I’ve been trying this new thing; see, I learned this new thing in therapy and my savior-of-a-therapist tells me to practice often. Be present.
So, I’m giving this whole being present thing and I’m really liking it in some ways and not so much in other ways.
See, therapy (along with other supports I’ve learned along the way) has really pushed me to get through my past. My mother used to jokingly say that I needed to go to church with her best friend – a Catholic – since I had that “Catholic” guilt for no reason (it would explain my love for the pope.) I always loved that about my mom… She has never told me I was wrong when some heavy emotion was weighing on me so much that I had to call her and talk. She’s always said “Celia, you can’t make important decisions when upset, so just let yourself calm down and wait to deal with it when you’re in a better place.” Maybe I shouldn’t have used quotes but I bet over the years (in my mom’s infinite wisdom) she has said a mixture of those words on the same topic so we’ll just say it close enough!
BE PRESENT… okay, I got back on track. You may be asking “what benefits and side effects are there to this new thing called being present?” Well, let me tell ya…
1) benefit – I am calmer. I am able to rationalize a situation and understand that I am only able to control my actions, words, and ethos. I am able to harness more of my feelings and hold onto it and not pull in the bad vibes around me. I’m not perfect with it and I still mess up and forget, BUT its getting better. It at least is helping me maintain a stable thought process and emotion when things around me are not always copacetic. Not to mention, I have time on my hands to be passionate about stuff I’ve never had the energy to really act on.
2) side effect – when I’m calm and centered it makes me notice how much chaos and negativity are around me. It is also making me take an inventory of where I’m putting in the most work emotionally, only to realize I just need to let some things go and not let the outside world effect me so strongly.
Through being present, I’ve noticed that I’m more passionate about change…I can focus on being a voice for those around me who lack one. I have time to be upset about the disproportionate incarceration of people of color, police brutality, deportation of undocumented citizens, and educational inequality based on SES. Most of all, I get to spend my emotional energy in positive ways while at school with my students. I plan to take all the energy I used in focusing on other’s negativity and put it into my students education and development.
All of this present-ness (yes, I am making up words over here!) doesn’t mean I am
deaf to the bullshit
,” because stuff still happens and bugs me…however, I’m noticing a quicker bounceback in my mood. If I can just get through the initial shock of anger from things, I might make it through and grow.