“True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about but few have seen.” ~Francois de La Rochefoulcauld
In these winter days, time slips through my papery fingers like slippery sand granules.
When there are not many markers like a routine job to go to, any people I regularly see, or life milestones, I get lost adrift in my own world like an apparition. I become a ghost.
When I was living with my parents, my dad called me a ghost. He exclaimed, “I hardly ever see you, you always go up to your room. You’re like a ghost in this house.”
My dad is now passed, so ironically he is now the ghost of the house. But, I can’t help but hear his words echo inside my ear these days.
Yes, I’ve been a ghost to this website. I’ve been a ghost to friends and social media. I’ve been but an apparition nervously flitting around trying to find the light. Trying to find my way. Part of this ghosting is in my history and in my nature. Perhaps, some is due to my being adopted and having awkward attachment issues.
Soul searching can go on for a really, really long time. I think it’s a continuous process anyways. I’ve experimented with different dieting and exercise regime to shake me up and start seizing the day. I made lots of attempts that resulted in lots of failures. I’d make commitments to classes in hopes that somewhere attending those classes, I’d find myself. Or gain some confidence.
I have been reading lots of self-help and philosophy books which I find do help (I’ll make a list below), but take up a good amount of time to read (because screen distraction in these times break up my attention span even more). And reading doesn’t always offer immediate insight. But hold on, is there a rush? Insight seems to come at it’s own pace, I’ve found, and through experience. I simply cannot rush insight, no matter how much I stare and squint at that pot waiting for it to boil. It’s one thing to read and philosophize about a concept and then preach about it, and it’s another thing to actually practice it. One needs to experiment and try things out and eventually something will happen where you will experience something and that’s where the knowledge of insight embeds itself unto/into you. Take that self!
In these ghost days, I haven’t been completely still. I have been getting a variety of readings like Tarot, practicing reading my own cards and doing some journalling. I’ve even tried out Past Life Regression, an unexpectedly vivid and intense experience where I gathered some interesting information. With all these experiences, insights, my darlings, were weeping out of my pores. But it still seemed like I was dancing around something.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
All of these fantastic attempts at finding some grounding, finding some purpose. But the key I found was finding simplicity and that there is no one key. As things were expanding, there was some natural contracting to the heat of each moment. But keeping things simple and organized and clear, feels like a definite key to finding myself some grounding and stabilization.
I have anxiety issues that can tumble into depression. Or vice versa. I’ve been able to find the triggers, mostly, and surprise, those are in diet and physical stresses. It can be so obvious, these straight forward cues, but somehow we can get so embedded in our habits, it’s tricky to remove yourself and look in. It takes acceptance, and objective observance to really stab at what’s going on underneath the surface.
So back to simplicity- now, I am a person who never got structure drilled in at a young age. I was never told to do chores or make my bed. I didn’t have a particular time where I studied or did my homework, it was always last minute. So I have an extra hard time of creating my own structure.
I could sit and hideaway forever like a ghost and not have to deal with people and stressors, but I know as much as anyone I have an itch to scratch and part of that is to come out and seize a purpose that shapes my life. There is too much passion in me to be a ghost and flit about for too long. There is only so much hiding and feeling sad about hiding that can be done.
I’ve returned to repeated points where I would get tired of myself, the same thoughts and patterns happening over and over. Tired of not putting a foot out there, tired of not trying hard enough. My history speaks of attempts, but also I must not overlook the successes as they are proof that I can be more and do more.
Simplicity comes to me in form of not trying to tackle all the things, but methodically replacing the bad habits or inserting particular structures. I also need a slight amount of effort to quiet that convincing drill sergeant in my head. I’m sure you have one too, screaming in your ear, shouting demands and surely some painful insults to go with them.
To help quiet that sergeant just a little more, I need to remember, and have reminders that, I am enough. I am worthwhile.
I always knew mornings had something to them every time I’ve attempted to integrate them into my life. Mornings are where things happen. And this is across the board in some research that I have read. It really is as simple as aligning with nature, where quiet starts and awareness starts taking place.
I discovered making my bed every morning has snowballed into other structure making habits. This stuff is CBT, is yoga practice, is mindfulness, is Ayurveda – it all connects to this idea of simple awareness. This return to mindful practice.
I can’t stress enough that it isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Especially, where we’re in a world now where our default is to claw around and wrestle with ‘busyness’, stress about future things, agonize about past things and fight for our time. Time that seems steadily slipping through our key tapping fingers, our gaze, miles away from our bodies.
This is a time now to know that every moment is an opportunity. An opportunity to live and feel how I want to feel. Everything else, future worries, past regrets, are just phantoms. I relinquish my self imposed ghost status as it no longer serves me.
I hope you do the same and become solid with me.
Love and Guts,
**Here are some helpful books that I have found very useful.
-The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron Ph. D.