A typo. I thought today’s title was going to be “when you don’t know what to write” (summing up how I felt as I sat before the keyboard at 5am) but seeing the (rare!) typing error on the screen made me think that perhaps this was what I really wanted to say.
Sone days it just all feels wrong. You can’t get into your stride, everywhere you turn is fraught with stumbles, spills and obstacles. You snap back at someone you meant to speak to with love; you forget something you thought was at the forefront of your thinking; your walk is wobbly and your mind is foggy.
Sometimes, on days like these, it feels like all that you touch will fall to pieces, or turn brittle in resistance of your clumsy contact. And not just physical objects; relationships, ideas… they all turn rigid and seem just outside your comfortable reach, so stretching for them becomes an effort, a source of irritation and resentment.
I had a day like this not long ago. Everyone I spoke to rubbed me up the wrong way. Every time I opened my mouth to speak tenderly to my children, the words turned hard and stony in my throat and came out sounding like admonishment. Every drink, plate, door I lay my hands on was defiant in its refusal to comply with my motor skills. Every time I tried to look within, I found I did not like what I saw inside myself, and if I couldn’t like me, how could I expect affection from the rest of the world?
On such days, it is so hard to know what to “right”, where to begin the process of fixing the catalogue of damage being left in my wake. It is so tempting to try to seize control of the littlest, easiest, most superficial factors. If I clean this mess, tidy this room, wipe this surface, all will become well, and I will like myself more for achieving something. Not so, but it takes a wipe or a tidy to bring this realisation into focus. The mess is cleared on the outside yet I still feel it on the inside – how come? So perhaps we instead – and arguably more admirably – seek to work on the more important broken elements of the relationships we have dented and scratched with our abrasive words. These are important, no question, and those apologies are valuable. Invest in them wisely, speak them wholeheartedly, honour them with action. Yet surely, better still would be the choice to “right” the cause. The real reason I am acting as though the world doesn’t like me is because I am not liking myself. I am seeking kindness and acceptance outside of myself from other people, other circumstances, when in fact the only real source of acceptance that has any true meaning is within.When I realise this, when I begin to hold myself in higher esteem, treat my inner dialogue with reverence, treat my emotions with respect, allow what is to simply be, then the apparent hardships of the day become more bearable.
Days will be tough. Sometimes you will drop the toast, spill the tea, stub your toe on the door, wake up a child who is grumpy, not cheerful, forget to turn on the washing machine, leave your keys behind. These things are all surmountable when you get past the sense that you deserve them, that the universe is conspiring to serve you some karmic just deserts. Know what to right – love yourself, accept yourself.See it for what it is. Breathe.