Sometimes my brain gets stuck. I get so tired and depleted of so much energy that my brain begins to think this is the way it’s always been and this is how it will always be.
I’m always so tired.
I never get to do anything fun.
I always work on nice days when everyone else gets to be outside having fun.
I don’t have friends.
I am always alone.
Clearly none of those things are true. I’m not always tired. I get to do a lot of fun things. There are many days when I’m not working and others are. I have lots of friends. I’m usually only alone when I choose to be alone. The mind is a crazy thing – there’s that one voice that, when given the chance, just takes over the whole conversation and throws in all this nonsense that somehow the rest of me starts to believe is truth.
In the past I’d just sit and wallow in all of this nonsense. I’d sit alone and believe it all to be true. I’d let myself go down some unhealthy paths that led to nowhere good.
Not tonight. I’m not letting you take over tonight.
As I was pulling on to my street a song came on the radio – Don’t Give Up by Southern Avenue. I’ve heard it a few times and love it.
When you feel there’s no hope, don’t give up…
When it hurts real bad, don’t give up…
No, don’t give up…
Ok. I can do that.
Then I decided: I need to get outside. How often is it in the 50s at 9:00 pm in February? Never. So, get outside. Denali was already in bed but when she heard “walk” she popped up and joined me. I wanted some music, so I turned on the album Elko from Railroad Earth. There we were walking down our dark street hearing the words:
Been through the joys & the sorrows
Came through the flood
And I pulled through the mud
But I still got a long way to go
There’s still a long way to go…
And then I looked up – a mostly clear sky full of stars. There’s Orion’s belt. Bright stars everywhere. I’m reminded that there’s so much more beyond that one voice in my head. I’m reminded of the vastness of the city, state, country, world, universe. And yet, in the midst of all that vastness, I’m still known. I’m still loved.
I’m still Beloved.
Fresh air, good music, a happy dog, bright stars – I felt it happen. I felt the reset. I felt that voice silenced in my mind. I felt joy creeping back in. I felt comfort in my solitude. I thought of my friends and I no longer felt lonely. I no longer felt isolated. I felt connected again.
I’ve got this box full of tools – tools to help me reset and find connection again. In the past it was easy for me to forget to look inside the box, to see what I could do to escape that one voice. Tonight, I’m grateful. I’m grateful I remembered. I’m grateful for music and walking and Denali and a clear sky. Simple things and yet what a difference.