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uncontextualized babble

These are thoughts that will make little sense to anyone else because I don't want to provide the context and background.

But I've been thinking a lot lately about treating my mind (self, identity, cognition, narratives, habits, etc.) like a garden-- deliberately planting some things, not expecting anything immediate, simply returning my thoughts to tending them, trying to do away with the weeds to make space, etc. It's an image that is working so far, and I think part of it is the patience involved-- I don't feel discouraged because I have no expectations of sudden fundamental change. And yes, I know all of this is just "mindfulness" but this is the mindfulness I've been pursuing. :)

And I've been thinking a lot about what I want my world to look like, which comes from within. I've been thinking about what I want to carry with me and what I want to set down. I have so much internal weight, and I recognize that much of it is protective scarring. I appreciate what its intention and I feel very gently and compassionately towards it, but I don't need or want it anymore. Thinking about letting it go terrifies me but I understand that's because it thinks it's protecting me-- but it's not. Protecting me from what? More and more it just makes me feel small, cramped, trapped, anxious, confused, muddy, mean, shallow, empty... This is not who or how I want to be, and it is within my power to change, if I want to. And I think I want to.

There is a whole whack of stuff about stagnation/growth, static/fluid, same/change going on in my head, too-- the ever-ongoing theme of my existence, yin and yang, the creative process of balancing all things. I think I have become too much of some things and not enough of others and it's tipping the balance. The alternative to being too small, too safe, is being too expansive, losing too much control, and that's definitely a frightening prospect, especially because of my mood disorder-- a fire out of control, raging and destroying, and that's bad and scary. But this is like a flame so low it gives no light or heat; it just burns away, consuming without accomplishing. Until death.

I do think some of this is the process of recovery and healing from my past, after a period of dormancy. Eventually a seed has to sprout and I think this is the time. Becoming is a conscious process... or at least can be, because we're going to become something, regardless, and that something is informed by what we already are. These cognitive habits I have-- thoughts are like anxiety behaviours, like nail-biting, or a dog that licks patches of hair off itself. They're comforting in an ultimately destructive way. And the mind doesn't just fall into them-- the mind wants to go into them because they're comforting, even while they're painful. The mind is a stupid thing, sometimes. I don't want to maintain those behaviours and seeing them as the self-soothing but damaging habits they are is a helpful thought. Yes, they make me feel better in a terrible way. But that doesn't make them true, or good, and they can be changed if I'm brave enough to give them up.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
the_prop_tart
May. 12th, 2016 05:09 pm (UTC)
I think the garden is a wonderful image. I, too, struggle with the patience part of change :) and I really like the idea that patience is tending and growing, not just waiting.

I think that the imagery is a huge part of mindfulness. and shouldn't be underestimated. I found I struggled with a lot of the "let peace fill you" etc stuff until I started thinking about it like soft serve ice cream. doesn't really make sense, but it works for me.

soapvox
May. 12th, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)
Soft serve ice cream makes *perfect* sense. And you're right about the imagery-- I think, especially, imagery that includes some physical sense gives our bodies information about how to respond. Like soft serve ice cream makes me think "limp, relaxed" which cues my body. The tending to a garden image makes me think about the physical act of gardening, which is relaxing to me; associated with sun, leisure, etc. I frequently forget that I need to talk to my body as well as my brain.

And yes, the distinction between *waiting*-- which creates impatience and a feeling of "not-yet-having" versus *tending*-- which means doing, and happening-- has been enormous.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )