give back your heart, to itself

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other’s welcome.

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine.
Give bread.
Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
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Derek Walcott.

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never

You’re not a statistic.

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Never let someone make you feel like you can’t recover. Or that you should modify or trim your goals for recovery.

Go all the way and never look back.

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Alex

perfectionism and where the socks go

Perfectionism will drive you insane.

Its nagging oppression goes on and on. Even as I consciously refuse to listen, the sound is somehow heard, like a gong sending vibrations in ripples that spread through my body. Countless parameters and rules, the likes of which are so engrained I fear that I could not even articulate what I so systematically follow. No, it’s probably a blessing that I cannot go on to tell you about each of these rules, because you don’t have time for that. Even if you did, you would likely end up batty enough to sell all your stuff and drink straight whiskey from the cat dish.

The purpose of perfectionism is to trap you and forever keep you from being the person you’re here to be. It wants to straight-jacket your authentic self. Perfectionism will tell you to colour inside its lines, or else… You’ll never fail? You’ll never be hurt or rejected? You’ll never die? You will. We all will. You just won’t have as much fun doing it.

Perfectionism tells me that it will keep me warm and safe, completely in control. But, when I am adhering to restrictions that keep me incomplete and unsatisfied in my own life, I control nothing. Here’s me in control – At one point there were two red socks, and two pink socks. That is all I need to know:

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But, if you do know where the socks went, please advise.

creatures of habit

It takes three weeks to make or break a habit.

Sound familiar? Anyone who has ever tried to change a pattern, quit fidgeting or stop overspending, can tell you it isn’t so simple.

In reality, habits are easier to make than they are to break. The human brain is an extremely beautiful piece of machinery – Adaptive. Restorative. Upon repetition, some thoughts and behaviours become so engrained that we seem to adopt them as part of who we are. When repeated, the pathways of this pattern become worn in and get used to being accessed. Our brains, so brilliantly crafted, make it easier for impulses to travel along those pathways. We no longer need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking these thoughts and behaviours, which is why they often go unnoticed.

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Although breaking a thought or behaviour is a lot more complicated, it can be done. Amazingly, we can change, rearrange and rewire our neural networks. With consistent behaviour against an unhelpful habit, we can weaken the pattern. Our best defense is to form a new, parallel pattern to replace it that serves a similar purpose, like breathing when we feel anxious, rather than indulging in the old pattern.

I want to always remain in motion toward positive growth. And I want to celebrate the small steps to challenge my thoughts and actions, remembering it cannot happen overnight.

If it were really that easy, no one would smoke and everyone would wake up early enough to have a healthy breakfast.

be your own valentine

Indulgent. Sinful. Being bad.

Since when did loving ourselves become confused with morality? We are quick to apply these arbitrary labels, based on… what? The things we enjoy and do for ourselves just don’t fit into simple categories like this.

Guilt too often defines how we experience ourselves. We issue a set of rules and restrictions that should not be broken. As our expectations approach impossible, we are left with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame. More often than not, we are not even aware enough of these rules to be able to articulate them, but are blindly driven by them. Insert drone-zombie-like behaviour.
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Our restrictions don’t lead to feelings of pride or accomplishment, but elicit despair instead. We either fail to follow them exactly or have a sense of self-deprecation that is equally defeating. Shame tells us nothing other than that we are deeply flawed. We need to quiet our shoulds. Challenge yourself: Would you enforce these expectations on a best friend? It is always revealing to consider whether you would deprive or judge a friend so harshly.

We spend our lives feeling bad for this choice and that choice, on and on the litany goes. Do we really need to add pancakes to that list? Is breakfast really a moral issue? It is food. It just is. And it’s all good. That’s it.

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