In truth, I am feeling fragile. I’m a little out of sorts… Feeling like I am holding on for dear life while currents take me to some places that I would rather not go. There are a host of reasons for this. Some are ‘good’- new challenges, new experiences looming- new avenues to pursue. Some do not feel so good. The reality of death and sickness, the need to confront things I would rather not confront… Uncertainty… Loneliness… Old age… All the normal things of life really.
But I am trying my best. I am trying to be skilful and authentic with myself and with those who a worthy of my authenticity.
I am staying with a dear friend this weekend. I am tired, hungry and in need of companionship. However, the irony is, when I stay with people I am very happy to not see them!!!! I just like the fact that someone at some point will appear and break up the day.
This morning I went shopping by myself. And was struggling with the desire to not burst into tears in the middle of a shop. I have no idea why- but trying to buy something in primark almost sent me over the edge! The instinct in me is to run. I knew my friend was not at home- but I still wanted to come back to the safety of her house and the knowledge that she would be home soon ish. But I resisted. Safety wasn’t going to be achieved in the house… Safety was to be found in my mind.
I decided to get a cup of tea and sit outside a cafe. I love drinking tea- but I was having this internal struggle of wanting to go back to my friends house- not wanting to pay £2 for a cup of tea in a plastic cup and quite frankly not having a clue what to do! I told myself to get a grip (oops… I have a way to go with the self-compassion skill) and gave myself the luxury of buying an over-priced Luke warm cup of tea.
It was just what I needed.
I sat outside and watched a delightful scene before me. There is a water feature in a plaza type bit. The water spurts out in random sequence at different heights. The spray reached me in my seat and I focused on the sight and sounds before me.
Two toddlers were entranced. They squealed. Dodged. Ran. Danced. Skipped around the fountains. Their parents sat and watched. The children were in the moment. One of the DBT skills is to use ‘beginner’s mind’. Experience something like you have never seen it before. These children personified that skill. The children against their will were put back in buggies and moved along.
I observed the different reactions to the water feature. Some people walked past it, oblivious to the joy it could offer. Some seemed cross at it catching them unawares. But the children were different. They were fascinated. They wanted to stop and look. They wanted to touch. One child didn’t want to leave. Her granny (?) said “it’s only water”… But both me and that little girl knew- that couldn’t be further from the truth… There was nothing ‘only’ at about it at all.
The water was potential. The water was fun. The water was calm. The water was peace. The water was hope. The water was awe-inspiring. The water contained life in that moment.
I was going to write that I love water. But as soon as I thought that I realised it wasn’t entirely true. I can’t really swim. Sometimes having a shower is a challenge and baths are another thing all together. So quite frankly I don’t love all aspects of water… But it is one of the currently few things that brings me some relief in my distress. And to be fair it always has- even before DBT came on the scene.
I love the sound of rain. Dear friends have a conservatory and I like nothing more than sitting in that room with the rain pummelling on the roof. I have always enjoyed being in the car while it is raining. I have even gone and sat in the car while raining and enjoyed the safety of my bubble. I don’t like getting wet per se- but I think it is the sound. I really should get an inside little water fountain- I think it would help.
The children and the water gave me some enjoyable moments. I was grateful that i hadn’t ran back. With my beginners mind i had experienced something new. I then wanted to come back and write up my blog… If I had been prepared I could have written it up while still there. Never mind.
I really need to grow in my ability to ‘self-soothe’. It’s hard. But I continue.
Thanks for listening.