Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Changing Patterns

It’s never that easy is it? I always thought it should be easy. But there’s so much second-guessing and wondering and excitement and laughter and anxiety. It’s not easy. It can be down right painful. It’s like growing pains for the heart. The journey is hard. Climbing up hill takes stamina, walking on level ground takes patience. Continuing, when all you want to do is give up, takes perseverance. The journey may take a while. I’m scared, but I’m in it right now. I’m finding it hard to find the joy. I have a Post-it on my refrigerator that says “It’s important to experience joy every single day.” Every. Single. Day. Do you know how hard that is? If you don’t, let me tell you. It is one of the most difficult things to find when you’re scared or sad or anxiety-ridden.

It’s easy to find joy when everything is going your way and the Universe is giving you what you want. Try finding it when you keep asking and nothing is happening. It’s hard to find the joy then. Even harder: realizing that the Universe is not ignoring the request just not answering it at this time because we aren’t clear, aren’t ready or don’t need it.

Patterns as I say the things I always say. The older I get the more I understand myself. The more I understand myself the more patterns emerge in my life. I’m in a rut. It’s a deep trench where I’m trying to keep myself hidden from Fear as he lurks just over the ridge. I’ve let him keep me at bay for a very long time. Sometimes he gets down in the trench with me and I run from him, keeping a slight lead. I can always hear him behind me, running, taunting. If I can make it to my door without him overtaking me, I lock myself inside and breathe. That’s not living though. That’s hiding.

Just look…here I am on cue again
Upset, feeling torn in two again
Afraid, saying I’m okay
Making little jokes
Until I run away…again

Patterns in the ways I try but never change. There has to be a change. I made a decision recently that was a departure from the “me” of my past. I chose friendship. It hurts everyday when you want something that you can’t have. When feelings are not returned the pain can be devastating. I know that sounds dramatic, but I am dramatic so it seems appropriate. As recent ago as last year, I would have walked away from a situation such as this, but today I’m struggling to find the balance. When someone if worth it you find a way. If I walked away right now I would be walking away from someone that I want in my life. Someone who wants me in his life. Good friends are hard to come by in this world. Why have I turned my back on so many who could have been good friends? That’s my pattern. I walk away. I made a decision to change this pattern. My God, it’s hard. I feel like I need a Xanax most days. I don’t want to need an anxiety medication, but the anxiety I feel is real. I’m coping, but just barely. I sure could use a double shot of joy.

And yet I know I am not the same
Inside my heart is something I can’t tame
I feel my mind bursting into flame
And I must change or else I’ll break apart
Or break away
And end up having to start…again

I don’t know where this journey is heading. None of us do. If we did we might never start walking. Being open and honest about my feelings is the only way I know how to be. What I chose to not walk away from is the most honest and vulnerable that I’ve been with a person in 13 years. No one has really, truly seen this part of me except for the friends I’ve had in my life for almost 20 years; the friends who knew me before I became the scared, closed-off person struggling to remove the bricks that he walled himself up behind.

Just look as I’m thrown a curve again.
I leap, then I lose my nerve again
In tears, running home I go
Secretly relieved, safe with what I know…again

It’s time to change the patterns, get out of the rut, climb up to the top of the trench and face Fear. It’s time to create the life I want instead of hoping and waiting for it to appear around me. I want my heart to burst with joy, not constrict with anxiety.

One of my best friends said to me recently “In the mean time you have to keep living.” He’s right. I have to live my life. I have to live the life I want. I have to have the courage to be me. I have to have the strength to believe in myself. I have to walk through life with confidence. I feel like I’m just starting my journey, but in reality I guess I’m starting a new leg. I’ve been staring at the fork in the road and finally chose a direction.

Patterns through the day I seem to use to give my life a shape
Patterns through the house that give me comfort when I need escape
Patterns that lead me nowhere…at all.

My ipod is charged and my playlists are loaded with enough songs to keep me occupied and entertained for a while. I don’t know why I’m scared. It’s just a journey. What’s a journey? It’s getting somewhere else; going somewhere familiar or new. Change is scary, but I have to do it. Here’s to changing my fear pattern into and excitement pattern.

(Lyrics in bold and italics from the song "Patterns" cut from the musical BABY)