This week has been a roller-coaster, emotionally. I'm experiencing elation at reaching my goal weight and dream clothing size. At the same time, my ex has been pushing buttons. It's old stuff -- I can't trust her with money (one big reason we divorced), and I suspect she's being financially irresponsible in ways that will affect our daughter, sooner or later. She talks to me with the old tone of voice, bullying and dismissing my concerns. It makes me anxious and irritable. I've had trouble sleeping and find myself engaging in repetitive worrying.
On the other hand, I've got nothing but good things happening in my career and family life, and all is truly well in my world, despite my ex's poor behavior. And frankly, it's hard for me to tolerate all that good stuff sometimes, too. Sometimes, "too much" goodness makes me anxious, imagining the balloon will pop and I'll be left with broken shreds.
So I'm faced with a choice -- I could continue to fret, imagining catastrophic scenarios that haven't happened and probably won't happen. This is what my mom calls "borrowing trouble" from the future. I could stay so wound up that I don't sleep. I could be tense and anxious all day long. When I'm in that state, it's so much more likely that I'll try to cope with the anxiety in old familiar ways. The obsessive worrying and insomnia are parts of a picture that also includes overeating to self-soothe. It's a vicious spiral into deteriorating self-respect and more worry.
I notice that as I think about my old ways of coping, excessive worry and over-eating to self-soothe, the feeling in my body is heavy. That way of being creates tension, blocked energy, tightness in my chest, and a general feeling of "stuckness." Carrying those habits feels heavy, and feeds overweight, too. Those are good reasons to be with the feelings in a new way.
I could take the same situations (weight loss success, pride at work, my ex's antics) and just breathe. I could use the skills I've practiced to create success -- discipline at work, in my weight management program, and in my budget, self-love, rest, exercise, prayer and quiet time -- to manage this intense week.
That deep breath feels amazing.
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -- Lao Tzu