Yep, I freaked out.
I had an episode.
And I freaked out.
A couple of days ago, I was jolly-trotting along when I stumbled and fell flat on my face. It wasn’t a stumble physically, but instead, verbally and emotionally. All the insight and awareness of myself that I’ve proactively accumulated over the years didn’t prevent me from shoving my feet PLUS my dirty toes in my mouth, and un-beknownst to me at the time, I set off on a mission to spoil something good.
Fortunately, I was called out.
Yeah, I tried to hide, I tried to hum-hah my way through giving the best explanation I could for my behavior, but the best explanation I came up with fell short of justifying anything. Instead, I could only sit back, observe and try to understand why I did and still do some of the things I thought I’d long laid to rest behind me. It didn’t make it easier that I could visually see how my behavior that day was causing someone I care about discomfort in being around in my presence. Experiencing that made me grossly nauseous, sick to my stomach (no exaggeration there) and left me scrambling, trying to claw my way out of a situation that had quickly turned south.
Without delving into the specifics, I realized that I was downright terrible at communicating what I needed to effectively communicate when the shit hit the fan. Yes, it still happens even now in my wise old age of 31 (pun intended). I fed off my insecurities and allowed myself to indulge the child brain instead of my adult brain. You see, I believe that all of us live with these two dualities and in each situation and relation, there exists both. There is the adult brain that is trained as we evolve and mature, to hang on to the leash most of the time, but then there is the wicked child brain that takes over the moment we feel threatened, unsafe, and insecure. Hopefully the adult brain gets more stage time, however from time to time, the child brain emerges wounded, seeking an un-welcomed curtain call and can’t see beyond the immediate mess that he/she just caused.
For me, there’s these annoying (or blessed) episodes—what I’d like to call rude awakenings, if you will, that jolt me out of my sleepy self and keep me on my path to self-exploration. I can choose to let these little jolts re-energize me as a way to keep me on track, or I can let it sit and fester, and ultimately allow for it to drag me on a path of regression. The latter option doesn’t jive well with me.
First comes awareness, then comes steps towards change. Know thyself, know the demons you carry with you (and EVERYONE has demons, so you ain’t nothin’ special), embrace growth, and allow yourself room to screw up. Communicate with those you care about and hopefully, they stay open, provide you with a safe space where you can share, undress and get emotionally naked. That in itself is a true blessing. If you have that, count your lucky stars.
Practice tolerance. Practice understanding. Practice being open to sharing and practice being open to receiving. If you treat yourself with kindness and care, others will as well.
Be good to yourself and be good to each other.
Grace Wang is a social entrepreneur and teacher of yoga by day, a self-proclaimed kitchen goddess around the clock and practices the art of giving big, genuine bear hugs to both strangers and loved ones. Slightly neurotic, habitually impulsive and credits her sanity to green tea and good wine, Grace believes in the art of human connection delivered through great hearty conversations over shared bottles of splendid wine, practicing genuine interest, concern and compassion for others and last but not least, keeping her plants alive. Poor plants…she’s working on it. Follow Grace @adoseofgrace or on Facebook. Find her at graceyogala.com.