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i have been wobbling between scrambled, troubled and lost lately, mostly underwater, joy gets some breath, but only when i emerge, gasping for air out of necessity… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i have been wobbling
between scrambled,
troubled and lost lately

mostly underwater,
joy gets some breath
but only when i emerge
gasping for air
out of necessity

and i have been resisting it
i was actually furious
because my assumption was
that by now
by the end of the summer
i would be way more clear and sorted
way more calm and committed
way more happy and willing

instead i got rocked

things fractured slowly
and melted down
and it was almost too much
for me to bear
so i was forced to look within
and see
how i could be okay,
like really okay
when nothing
is going my way

and when i say nothing
i am not exaggerating
i couldn’t make anything
“just so”
and the more i tried
the more things unraveled
the more i got to see
how it is
i always do me

i am constantly attempting
to regulate how i feel
by adjusting the world around me

my sense of “okayness”
comes from how much
i am able to make the world
(including the people)
around me “okay”

and it hasn’t been working
as it used to,
because i am now exhausted
i don’t have as much left in me
to keep efforting
keep trying
keep performing

and even if i did
have boundless energy
using it this way
is swiftly losing it’s appeal
to me
as it becomes clear
that if i don’t change here
if i don’t learn to be
more self resourced here
i am going to spend
the rest of my life
on the verge of tears
trying frantically
to manage the world around me
so that i know it’s okay for me to stay
so that that i know i am worthy
of the love
i so desperately seek
in those around me

as a little girl
i was always
doing things
making things
and trying to get people
to praise me
and the things i did
“look at me
look at me
look what i did
did i do good?
is this good?”
(am i good)

my life has been a quest
for gold stars
“good girls”
and “great jobs”

an endless search
for proof
that i am okay
that i am good
proof that i have only known how to get
from those around me

it’s humbling how even now
i’m seeing how not much has changed
in this regard

the stakes are just higher
the wins bigger
the losses more risky
and the costs
more real
more painful
more damaging
and laced with way more possibility

i feel more confident
and clear on how i contribute day to day
so i was missing
how i was still so painfully approval seeking
(especially in matters of the heart)

so i am going in again
as i imagine i will have to
again and again

i used to think
that we did our work
we got help
and we figured things out
and then went on our merry way
to live our life
free from pain
as if there was this specific amount
of work to do
and once it was done
we’d no longer have to
keep digging

now i see
a different possibility
a different way of relating
to what comes up and through
a way of relating that has me
in less self-rejection
with access to more glee
about what is possible
when i am willing
to keep working the edges in me
when i am devoted
to breaking free

because usually
i just beat the crap out of myself
for not being
who and what and how
i want to be

so easing up on that
catching myself when i go down
choosing breath and love
over panic and self attack
and it’s getting easier
little by little
it is

and i am committed
to learning
how to better
be with me
how to be okay with me
even when nothing
is how i wish it to be
around me

it’s time to stop
i think

it’s time to start
holding my own hand

it is time
for me
and maybe
you too?

❤️emily joy rosen

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