Happy New Year!!!! I’m so glad it’s 2013.
If you read my post last week, you remember that I was feeling so good, enjoying my kids, excited about the holidays and then I did something that was sure to throw me off of balance. I skipped my morning practice and ate a whole bunch of cookies for breakfast. In my post, I described what I did, but over the course of the last week, I was bothered not just because I ate the cookies and had a grumpy day, but because I don’t understand why it is that I did things that on any other day, I wouldn’t even want to do. Why is it that when I‘m feeling good, really good—on vacation, well rested, excited about holidays and happy with my children, do I act in a way that will surely change my state to one that is not all of those things?
There’s this idea out there that our body wants and likes to maintain whatever state that we are in. If this is so, (which I find to be true—especially if I’m not doing particularly well) then why didn’t I do all the things that would keep me feeling blissed out? Why did some part of me want to discontinue the state of happy? I asked myself this question and I thought, “Well, maybe that really happy state is a little uncomfortable because it isn’t a state of balance for you, Amanda. It is one that is a little off balance in the happy direction.” What? Seriously? I said that to myself? I want to be able to enjoy a really happy state for more than one hour without undermining the state by doing things that will throw me off… like binge on Danish sugar cookies. Seriously.
The other thing I noticed about this intolerable happy state is that it felt similar to the “vacation/party/fun times” mindset I’ve known. In this mindset, I have this idea that I can “get away with” behaving in a way that I know isn’t good for me. These days it’s skipping practice and eating cookies. Sometimes it is over-boozing. For a while it was drinking just one more cup of coffee in the morning. When I think this way (this was totally going around last week), I allow myself to ignore all the things I know about my mind and physiology and I choose to believe that my good-vibrations vibrate at a frequency at which there is no way cookies/coffee/booze could throw me off. It’s delusional, really, but it’s so familiar. I’ve done this over and over. It’s like one side of me, the woo-hoo, party side, is tired of being denied and it’s going to show the reasonable, balanced, responsible side just what a rebel I am. It’s not conversation, it’s subtle-body, sub-conscious stuff, so it’s really hard to even be aware of when it is happening. It all goes down in the dark back parking lot of my system— kind of like where Michael Jackson and his black-leather, zippered, jacket wearing gang fought those other punks that didn’t have a chance. I can’t even get in there… it just happens and then I wonder why I did it again. (As my cousin, Cammy, pointed out, I wrote a very similar post about cookies last Christmas.)
Is this a matter of staying balanced, self-sabotage, or even more troubling, is there something inside of me that doesn’t think it actually likes or even (cringe) deserves to be that happy? Is the cookie eating in a state of bliss an attempt to bring me back to a less than happy state because that feels more normal or more appropriate for me– a gal who likes to be happy but has a hard time in that happy place? This makes me feel so messy and a little hopeless. Somewhere I think i don’t deserve to be happy…ugh.
My wonderful friend, Liz, is visiting and we always have great conversation. We were talking about this stuff and I confessed that I might sabotage my own happiness. She said, with her usual generosity, kindness and wisdom, that there might have been a time when that behavior served me really well. It might have been a strength that I needed under other circumstances. I don’t have to know if that’s true to know that her reflection offered me a moment to reframe this problematic anti-happy behavior and feel a little more kindness and generosity with myself. Sometimes, that shift is the most important part in understanding and loving myself again and as she said this I felt softer and loved and understood. Best friends are the best. happy sigh.
After all this pondering, I still don’t really know why it is that I have a hard time being in a state of really happy or why really happy has a tendency to bring with it delusional fits of me vs. me. I’m going to give it some more thought because I’d really like to be able to soak in happiness in a big way. Liz says that it’s our human birthright to feel the full range of human emotion. If it happens that I wake up rested, on vacation and hearing my sweet children twitter and play, and I’m overwhelmed with love and happiness and goodness, I want to know how to breathe into the overwhelm and come to be fully present. I’m not big on resolutions, but I have to say, this might be a good one for 2013.