Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Journey Begins...

This will be an aspect of my journey. A Journey Journal as it were.

My hopes are that I will have ample incentive to keep posting, partly because I love to write and can always use another prompt, and partly because it will give me a way to look at where I'm at in the journey.

I also hope that folks will begin to read this little journal and feed back on my efforts. If people like it, great. If they love it, even better. But even if folks really don't like it, or if they want to take exception to things I've written, at least it's feedback. It's an opporunity for communication, for dialog.

I have been on this journey since sometime in 2007 or so, but I've only recently found myself in a place in life where I am taking it seriously. Or maybe I'm just at a place where I can understand what it is I'm doing.

My psychologist initially tried to point me towards mindfulness as a coping strategy for my marriage. I was struggling, unhappy, and finding myself more and more introverted in my own home. Since I was unhappy with the person I was with, I avoided her as much as possible. But as the stresses built up, instead of lashing out I lashed in, to coin a phrase. I became bitter. Angry. Depressed. Yes, even suicidal at times.

It never dawned on me, in the midst of the chaos of my own emotions, that I could have left long before it got so bad. But my parents were divorced, so I promised myself and God that I would not follow that path. So I stayed, and the situation got worse.

My big problem - well, one of them - was that I figured that my unhappiness would just clear up if she would just change. And isn't that how we usually look at things? If he or she or they would just shape up, man! Things would be so much better.

Ah, the Great Lie.

This journal will track how that whole Lie got started in my life, how my unhappiness was almost ensured based on my upbringing and life up to the breaking point, and how the little light bulb finally clicked on. The light bulb was the 10,000 watt variety, and although I started out having to squint because of the intensity of the illumination, now I can see things so much better. Yeah, there are still shadows. But now I know that the shadows are not the only thing in the world.

I can't promise I'll contribute to this blog daily, or even weekly. A week might offer many nuggets I want to share, and a week might be so weird that I don't have time to do much more than eat, sleep, and work.

But I will resolve to make this a part of my life. It will be a tool and journal of a guy who's trying to heal from a lot of pretty deep wounds.

A parting thought: when a large ocean wave approaches a ship, the captain has a choice to make. If he tries to run from it, he's going to find out that there is no outrunning nature. If he tries to ignore it by staying parallel to it, he will find himself swamped. If he turns into the wave, though, he will experience all the fear and anxiety of facing this natural force.... but he stands a way better chance of surviving the experience.

Likewise, when life throws anxiety at me, I realize that trying to merely escape r ignore it won't work. But by facing the anxiety-causing trigger, as scary as it might be, it's the one way I stand a chance at overcoming it.

More to come.