How do you feel?
No, like, how do you really feel? Not what you tell the people you live with, or what you post to social media. What is your mind/body/heart/soul trying to tell you that you’ve been ignoring for days/weeks/months?
Is it saying you need a good cry? That you’re tired and need a break? Maybe it’s thanking you for taking time to rest for the first time in months (even though you would feel guilty admitting it to anyone else).
And when’s the last time you truly listened?
For me, it’s been a while. And if you asked me what I was feeling two weeks ago I honestly would have said “I have no idea.” Because I’ve been so caught up in holding on to the past and searching for the future that I never took a moment to be present.
Today I can confidently say that I tried. I tried to stop and listen to my mind/body/heart/soul and I was honestly shocked at what I heard. Because I was expecting absolute chaos, a total apocalypse of the heart.
But when I put aside my worries about the world outside of myself, my mind/body/heart/soul met me there. And you know what she said?
“We’re good, sis.”
Metaphorically, of course. But still! I couldn’t believe it! I took a moment to be mindful and what I found wasn’t more of the crippling depression/anxiety/stress I’ve been feeling for weeks now. Inside — like deep inside, like in the corners of my brain where the trauma hides — there existed a peace that I haven’t known in a long time.
It felt like when you’re a kid and you have no worries in the world. Now believe me I was an anxious and depressed teenager, but it’s bigger than that. It’s the kind of peace that promises that even though you’re unhappy now, the future is limitless. You can do whatever and go wherever and achieve anything you want.
Those hopes and dreams and doe eyed perspectives died a long time ago; they faded as the heavy burdens of reality set in. But today I found those aspirations again, I connected with them like an old friend — cautious but familiar and welcomed with open arms.
Taking a step back helped me remember my motivations, and stop caring about the past and worrying about the future. School was good and bad and I’ll move on with my life just as I have before. I’m pursuing writing jobs because I like to write. I’m passionate about public affairs because I care about people (which is also why they make me terribly frustrated, sometimes). And if quarantine has taught me anything it’s that, near or far, I have amazing people in my life who will support me from any distance. (I am grateful for you all.)
Mindfulness doesn’t fix all of my problems. I still have a lot of actual work to do and there will be real obstacles along the way. But taking the time to remember my own values helped me recenter. Thinking about my goals gives me a clear perspective to respond to life. It helps me move with intention, instead of just going through the motions.
So take some time to yourself today, you might need it more than you think.
With love and a fresh perspective,