I wake up in the morning and before I even open my eyes, there it is: a weight resting squarely on my chest. I cautiously feel around my thoughts to see what this weight is before jumping to conclusions. It’s possible that I just had a bad dream.
Oh, right. I’m just not quite awake yet. Sometimes when I first wake up, I have left over thoughts flying around in my mind. And some of them could be left over from years and years ago. They are just shadows, tiny endings of experiences that hurt me or things that made me very sad. But they aren’t happening right now and that is what I need to focus on.
I imagine a light. Yellow and white but not too bright. It’s warm and healthy. It’s healing. It starts in my chest and expands until it fills my body.
Some of the remaindered and leftover thoughts try to stick around. They pop up and tell me, ‘You are such a failure’ and ‘Nothing you do matters’ and ‘Nothing will ever get any better.’ Some of them go far, far back and are more like, ‘No one cares about you so you better concentrate on surviving’ and ‘People want to hurt you and take advantage of you’ and ‘Everyone is a liar.’ But as soon as the thoughts come up, I look at them, evaluate them and see if they are true or not. They aren’t. What a relief. And I send them on their way.
I know that if I think too much about what I have to do today, it will feel too hard. I’ll start feeling overwhelmed and probably not get out of bed. Once I allow myself to go down that downward spiral, it’s very hard to climb back up and could take me days. The best defense is a good offense. Some days I do better than others.
There are days when catastrophic thinking is hard to shake off, but it doesn’t happen very often. I thank God for that. And The Universe. And Love. I know my meditation routine by heart and slip easily into a place where I feel only Love and a connection to everything and everyone. It’s beautiful. I stay as long as I need to and then climb out of bed.
I don’t think about getting up or showering or even what I’m going to wear. I don’t think about any of those things because I don’t really NEED to think about them. I know how to do them all without thinking. And if I make the mistake of thinking about it, I might not do it. So, I just do it.
As I finish up washing my hair and shaving my legs, I smell the soap. It smells clean and invigorating. I’m looking forward to the coffee. I grab an outfit from the two that I laid out last night: one is for slightly warmer weather and one for colder. That way, I don’t have to think about it when it feels too hard. Of course, I can always change my mind and get something else from the closet if I want. And sometimes I do. But mostly, I stick with what I prepared the night before.
A thought of work will come up and for a second my heart starts to race. I feel behind. I feel like I’ll never be safe and secure. I feel like everything I’ve worked so hard for could be taken away in a second. My breathing gets faster and faster. I start to sweat. I can’t breathe. I’m going to die. But then I catch myself. I tell my heart to slow down. I remind myself to take some deep breaths. And I tell myself that I’ll think about all of that in about an hour when I’m more awake and I’ve eaten some protein and had some coffee.
I go downstairs to begin my day and do stuff.