The Storm

A day like any other day. Nothing different, so much the same. The mind a constant river of thoughts, endless and powerful. Me standing on the shore watching them all pass.

Until that one thought, that one dark thought, comes floating along.  The river stops as if frozen in time. I am helpless as I watch the scene unfold. I cannot escape it.

The sky becomes dark, foreboding. The once bright sun hidden behind the clouds of sadness, self-doubt, fear, and unworthiness.  The winds grow strong with tornado force, destroying everything in their path, my feet cemented to the ground.  Forced to watch the damage take place. My world shrinks as the clouds grow heavy and fall to the ground. I am surrounded, the horizon a distant memory. The cold fog clinging to my skin.

I am sad. I am filled with self-doubt. I am not worthy of being loved, being happy, experiencing success or forgiving myself. I question all that I have done, and all that I dream of doing. The voice of negativity dancing in the wind, whispering in my ear.

I catch myself, bring myself back to reality. To the present moment. To walking down Prospect Park West.  My yoga practice in the park a distant memory.  The subjectivity of time a glaring reality. Five minutes becoming a lifetime ago within a moment of thought.

What was just a powerful tornado ripping through the village of my mind is now gone. The air is calm, but the damage remains. The sky filled with the electricity of the storm, the fog still clinging to my skin.

How quickly and how damaging a thought can be. I would like to share the thought that brought me here, but I cannot.  I do not remember what caused the tornado. What has now stained my thoughts with fear, sadness, self-doubt and unworthiness.  The power of a thought to cast a shadow on all other thoughts, yet the thought itself so insignificant that it does not remain.

I think to all that I have read, that I have studied. I remember that I am not my thoughts. I think of every positive trick, tool, anything to snap me out of it. The negativity senses this and tightens its grip around my thoughts. It’s as though my mind wants to be this way.  My mind wants to feel sad, content to walk through the wreckage.  A penance to be paid for the past.  A battle between wanting to snap out of it and wallowing begins.  Wallowing is winning.  Fear, sadness, self-doubt and unworthiness just too strong.

I resign myself that today is just going to be one of those days.

Athena is sitting on my notebook. Our morning routine has begun. Her purring vibrating through the counter top. She chews my pen as I attempt to write, perhaps assisting or casting criticism on my work. The words are flowing, but the shadow of self-doubt is in the ink of every word. I stop writing for a moment. I look into her green eyes.  She is happy. She is content.

I feel a swelling in my heart. I feel the stain of fear, sadness, self-doubt and unworthiness getting washed away. I feel that I am worthy of achieving my goals, of being happy of experiencing success, of leaving my past in the past.

There are no tricks, hacks, tools or things that can be learned from a book to get out of the black hole of negative thoughts.

There is only love.

Love for another, love for yourself, love of an animal. Love of what whatever makes you happy.

Not always the easiest to remember when the tornado is ripping through your mind.

I’m back on the shore, watching the river flow.  The currents dance over the river rocks. Shaping them over time. The sound melodic, hypnotizing.  The clouds have parted and the sun is shining. My skin warm.  My world is wide open, the horizon all around me.

I know the current will grow strong again, I know another storm will come. I know time will freeze and engulf me in the fog of negativity. And that is OK.

I’m going to enjoy the sun for now.


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