Owning My Story: Seeking Serenity

I don’t want to be here. I’ve been in this place before. I can taste the familiarity in the salt from my tears. I recognize this mental environment of my headspace. I cannot do this again. I will not do this again. I cannot allow myself to reside any longer in this domain.

— My Subconscious

A couple years ago, I found myself resisting new circumstances to which accompany being a stay at home parent (SAHP), of which I could not control. Control, a recurring theme, resembling a persistent aroma; this obsession seemed to follow me in all stages of my life everywhere that I would go. The wear and tear of this push/pull mental mind space finally took its toll. The intensity from my resistance finally crushed me, my hands and knees quivering literally, no longer able to bear the weight I was shelving above me.

I collapsed straight down crying uncontrollably to the floor. In looking back to that day now, it seems as though my subconscious mind forced my body into the fetal position, beckoning wildly to my soul, symbolizing my rebirth. Reflection was the space in between my dissolution and my new dawn. I had to go back to the beginning. Start all over. I gave myself permission to surrender. With pride set aside, I allowed myself to let go. I got up, grabbed a book and faced the very same wall that I was backed into, turned around and slid down that bitch, using it now as a support structure so that I could get to work.

See What Had Happened Was….

Although this was not my first time being a parent, this was my first time being a SAHP. I am one of those people who says FUUUUUUCCCCK NOOOOO to that shit as if it was a prison sentence versus a gift. I had a very needy baby and no one to relate too as all my friends and family were past me in that area. No one was understanding why I couldn’t just come over so easily or stay up late to hang out. Life had changed. Comments from my family like “She does nothing all day” and other misconceptions about being a SAHP were eating me. I had these misconceptions myself once, as I was a proclaimed proud working mother by choice with my first child. So….Karma, that bitch, yeah she got me! Homie dont pass judgments no more. I learned my lesson.

I started reading self-help books in order to establish some sort of routine in my new stay at home life. When I had my first child, it was different. I was young. We built our lives together. I had nothing and knew no one so we integrated the outside INTO our lives. This time was the opposite. When my husband and I decided to get pregnant with my second child, I was older and my life was set – it felt like the right time to have a baby but apparently it had been so long I thought nooooooo problem! Only I didn’t realize that everything would pause. A much needed STILLNESS was about to happen in my life. A book that Ryan Holiday would publish two years toooo late!( I still bought it anyways because I cant get enough of that man!)

I struggled the first couple of months at home because no way in fucking hell did this girl want stillness. Back to the haters that said I did nothing –  well guess what? The hardest challenge one can face in life is exactly that. Doing nothing.

Why is old considered useless? Because in old age, the emphasis shifts from doing to Being, and our civilization, which is lost in doing, knows nothing of Being.

It asks: Being? What do you do with it?

ECKHART TOLLE

That would be one of my first moments of “AHHA!” I my friends, am a doer. Who the hell wants to just be? That shit is boring yo. In a podcast interview hosted by Aubrey Marcus, Ryan Holiday said , “We’re like sharks, we think we have to move to live.” WOOOOOOORRRRD!

 So I guess I gotta Be. Little did I know that practicing to just Be meant being alone with my thoughts, a prerequisite test prior to the real training that was yet to come. Things were about to get raw….I had to face my thoughts.

Whycome was it that I was unable (unwilling) to accept my circumstances at that point in time? What mental block was obstructing the good fortune that surrounded me?  Why was I complaining about something that the mom across the street wishes for every time she sees me? I had to go even deeper…why had I never been able to accept a circumstance for what it was?  Who the fuck was I to act in such a manner? If someone gave me something for free I would thank them. If someone did something for me I would be grateful. Why could I not have gratitude for my position today?

Here It Is – Truth

I have lived the role of a victim, silently in my mind for as long as I can remember. I live my life through stories made up in my head. My character, trapped. The author who wrote my book is not very proficient in storytelling. There are too many recurring scenarios in different settings that play out the same way every couple chapters. Chick gets lost, the big bad whatever traps her, she sees her opening and flees but finds herself once again going through all the same motions only to feel trapped again. Her one true wish – to just be free. But, free from what??????

