Finding the self-talk to get through the day.
The next moment is filled with great danger. I’m about to roll out of bed and begin today but there’s no guarantee I have the courage, stamina, and will to accomplish the many tasks on my agenda. The voice in my head goes through the list and a smaller voice filled with “What ifs?” pokes in its - every day -harsh cynical rake on my conscience.
Sun is peeking its face through the shade slats covering my bedroom windows and I know I must face the day. My wife and two children count on me. I can’t let them down. Have to do my part. The sinking flesh fighting me to stay in bed presents a worthy foe.
The battle begins with deep breaths fading into concentration.
I sink into meditation. “Today is a new day. I will face my fears. It’s up to me. No one is going to do my work for me.” The flash of my schedule ticks off before my deep breaths like a movie and I project accomplishing my goals for every waking moment.
Innerspeak rings in my thoughts, “I will be productive.” Opening my eyes is like coming up for air from a deep dive in a thick abyss. The smile crossing my lips feels unforced and it crosses my mind I may be tricking myself into a positive mindset.
Is it a real smile?
Does it matter?
Throwing my feet to the floor I jolt up in a sitting position. The bed can’t hold me down any longer.
No time left for wondering. The “What ifs” have retreated or taken refuge behind a shadow lurking and waiting for the next morning.
Being and doing have taken over. Only purpose remains where fleeting fears were pestering minutes ago.
Stretching, cleaning the pool, making breakfast, cleaning the bathrooms, turning off nightlights, and prepping my lunch along with updating the writer's group on Facebook fill the next hour before I head out to run my lawn service.
All-day is set in order. I’m working in the sun and dreaming about creating a new story to post. Wondering what to make for our family dinner crosses my mind and I remember I took out the frozen chicken to defrost before leaving for work this morning.
As I’m reading with my 6-year-old daughter before she drifts to sleep after teaching my 9-year-old daughter how to do a lock stitch sewing her unicorn pillow project the underlying directive to be productive drives me on. Now I’m at the keyboard writing and exploring.
Self-doubt and insecurity are incessant in their maneuvering to waylay me.
The “What ifs” have joined with the “You haven’t done enoughs” to bring me down. But they are undone. Stronger inner voices cheer.
“The smile on Rebecca and Louise’s faces are so beautiful. Our time together is precious. My wife is wonderful. Our shared dinners and conversations make every bit of hard work a pleasure.” These thoughts and words are ingrained in my heart and unassailable by anxieties and attacking disquiet.
I am being and doing. “I will be productive. I am productive.” Contentment settles over my spirit before sleep. “Tomorrow is another day. I will get a lot done.
Falling asleep I meditate again on the goals for tomorrow. The moment of danger has passed.
Being grateful for the danger brings me closer to truth. The edge of being not enough drives me to be and do. Love and the strong language directing me to be fully in each moment guide my being.
When I was a boy my mother told me, “You can be and do anything you want.” Those words failed me.
Now I think and tell myself, “I will be everything I work for and make happen.” The distinction is inherent in the act of being present and accountable right now.
I used to belive I could just want things into being.