Forget Forest Gump and life being like a box of chocolates, I’m thinking that life is more like a rollercoaster: one minute you’re up, and the next you’re down.
Most of us would agree, nod our heads, maybe shrug the shoulders and go, “well, yeah. That’s just life.” But I don’t really think that’s the best way to describe it.
It’s not life, it’s us.
Life is inherently neutral. Every situation and circumstance that we come across in life is just that: a situation or a circumstance. There’s no charge attached to it, no positivity or negativity, no good or bad, it just is. But then, as we view the situation, we decide it’s charge based on our perceptions. We decide if it’s good or bad, but there’s no truth to it, it’s all in our minds.
So, why is life so up and down then? Why is life like a box of chocolates, never knowing what you’re going to get? If it’s all up to us, why are there any surprises at all? Because, unless you make a conscious effort to be, you aren’t in control.
Your mind is.
And your mind has one goal: to keep you safe. Safety for your mind means comfort, it means familiarity, and it means predictability. When you have lived your life one way for so long, that’s your mind’s state of comfort, whether that state is good for you or not. This is how abuse victims find it so hard to leave their abusers and how drug addicts can’t stop: these states, a state of fear or addiction, are their comfort zone.
For so many years, my comfort zone was struggle. I identified as someone who could never get it together, someone who always had a hard time doing anything, and someone who was never good enough, no matter how hard I tried. Even though I was working my ass off to be good enough and “make something of myself,” I always found myself right back in the front seat of the struggle bus. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, it wasn’t that I wasn’t able to, it was that I wasn’t allowing myself to.
My zone of comfort was that struggle, and that’s where my mind found to stay. That struggle was all I knew, and anything outside of that struggle, even amazing and beautiful opportunities, was scary as fuck. Out of fear, my mind did whatever it could to keep me in the struggle, to keep me feeling small.
And it still does it, even to this day.
For a while, I felt like I was making headway in the discovery of myself and my path. Since starting this blog, I have felt more focused and excited, the writing and exploring has given me something to look forward to. I’ve gone out and lived more in the past few months than I have in years. I’ve uncovered things I’ve kept hidden from myself, allowed them to release, and embraced doing my best to usher in my new way of living. I felt the needle moving forward, not in my accomplishments of life, but in who I was as a person. I was feeling excited at the thought of changing my persona, and then…
Boom. It all changed.
The past few weeks have felt difficult for me. I felt as though I lost all motivation and inspiration, that I slid backwards into the depths of struggle and strain Molly. I stopped taking care of myself in the past week. I stopped exercising and eating well, while starting to drink more and binge eat again. I felt no pull to write or edit my book, and I felt no call to go out and explore this beautiful world around me that I have started to become so familiar with. Just when I was starting to connect deeper to myself and spirit, that connection was severed. And I’m the one who did it.
As someone who truly tries to honor my body and energy levels, I let it happen. I assumed that I had been working too hard and needed the break. But the longer I rested, and the more of a break I took, the worse I felt. I felt lethargic, I felt anxious, I felt disconnected, and I felt depressed. It then hit me: I self sabotaged myself without even realizing it happened.
That newfound deepened connection to myself threatened the security of feeling the struggle and unworthy that my mind had become so accustomed to. Feeling good about myself and where I was in my life was so foreign to me, that my mind rejected it faster than food poisoning. And what do you do with food poisoning? You get it out of your body as quickly as possible. Literally what my mind did to my deeper connection.
I can’t change the past two weeks of my life. I can’t go back in time and not allow myself to spiral into my old ways. I can decide right here and now that it won’t continue. I can decide that I will be more aware of the intentions behind my actions, and reflect truthfully on them. I can decide in this moment, that I am recommitted to my growth and progress, no matter how my mind feels about them.
I’m grateful to the awareness that I’ve cultivated over my journey because without it, who knows how much longer I would’ve allowed this self sabotage to continue. I’m grateful to this knowledge that life isn’t a box of chocolates or a rollercoaster, life is my perception. There is no right or wrong, good or bad, there’s only feedback. It’s up to me to decide what that feedback is guiding me to do.
Your mind is like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what’s going on in there until you pick up a piece and take a bite.