Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Are You?

The other day I did a guided meditation titled "letting go". I was a bit leery because I thought it was going to be about letting go of something painful or difficult, and I wasn't sure I really wanted to address/relive those things - especially when I've really been feeling much more myself these days (knock on wood). As the meditation progressed, however, I was in for a pleasant surprise...or as pleasantly surprised as one can be by a guided meditation. Instead of teaching me how to let go of things in my life, the meditation was persuading me that it was completely ok to think and feel exactly what I was thinking and feeling.

That sounds pretty cryptic, so let me expand. Being on a regimented medication routine three times a day (Dr.'s orders) and having been in and out of therapy since I was about 18 years old, I'm used the the 'shoulds' and "shouldn'ts", the rules and regulations, and I'm used to closely analyzing myself and my life. I'm used to knowing that when I'm in one of my mood cycles I "need to" do x and "need not" do y. When you're this exposed to these "rules", if you will, it tends to bleed into the rest of your life. You tend to be a bit black and white, right and wrong, good and bad. My condition also predisposes me to this, since I'm often up or down. There's not a ton of room for gray - something I'm working on actively.

This meditation encouraged completely the opposite. The person leading the meditation explained how we should accept how we feel, rather than telling ourselves "I shouldn't feel so tired", "I shouldn't feel this way about this situation/person/etc", "It's ok to want xyz" (ran out of good examples). This probably sounds pretty simple, but to someone that's had to be so strict with certain things in my life, this is pretty amazing stuff.  The fact that it's coming to me at a time that I'm finally starting to feel myself again, to be completely open, to be the smiling/happy/optimistic person that everyone used to know is an added bonus. It helps me open up and accept myself even more.

Obviously, we have to use common sense here. Yes, it's ok to feel what you feel, think what you think and do what you do, but there have to be some limits. If it's immoral, if it's hurting someone else, if it's greatly illegal (I say greatly b/c technically putting your blinkers on in a "no stopping" zone is illegal), then we need to take a second look. But if you're simply creating your own black and white blocks, and walling yourself in because of shoulds and shouldn'ts you created in your mind - and often we don't even remember doing this or know why we did in the first place - maybe it's time to re-examine. Why is this a should/shouldn't? Why do you have to think this way or feel that way? This was truly eye opening to me. It'll take a while, as everything in this whole process is, but I'm realizing that as I let my guard down and don't bind myself by these imaginary, self-created rules, I'm happier and I'm finally finding myself, and it's a wonderful place to be!


  1. Hi Maya, I've just found your blog and I've never related to anything so much before. I'm 18 and beginning therapy and this post will remind me to make sure I don't lose myself and limit who I want to be.
    Thanks so much :)

    1. Thank you for your post. I am glad I was able to help! I'm glad you are working so hard at making you are not limiting yourself - that is so important!