Well Is Other People

I had a dream last night that I made some positive affirmation videos for a brand. They were kind of like Laura Clery’s “Never Give Up on Your Dreams” bit, which was sent to me yesterday in a moment of levity in an otherwise out-of-body emotional kind of day. (Reminder for you and for me: emotions are great. They mean you have a pulse and care about things.)

I haven’t been watching positive affirmation videos, but I’ve been playing and replaying their messages in my head. And I don’t need to call up specific events or accomplishments to say the words. I just say them. That’s after spending something like 15 years so focused on results when it came to my own self-worth. Empirical data: fast race times, possessions, awards, account balances.

If I wanted to feel good I used to:

–buy shoes or an item of clothing
–have a drink, or 2, or 3
–eat a cupcake (I still do that)
–whine to my sister (I still do that)
–find something I could “win” (a race, an argument)

Now if I want to feel good I:

–talk to someone about anything but me
–listen to a podcast about something I know nothing about
–sit still and do nothing for an uncomfortably long period of time
–watch YouTube videos about tiny houses
–take an action that I know instinctively will ameliorate bad feelings (example: I’ve been wanting to tell someone something, but keep holding back)
–meditate for 45 minutes in an organized setting (which for me means stewing over things for 35 minutes and thinking about nothing for 10)
–remind myself that I used to be $12,000 in debt for the reasons listed in the “I used to” section
–make a list in my head of the people and things I’m grateful for and not stop, even when I think I’ve run out of things (setting a time for this, like 20 minutes, helps)

But the most important change between those lists is the involvement of other people. Leaning on others is instinctively really hard for me, but far less than it used to be. I have an inherently Canadian predisposition towards “not bothering” other people. I conveniently forget that other people have answers. That other people need me. That other people are influential, inspiring, and that they are this way because they’ve had experiences. Because they’ve faced the same human problems I have. That other people are there to fall back on. That other people open up windows in your mind that you didn’t even know were there.

Image: Claire Z

One thought on “Well Is Other People

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