods, services, or money in exchange for my help.
- the only thing limiting my child's chances for success are the negative thought patterns that put up barriers to our own belief in the possibility of success. the world is his oyster, even if he has to work a bit harder to get it open.
- while my apartment has certainly become more cluttered since having a child, it is still neat and tidy, and generally well-organized.
- I have managed to keep myself alive for many years, now, and the boy as well. an Iron Chef I will never be, but a passable cook who can get a healthy meal on the table is within the realm of possibility. and I keep at it, adding new dishes to the repertoire with regularity.
- people do spend time with me. they call and ask if I want to hang out, invite me to parties, stop and chat on the street, and sometimes even show up at my front door to surprise me on occasion. and they let me in when I show up to visit them, as well.
- home is: where the heart is, where I hang my hat, the open road, wherever my boy and I are together, an idea, wherever my chosen family is gathered in love.
- my clothes are what they are. a pair of jeans and a t-shirt can get me through most situations; I'm pretty casual. past that, I generally wing it and seem to do okay.
- let them talk. it makes little difference to me, and says a great deal about the kind of people the gossips themselves prove to be.
I am healthy, attractive, intelligent, loved, useful, necessary, organized, socially active, and a great mom. my child is well cared-for, and all our basic needs are met. I have more than I need, so I share with those who have less. our lives are love.yup, right on the money. it even felt good to say it out loud, so I'll call the exercise a success, and move on to better things. so much for letting the turkeys get me down; they're still out there being turkeys, but thanks to the bff who called to offer support (in his own unique way), and the friend who showed up at the door to whisk me away on a joyride (I love joyrides!), their cacophony is less discernible to me today. what do You do, dear reader, to bring yourself up when life gets you down? who or what do you turn to to help keep your head above water when you feel like you're drowning? I suggest singing, dancing, drinking cocoa in front of a fire with friends (I live in the Northeast United States, and it's December), calling someone you can count on, taking a joyride (or going for a walk), and hugging your child (if you have one handy), a friend, or a stranger (could be interesting).
or write out what's bugging you, and turn it around on the page like I did here. I once employed this technique so effectively in the form of a short story, it caused an uproar in the small community in which I lived between the folks who agreed with my assertions, and those who didn't - so maybe don't have it published in a literary review. although, in light of the phrase "there's no such thing as bad publicity", a bunch of people who didn't previously know my name certainly did by the end of that day. succes de scandale is still success, in some circles, and I could be in worse company than the likes of Igor Stravinsky, Edouard Manet, Oscar Wilde, Richard Strauss, and Mae West.