Day 3: No Shakes So Far

August 4, 2008

Bonjour Blog Fans!


And a very good morning, afternoon, or evening wherever you are.


Today’s blog… well, it may be a little different. Sure, there’ll still be the old ‘I did this, and then this, and then this…’ aspect, but I’d like to begin by talking about something very close to my own, and I am sure, a number of your hearts – self love.


I am slowly beginning to see that if you have self love, you have everything. This weekend, I have been thinking a lot about self love; about how self doesn’t care about your state of affluence, creed or class.


Too many of us spend our lives afraid – afraid of who we are and what others think. But the truth is, this fear only digs a hole – for ourselves, and in ourselves; a hole where the true notions and practices of being happy go to die.


All of you, especially the people on my course, please bear this in mind: Self love can only come from within. It can’t be dependant on being accepted by others, or by being concerned by another’s feelings in an uncomfortable situation. See some pretty girl at a bar but too scared to approach for fear of rejection? Self love’ll fix that right up. Put yourself ‘out there’ only to be told ‘it’s not the right time’ or ‘it’s not you it’s me’? Self love will tell you ‘hey… maybe it IS the wrong time’ and ‘you know what? It IS you!’


Think of every day as a masterpiece – how every moment should be about you being in control of your own selves; your emotions, your intellect, your body and your spirit. We learn about these practices in wider, fantastical senses, but they can be applied to any time or any place. We are all too aware of the flip slide to the coin – the dark side – and we know how he/she feeds off our self doubt and second guessing. On this day, I urge you all – every single person who reads this – commit an act of self love today. Tell yourself you love you. Look in the mirror and see the fine person you are. Tell a friend or a loved one you love them and mean it. Experience life and love and smile and laugh and mean every single moment of it, and, one day at a time, build an army in your heart ready to fight any battle with your dark side over what and who you are.


Start today. Hell, start right now. Go look in the mirror. Text me and tell me you love me if you’re stuck, (because everyone loves me, right? Right?) but do something. That distinction between recognising and doing right now and procrastinating over it until something more pressing comes up is an act of self love itself.


This weekend, I discovered my own act of self love – the word ‘no’. ‘No’ is not a word I hear too often – either it doesn’t get said, or it gets said and I just plough on anyway. Unfortunately for me, I have a cycle of impulse, realisation and regret, disgust and anger. So, my act of self love is to say ‘no’ the moment I feel the first part of that cycle coming on. There will be those reading it who are aware of my new vow. Today is day 3. Feelin’ fine.


As some/most of you are probably largely aware at this point, Friday was not exactly a banner day for me. But you know… these things happen. The important part is that I was aware enough to be able to stop myself and realise it wasn’t right; to be in touch with myself to know that what I felt wasn’t reassurance or validation, but disgust and shame. Feeling the way that I did, I left work Friday evening, walked straight to Hamley’s on London’s Regent Street, and bought the first sturdy baseball bat I could find.


2 hours later, and with my mother out shopping and I in her front room, there I was, bashing away, channelling my anger, shame, and disgust into a frenzied attack of pure adrenalin and high volume screaming. And you know something? That shit really works. (Oh, and nb – Post It Notes are WAY better than cards. Sticking them on the wall really helps)


The time, the place, and the frequency of the stroke didn’t matter – what mattered was I did it until it was gone. And, about 20 minutes later, slightly sweaty and with a very reassuring blister on my hand, I once again felt that equilibrium had been restored. Yes, I was wrong, and yes, I acted inappropriately, but that clarity allowed me to do something I have never before done – I apologised. I apologised for the manipulation and for the disrespect. I took a walk down the left side of the road, did a 180, and landed myself smack in the middle of the right.


And then, on Saturday morning, with not a lot to do at 8am apart from hoover down a bowl of Sultana Bran and watch Sky Sports News, I thought about another act of self love – my certificate.


It dawned on me that since I had left Florence House, I hadn’t as much as even looked at my certificate. Here I had this glorious shining beacon of completion and achievement, and it hadn’t even been out of my folder, let alone been on show. I wonder… what have all of you done with yours? Are they framed and hung somewhere? Have you looked at them? Mine is unfortunately packed away now after a sudden burst of energy led to me filling bags up with things in my drawers, ready for my move, but since I have thought about it, my mind’s eye is very focussed on my certificate, and the recycling of the feeling of what it meant to me on that day. What have you done with it?


A few viewings later – in Manor Park (with a HUGE test for my new ‘no-ness’) and Woodside Park – and I was back at home, watching Andy Murray and relaxing. The sun set and though I was alone, I was content. I went to bed calm, and with a smile on my face. This may have been because I was watching the first season of ‘24’ and had spent 3 hours staring at the delightful Elisha Cuthbert, but I wouldn’t want to speculate.


Sunday, and a relaxing morning was followed by a trip to my cousin’s place to watch the football (this may have also included playing Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, but I wouldn’t want to say) and a discussion about life in general, where I told him about Hoffman, etc, and my future plans. It’s like (I think) I said in my Friday entry, re-connection is a slow process, and in the past, I have always felt like he and I could be better friends. I think, after Sunday, we will be. And that’s a great validation.


The highlight of the day, though, was most certainly managing to catch up with John. John had texted me earlier – though his initial instructions were the rather unhelpful ‘I’ll meet you in McDonalds at 7.30.’ Which one John? There’s about 3,000 in North London alone! – and though it took some effort to exact the location out of him, we did indeed finally manage to catch up over some tea and a McDonalds Apple Pie, something I haven’t had since I was about oh… 12. I’m fairly certain that if you look in the dictionary for the words ‘Self Love’, there is a big picture of John right under it – the man is happiness and light personified. I really feel blessed to have met someone like him, and though we’ll never be the sort of friends who speak every day, I know there is a space in his lion-sized heart for all of us. He leaves for Ireland today, a prospect which would have filled him with a sort of dark terror we all know too well, only a month ago. Now, when he talks about it, his eyes light up, and his soul comes alive. Maybe he’s somewhere on a plane or a boat or in a car on his way now. Whatever it is, John Boy, good luck on your literal journey and otherwise. You’ll be in my thoughts today.


I walked through the door to discover I have basically no food in the house – a dinner of mashed potato confirmed this – a shower, and then a long, peaceful sleep. Later today, I am seeing my therapist – the same one who recommended me Hoffman – to say thank you. (Ok, I concede, maybe we’ll talk about Friday, too) I’ll be following that with a trip to my sister, who has borrowed my Nintendo Wii – she’s addicted to Guitar Hero after sampling it at my house, but her TV is only showing it in black and white.


When you’re experiencing joy, it really should be in colour.

Until tomorrow, I hope your lives are painted in colour too.


Lots of love,

Closed Box.


One Response to “Day 3: No Shakes So Far”

  1. Lorna Says:

    What happened on Friday?….

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