It's been a trying week. I've always proclaimed October as my favorite month, so I can't seem to grasp why I'm having such a difficult time this year. The days are getting shorter and it seems like all I can muster up the energy to do these days is come home from work, eat, sit on the couch all evening, and sleep. I blame the dark that's entering the day earlier, or the state of our house (a complete wreck), or the too many looming projects, or even that I don't have the proper clothes to wear with the shifting weather. I blame everything external to me, but seem to have forgotten it comes from myself.
I'm an extreme person so as soon as I let one thing fall apart, I generally say "forget it", and let everything else around me crumble as well. It's all or nothing in my mind. If I can't have perfection, it doesn't matter at all. One slice of cake for a special occasion, and the whole eating healthy plan is down the drain. The dishes weren't cleaned yesterday, so I'm not going to vacuum or clean the bathrooms either. Next thing you know and my negative self-talk is out of control again. I'll criticize my body, tell myself I'm lazy, a bad wife, inconsiderate friend, selfish human, hypocritical individual, and so on. The truth is, I'm so focused on myself and my own current misery that I forget about all the beauty and love around me.
In my journey, I'm trying to take things one step at a time. All of time is broken down into this one now moment and the current decision. Do I treat myself with gentleness or do I put myself down? Should I walk the dogs or stay inside my own head of anxiousness? Usually when I do something kind for someone else, or even myself, I feel much better afterwards. Kindness builds on itself just as negativity builds on itself into a never-ending hole of despair. We can either choose darkness or light. When I'm more compassionate and forgiving of myself, I'm more compassionate and forgiving of others. When I take care of myself, I can take care of others. Self-pity is an awful habit.
Yesterday, Dustin and I went to the park where I scampered around in my new dress. Often new clothes can cheer me up more than I would like to admit. I can hide among the pattern, cuts, or expensive silks and feel like a new character. I'm not Becky anymore but a sailor out to sea, a professional businesswoman, an artist, a librarian, Native American, whatever the look places upon me. I'm running from who Becky really is. What I love about this simple ivory dress I wore yesterday is that it didn't distract. When I got back home and looked at the photos I saw myself — my soul. Maybe I didn't look like a model from an Anthropologie catalog this time, but the pictures told a story. There was a rawness, sadness, stillness, and quietness about them.
When I first received this dress from Two Fold Clothing in the mail, I wanted to find a way to spruce it up — maybe a belt or cardigan would go nicely with it. It seemed too smockish; too frumpty. I even bought a belt to go with it that I later returned. Nothing seemed quite right. It turns out, the dress is perfect on it's own. It is meant to be a staple that can be worn for years to come, allowing me to change and grow without having to replace it to match my current character. I'm not confined by the personality of the garment, but rather the personality of myself is revealed. Now, I love how simple it is.
What was also perfect about our walk was that we ran into some deer while we were wandering around the park. I like to call deer my spirit animals and often wear a small gold deer charm on my necklace. In order to get close to the deer, I had to quiet not only my external self — my steps in the grass, the movements of my hands and pace, but also my internal self. As soon as I became anxious or fearful, the deer responded by backing away or looking afraid. When I calmed down and let my thoughts subside, the deer let me come closer. I often crouched down or held out my hands to show them I didn't think I was above them or there to hurt them. We made eye contact, and I even talked to them in my mind. I swear they could hear me. My encounter with the deer was the perfect lesson to end my week. It reminded me that how I present myself internally can change the environment I create. I'm excited to slow down this season of Fall and dig into the deeper layers of my heart and of those around me.