I’ve been avoiding thinking about setting my intention for 2009. I realized recently that part of my mild depression I have been experiencing for the past few months now has a lot to do with judging myself too harshly AND disassociating with my own life.
Let me try to explain.
Shit has been hitting the fan this year but a lot of it is shit that isn’t MY shit. Being the overly empathetic, control freak, “helper” that I am, situations that impact me in a peripheral way have negatively impacted my outlook on life. I know I sound vague and I’m sorry but since these aren’t my situations, I’m not at liberty to discuss them in a public forum.
Let’s just say that I am learning some valuable lessons about my own limitations. I’ve spent most of my life trying to go higher and higher, to achieve more, to BE more. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be a certain kind of person. My obsession with doing the “right” thing and not fucking up is so fundamentally detrimental to my own health that I have to lay it down.I have to stop. I don’t want to be this way anymore.
Let me tell you a story.
I used to be a smoker. I smoked off and on for years. This was AFTER my father died of lung cancer. Yeah, I know. Brilliant! I hid the fact that I smoked. Or at least, I tried to hide it. I would only smoke outside or in my car on the way home from work. If I was going to meet up with people, I would be sure to shower and brush my teeth and change my clothes between smoking and meeting up with them. I was fanatical about the cover up.
(Interestingly enough, the covering up totally smacks of how my dad hid his alcoholism but that’s just an aside I felt compelled to share as the correlation literally just came to me.)
I blamed the fact that I smoked on certain boyfriends who smoked like chimneys. Since I spent a lot of time with them, I ended up smoking with them as a shared activity. Did they force me to smoke? No. But for a long time I didn’t take responsibility that it was ME who was choosing to hurt MYSELF. I knew all the scary facts about smoking. I knew and I consciously chose to hurt myself (and others around me).
(Gee, that sounds a lot like my dad and his drinking too.)
I thought I was doing a great job hiding my habit which is such a joke, really. Cigarette smoke is a stinky habit. A lot of my memories have faded where my father is concerned but one that I distinctly remember is the smell of his smoking hand. His hands were worn, wrinkled and tanned with elegant long fingers. His pointer and middle fingers were embedded with the scent of cigarettes. When I used to smoke, there was something about it that made me feel tied to my dad. And since I lived in the grief of losing him, in some fucked up way, it comforted me.
When I turned 30 I gave myself a gift: I quit smoking. I thought about what I wanted my future to look like and realized that in my expectant dream I wanted to live a long time and be a parent and, you know, have full lung capacity. I had tried to stop before but this time, because I set my intention, it stuck. I haven’t smoked in almost six years.
The point being to this random post is that in the past when I’ve made a “resolution” to stop or start doing something, I’ve failed miserably. Something about calling it a resolution automatically jinxes me. So I don’t “resolve” to do things. I set intentions. That way it’s more like a trajectory path instead of a MUST DO THIS OR YOU FAIL kind of thing. Besides, I’ve never responded well to being bossed around.
Hopefully between now and tomorrow, I’ll have an epiphany as to what my 2009 intention should be.