Back on day 36 (January 6th, 2014) , I wrote a draft. I never published what I wrote because I didn’t think it would contribute to my blog.
“I feel lied to, charred, cheated, lost, broken, cowardly, burnt, angry, incomplete, injured, isolated, lonely, invisible, nervous, addicted, poisoned, oblivious, regretful, sore, confused, blind, black, gone, frozen, halted, tricked, unloved, cold, darkened, alone, defunct, useless, unintelligent, “fine”, helpless, dead, unhappy, wilted, drown, choked, drunk, depressed.
Right now I don’t want to talk to anyone. There’s a tornado inside myself and I’ve been avoiding it for the last two months. A conflict that I’ve ignored but it needs addressed. It’s two clashing opposites that are damn near evenly matched. I want this to be resolved and I keep looking for other people to solve it. To give me answers that they can’t answer for someone else. I have to make decisions right now and I can’t ask anyone for assistance from anyone. I have to sit with myself and ask the questions to myself…“
After 254 days I feel like I can look back and add on to what I was saying. Perhaps in response to how I was feeling back then. To gives some context, I moved from Minnesota to Texas (May-July), then Texas to Mississippi (August-October), then Texas to South Carolina (October-March), and now I’ve settled down in South Carolina. In January, when I wrote this, I had just moved between three states.
I left my family in May and saw them twice (end of July, mother in December). Leaving the people that I know and love was extremely difficult. Well, leaving wasn’t but living without them was. In January, I felt hopeless. As evident by the first paragraph, I felt many emotions and none of them were positive.
Looking back, I understand that confusion. There was a lot of chaos in my mind. Life can be difficult. However, I see that I contained all emotions. At any given moment, we can feel anything. It’s like we have a color wheel inside and we can show any shade of any color. If we are surprised, we can show excitement. If we are shocked, we can show fear. Those emotions are already inside of us.
The trouble was that I believed all those colors were mixed. That they were out of my control (a tornado is out of control), and that others couldn’t help. I thought that I only contained sadness and I feared that I wasn’t capable of feeling anything else. Even more, I thought that these emotions came from my life conditions. If only _______ happened, I would be happy or feel better. And so I became tangled in my mind.
Nine months later I see that I contain all of these emotions and circumstance doesn’t make me feel a certain way. Internally I feel the way I do because of me. Not the circumstance. There’s an old Buddhist idea that “nothing is worth becoming upset over”. Ultimately the phrase points to our response to events. We do not have to become upset over anything. It’s our own choice.
While it often doesn’t feel like this, we can learn to understand our responses and alter them. When something happens, you control your response to it. You do not have to become angry, nor sad, nor frightened, nor excited. You can be however you want to be.