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

— Marcus Aurelius

I do a great deal of obsessive thinking. Mostly about time as I have a lot of that right now. I suppose I find comfort in recreating battles concluded from my past and taunting my mentality with ridiculous stories about where I will end up in my future. Both which leave me in a state of self pity and frustration. I have not yet pinpointed as to why I abuse myself in such ways nor did I realize how I cozied into playing the role of a victim. A role I despise when I hear it in the stories of others. However, what I do know for sure is that it never dawned on me to just live in the present moment. Right here, right now. I needed to silence the surround sound system of static noise and fine-tune into a single frequency, the now.

Trying the Other Handle

I am a questioner by nature and am curious about everything. I LOVE to learn! Remember Johnny No. Five, the robot from the movie Short Circuit? Yea, that’s me! NEED MORE INPUT! Committed in using my time wisely I harnessed my creature of curiosity and flipped that bitch. I started reading beyond self-helps and routine books so that I could get to the bottom of myself, why I do this, and how I could better do that.

If I had 3 minutes, Id fit in a short podcast. While driving an hour to my mother’s house or even back and forth to the grocery store, I would listen to whatever new audio book I purchased that week. Early in the morning when everyone was asleep, I would read books and highlight my favorite passages to recite to myself later in the day when needed.

Each book, hard copy or audio, each podcast, and every new author I fell in love with lead me down the path of aspiring to lead a more philosophical life. I was finding that in getting to my core, I was rewiring my perspective, which would benefit me later when it came time to get back to disciplined goals.

No wonder I couldn’t stick to a diet. Fucking DOY! – as to why I could not maintain any goal that required a level of discipline. My thought process was a mess. My perspective was overran by years of a conditioned mentality.

What is the fruit of these teachings? Only the most beautiful and proper harvest of the truly educated –tranquility, fearlessness, and freedom. We should not trust the masses who say only the free can be educated, but rather the lovers of wisdom who say that only the educated are free

— Epictetus

A lot of my readings consisted of Stoic philosophy. It was there where I began to sip the sweet essence of what it is was to be free. Each Stoic seemed to hold a different position in society –Marcus Aurelius a Roman Emperor, Epictetus a former slave, Cleanthes a former boxer; just to name a few, they all intrigued the shit out of me! Each of them challenging themselves with the different circumstances that fortune bestowed upon them.

The meditations, quotes, and passages from all of the famous Stoics have slapped me straight. The fruit that I received from their teachings gave me clarity in understanding what free really meant to me. I was not looking to be free from my status, from my position in this life or my duties. I was looking to be free of my negative mentality. The abuse I placed on me.

In educating myself about the ancient Stoics, practicing their exercises, and applying their virtues to my daily routine I started to uncover clarity in my mental state. I am utilizing the rational over the emotional in controlling my perceptions and it is helping me to make choices that are more reasoned.

In my short time of practicing Stoicism I have already noticed a significant shift in how I approach each of my days and how I can better process (and almost welcome) all that fate has to bring my way. I would love to say that I no longer fight with my past or try to sneak into my future, but it still happens from time to time. I understand that practicing Stoicism is a process and does not happen overnight. It is a lifelong pursuit.

In this Moment

I am not healed but I am healing. I am observing my thoughts and minding my actions. My new level of awareness is a reward in its own. I am undoing my condition of being conditioned. Today I am exactly where I should be. I am where I want to be. If you can relate to the rawness that I bare, if you are working hard owning your own story, I leave you with this:

It is in our nature to mimic and conform to our surroundings. We learn by watching others. Don’t beat yourself up for things in the past. As you move forward and start to focus only on yourself you will start to sense how some of the external noise will start to change for you. Your coworkers, your close friends, your spouse, and most importantly your children are all watching you. The work you put into yourself will positively impact everyone and everything that surrounds you. Like ripples in a pond.

Amor Fati!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *