Quiet Focus

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Last night, I finished “Eat, Pray, Love,” and then he and I talked about da Vinci and the Last Supper, about the gospels, and the apostles, and the Church.  We talked about what inspires modern generations, what inspires us, and whether Christ was truly a pacifist.

I enjoyed 75% of the conversation.  Until I started feeling inadequate.  I can hold my own in conversations about art and history, but as we focused more on religious narratives and philosophies, I felt like I started to flounder.  This is not my area of expertise by any means.  This is his.  And he started to run circles around me.

In the past, this has led to arguments and hurt feelings.  Last night, he made a comment about me wrongly interpreting a scene from the Bible, and I felt the familiar pangs of embarrassment and anger.  But I quickly let them go.  As Beattie says, codependents often cannot take criticism because they lack so much self-worth that one remark threatens to annihilate them.

Well, I’ve been working on me enough to know that one remark isn’t going to annihilate me.  He’s entitled to his opinion as I am to mine.  I know my limited knowledge on the subject, and I am comfortable with that because I can learn.  If I want to.

Eventually, the conversation ended and we fell asleep.  I woke this morning exhausted and hit the snooze alarm five times.  No shower for me.

I am feeling sluggish this morning.  I’m just now sipping my first cup of coffee for the day.  I’ve already been to the courthouse once, with a second trip likely this afternoon.  And I’ve already picked up on an uptick of self-directed negativity in my inner voice.

My thighs are getting bigger.  Everyone is going to see.  Why do I have to look like a sausage in pantyhose?  I should eat less. If only I didn’t feel hungry. 

I know that when I’m tired, I’m vulnerable to these kind of self-defeating thoughts.  I am prone to self-sabotaging behaviors.  And losing my patience.

The space in my planner that reads “Today’s Focus” is still blank for today.  I haven’t decided.  In my morning conversation with God, I asked Him, “So what should our focus be today?”  And all I felt in return was silence.

And maybe that’s what I need.  Silence, and quiet, patient focus.

Quiet because when we’re on the edge of a codependent crisis, we’re to do as little as possible.  I’m not on the edge of a crisis by any means, but I do feel frayed around the edges.

Focus because when I’m feeling like this, I struggle with focusing on the task at hand.  I’m not easily distracted per se, but less motivated.

Patience because on days like this, I’m apt to pick myself apart, lose patience with others, and do and say things I’ll regret.

Quiet.  Patience.  Focus.

And taking inventory of what I need to do for me.  Taking responsibility for ourselves was today’s reading.  And the part that stuck with me most was taking inventory of what my needs and wants are.  I’ll be doing that.  A lot.

If I move slower, it’s ok.  The tasks before me will still be done.

One of the themes of “Eat, Pray, Love” was finding balance.  And I recognize how critical that is for me today.  Balance.  Balance to me today is taking care of this morning’s court filings, and then taking time to make a cup of coffee.  Balance to me is confirming appointments for this afternoon and then journaling here.  Balance to me is eating the damn chocolate and then looking at myself with awe for making a choice that made me happy.

Balance is being patient with others, and respecting my needs and wants, too.  Balance is being brave enough to practice self-care throughout the day, while still addressing my work responsibilities.

Today’s focus, today’s intent, will be just that…balance. A peaceful, quiet balance without guilting myself into being something different.

Because I am exactly what I need to be right now.



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