The turn of a new month has me questioning everything. I can sit here and sip my rose cacao latte (treat yourself) and tell you there is forward momentum happening, but the truth is I feel like I am playing a solo game of Sorry! right now and the moment I take one step forward, I am projected two steps back. I am convinced the creators of Sorry! were two disgruntled 30-something guys who wanted to create a game for kids on what adulthood is actually like.
Anyway, there is progress being made. Therapy is helpful, meditation is blissful, and writing is my catharsis. Despite feeling like I keep falling backwards into old patterns, I do need to acknowledge my wins and how a past version of me would love to be where I am right now.
What I am wondering lately is if my routines I label as “self-care” and taking time for myself are actually just a new form of self-control. Do I enjoy putting on face masks that shrink my pores or doing 27 different yoga poses? Or am I creating new ways of dissociating?
I don’t think I have truly found my own internal joy yet, and I don’t think I am of the mindset that my external practices have much to do with my happiness. I am just dressing up dissociation in a more presentable package to society. Outwardly, I am a functioning human woman who plasters a smile on her face every day and is excelling at the art of pretend.
I am willing to bet $5 my situation isn’t all that unique, I’m just quick to admit my personal ecosystem is damaged and it will take more than a $13 green juice to fix.
Everything that goes on in our internal world gets reflected back to us through our external existence. When we suppress, when we lie and deny ourselves what we are needing and not tending to our own inner child, we are committing an act of neglect. Shutting the door on our internal needs and not admitting when we crave tenderness or need love is a recipe for chaos for our external self. All the “self-care”, the yoga, the (insert wellness trend here) means nothing if we are using these things as an excuse for suppression of our emotions.
So, how do I solve my own personal existential crisis? I acknowledge I am going through it and pick at what isn’t working. I cry, I sing terribly, I rationalize that it’s temporary and I release what I am holding onto. I have learned that my inner child does not self-regulate well when it comes to others or myself being angry, so I have learned to release that emotion as soon as it appears. In the past, when I have stayed angry, it’s always resulted in me pushing people away. When you’re actually craving tenderness and love from others, pushing them away is not particularly helpful. So, for my ecosystem, anger has no home there.
It is so crucial to protect our ecosystems. To set boundaries with others, to check in with ourselves on what we are needing in any given moment. The best part is those habits are free and don’t require us to go on a pricy 5-day juice cleanse. I am not here to tell you to not drink green juice – please do so if it makes you happy. This is really a reminder to myself that my emotional wellness needs rest, love and less self-judgment. It doesn’t need a ginger, cucumber and apple juice from my favorite overpriced vegan cafe.
Now, I return to my regularly scheduled existential crisis.