Temporary emotions

“Feelings are just visitors…let them come and go.” – Mooji

Today seems to be one of those days where I find myself struggling with two ‘house’ guests who I have come to recognise as doubt and insecurity.

I’m still in a place where I feel grateful that I am able to connect with these feelings. However, I won’t pretend I enjoy seeing the path that I am travelling suddenly seem to get a whole lot steeper.

This quote helps me appreciate that these feelings…the ones causing me to doubt myself, they are only temporary.

It is important that I not allow myself to make a home for these emotions.

Another quote which I have found helpful today is,

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.” -Unknown

In the past I would often make my mood and situation worse by mentally punishing myself. I still can’t explain why in these moments I felt that taking a small amount of control back, it might have helped in some way. However, deep down I knew it wasn’t going to improve my state of mind. Ultimately it would only prolong my struggle. Bringing guilt into the equation only seemed to help it to gain momentum.

In hindsight, I have learnt that this state of mind does not mean that we are weak and need to punish ourselves. I believe these moods affect us because we are mentally exhausted. In those moments we allow ourselves to be bullied by those ‘visitors’ who we did not invite in.

Know they are visitors; they are not guests, and we do not have to entertain them or accept how they make us feel. Find your strength and believe that you can continue to move forward.

I have found that these emotions feed on negative energy. Let them go hungry as they watch you regain your confidence and believe that you are able to move into a better mood and a better day.

The next quote really supports and encourages this way of thinking, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford.

It helps me to believe that I will always be the one in control of how I react to my emotions. That responsibility initially may seem insignificant, but I promise you, knowing you have that power, at the very least will help you to build your strength. In time my hope is for you to feel a sense of freedom.

Today that strength has made my mind a rather uninviting place for those ‘visitors’.

The other-side of a negative mood will always remind me not to take anything for granted, to acknowledge that I am still on this journey, to be aware that sometimes it may get a little steeper. But, as long as I continue to move forward and gain strength from the challenge, the pace and the distance gained are not what is most important.

The saying “Two steps forward and one step back” is not a negative for me. It is still one step forward and one step closer to achieving my goals.

My hope for this entry is to encourage you to try to acknowledge your feelings and emotions as visitors. Our time frame will always vary, but please believe in yourself. Try not to dig. Try to be patient. That alone takes strength, use that strength as your armour.

In time my hope is for you to come to realise that it is the negative emotions that are weak. Your strength will intimidate them and they will not want to make a home alongside you.

-Cat-

Finding myself

“Don’t let your struggle become your identity.” – Ralston Bowles

This quote inspires me to continue moving forward on my new path, and to appreciate being able to grow into the person that I have always wanted to be.
I say inspire because for just as far as I have come, I know that I am still learning. This is a goal that I know I will enjoy working towards.
For the longest time I felt I was lost in my illness. I remember feeling how strange it was to feel completely disconnected but trapped at the same time. Years passed and I became my diagnosis.
During this time I would journal and write poetry. I found it really helpful to vent and try to process what I was feeling, but mostly I felt it might be a way to map my way back to myself. I would like to share this poem I wrote in late 2005.
Identity thief 
Looking in the mirror I see mysterious sadness
The girl is painted happy, an exhausting facade
No longer can I see myself
I feel I’m lost inside
Time erasing who I am
Perhaps I fled in anguish
I doubt my existence,  I fear I’ve disappeared
I will always feel some sadness when I read my poems, but ultimately it just reminds me of how far I have come and why I am so motivated to keep moving forward.
Separating yourself from your past and your struggles or even something you are working through today is not an easy task.
For me, the process began when a doctor asked me to think about what I loved and what others loved in me.
Overtime, as I learnt to reconnect with the feeling of loving what was most important to me, I started to find my way back to myself. I knew that I was NOT my struggle or my illness. I was Catherine and I  loved my family. Slowly, I started to build on and believe in the things that they loved in me.
The next step was learning to love those qualities,  and eventually myself.
This has been a long process, but finding my own identity was a great place to start.
I know everybody has something in their past they struggle with. I would like to encourage you to believe the struggle is not who you are. When you are finally able to let it go, you will become the person you are meant to be. Your identity is your own and it will be there for you when you are ready.
I hope this part of my journey can be helpful in someway. Please know we are all on a path, we just have to decide how many bags we would like to carry.
– Cat –

The Next Chapter

chapter quote

This quote is one of my favourites. I often read it or write it down to remind myself to let go of the past so that I can continue to move forward.

I look at this quote as a beautifully kind way of stating the obvious. This quote is like that special person in your life that tells you what you need to hear and not what you would prefer to hear. I love that person.

Deep down, I knew how unhappy I was and that I desperately wanted to make a change. For the longest time I tried to motivate myself by reading similar quotes. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to learn from their advice. I was too afraid to stumble and the thought of making things worse put my life on hold. I wish I could have realised sooner that a change would make things better. Ultimately I knew the years were passing me by and it broke my heart that I was not moving forward or getting better.

For me recovery was never about acceptance. I felt ashamed and lost in my illness. I kept holding on to the idea that if I could just find my way back to the girl I was when I was 15, I would be able to use her strength to get through it.

But then I realised that, that version of me was perfectly happy where she was. I finally understood my future could never begin by traveling backwards to use the strength of that girl. I realized the 27 year old woman that I had been growing into, who I didn’t feel yet connected to…well, maybe she was the person that I had to start trusting and believing in.

“You cannot start the next chapter of you life if you keep re-reading the last one.” – Michael McMillan

I read this quote again and for the first time I felt ready to look only at what was ahead of me and how I could build a path to get there. Letting go of my struggles in the past I felt like I could finally breathe and learn to live again.

I’ve stopped looking back and my past no longer weighs me down. It is my armour that I am proud to wear. It is light as a feather and it gives me the strength and motivation to continue to continue to move forward.

My hope is that this quote and how it inspired me could possibly help someone else to make a positive change.

— Cat —