Sometimes—maybe especially when your world is in upheaval, like, I don’t know, MAYBE BECAUSE WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, just for one example—old STUFF comes up.
Old habits. Old coping strategies. Old stories. Old fears. Old responses. Old ways of interacting. Stuff you thought you’d worked through, but then it shows up again. That stuff.
That’s what was happening for me late at night for awhile. I’d lie awake turning over the same old stories I thought I’d worked through ages ago—but here they were again, just as insistent as I remembered them.
I think sometimes that stuff comes back up because it feels familiar when the world feels suddenly unfamiliar. That makes sense.
When that happens, I remind myself of this: I’ve been here before, and I KNOW THE WAY OUT.
The way out is to empower ourselves with new tools, new habits, new thoughts, new patterns instead of the old ones.
The way out is to choose our own well-being instead of believing a story about who we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to be.
We’ve been there, done that—and we are not required to get stuck in old habits or old patterns or old unhealthy ways of being just because they feel (or felt) comfortable.
Our new tools are things like:
- Staying present instead of spinning out into future worries
- Using the Three Breaths Rule
- Checking in with your body, mind, and spirit
- Finding YOUR next right thing instead of following someone else’s plan
- Using the Yet Rule
- Returning to practices that bring you back to yourself
- Being the grownup in charge instead of trying to control everything
- Choosing fierce hope over false hope
- Giving yourself permission to be who you really are
We have so many tools to try, instead of falling into old patterns. SO MANY.
We don’t have to get stuck in old stuff just because it’s an option.
(That’s kind of what “option” means. It’s OPTIONAL.)
We are allowed to make new choices in the face of old stuff. Even when everything outside of us feels like a mess. Even then. xo.