I like that question. I also like the idea that I am trying not to give up my power and my life to the emotions I experience. This kind of feels like a monumental task, but I’m taking it a day at a time, actually, I’m taking it situation by situation and that’s really all I can do.
This afternoon, I went to Costco with our nearly 3 year old daughter. Everything went smoothly, we didn’t buy the whole store, we stuck to what was on the list, except for the monster box of granola bars. I have a new recipe for granola bars that is so ridiculously good (thanks Lisa!!!) but I still bought a box. So there you go, I bought them. It’s the Costco consciousness, “look at this big box, I must need it, they’re tasty, they’re mostly healthy, never mind that I can make equally good, if not better ones at home, I must buy these.” I figure that coming out of there with only one superfluous purchase is pretty good.
That ramble aside, here’s where the emotions came in. We were waiting while they scanned all of our items. Zara was in the cart and it was close to the time for me to pay. So I said to her, “okay I’m going right over here to pay with my debit card.” I started to swipe it and she said, “Mommy, get me out of here.” I said, “You can just turn the other way and you’ll be able to see me,” as I was thinking that was what she needed. Then I swiped and the card didn’t read, and then I looked up and she was trying to get out of the cart, the guy was trying to help her, and then I tried to swipe again, starting to freak out, like, “holy moly, what do I do, do I get her out, do I swipe again, is the card going to work, like there are people waiting in line, is Zara going to fall out?” Honestly, that’s what was going on. So I breathed, went over to Zara, helped her out of the cart, like I will do from now on, like if she needs out and there are people waiting, it will be okay if they wait an extra 20 seconds, it’s okay. That’s how I recovered. Why would I favor a line of people at Costco over my daughter? Why did I create all of that stress? Did anyone say anything to me, like, “hurry up?” No!! But the emotions of panic and must hurry and must run around without my head, all came up. Luckily it only lasted about 10 seconds, although it felt longer, and then I recovered, I breathed, I got Zara out, the guy ended up swiping my card and getting it to work and then I paid and breathed and started walking out. I actually said to the cashier, “I started getting all nervous, and it was me who created the stress, I’m working on it, and I’m not going to create stress like this anymore.” He smiled at me and was like, “Ya, why worry.” It was awesome, he had a Caribbean accent, I think he is totally carefree, he seemed like it, aren’t Caribbean islands like that? We can all do with that a bit.
Then, I pulled over the cart and explained to Zara what had happened, how I had given up my power to the emotions, and that I was able to get it back and how it’s super important to be grounded and to remember to breathe so you can recognize it. I think she kind of got it, tee hee, who knows. What’s important is that she see me breathe, reconnect with myself and take back my power from the phantom stress that I created.
That’s my daily challenge to myself, can I see the emotions for what they are, merely emotions? They aren’t me. They never were. And now, I’m going to make sure I do my best to stay on top of them, laugh when I don’t and continue the challenge, to be true to me instead of to my thoughts and emotions, which are never a true reflection of me and the love that I am inside. If you’re reading this, think about one thought you had today, one thought that side-tracked you, that took over, and then laugh and know that it isn’t you, it never was. You are great, you aren’t fat or stupid or ugly or alone or old or unimportant, you are perfect just the way you are. Take back your power with me, it is the journey and challenge of a lifetime and it is so worthwhile. No one can do it for you, trust me, I waited 31 years for someone to do it for me and now I’m going it for me and it feels pretty damn good. Please share your story if you are so called!