New to the practice of meditation, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect in terms of results. Would I feel different? Would I suddenly notice the urge to sit peacefully on the floor and close my eyes? Would others notice my calm aura? How long would it take for me to notice anything at all?
Early on, meditation was relaxing and even a little exciting. I looked forward to it and made time for it. It didn’t take long, though, of not noticing any real change before I started to get bored. I am an instant gratification junkie, and I just wasn’t sure I was getting it. Determined to complete my challenge, I pushed on.
I quickly began to let my meditation slide and spent more time daydreaming than meditating some sessions. There was certainly no reason I should have begun experiencing any real results. If this were a diet, we’d be talking about healthy eating until about 2:00 then binging until midnight. Despite my lack of dedication, something dramatic happened; I actually noticed a change.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been haunted and somewhat controlled by a voice inside my head: a voice of nagging, complaining, anger, and back-talking. When I wake up in the morning, committed to being a better, gentler person, it’s there at the first frustration to “egg me on,” reminding me why everyone and everything is annoying and how my life isn’t what I thought it would be. As hard as I tried to quiet it, it felt completely out of my control. I notice it more during certain times in my life: times of anxiety, stress, and difficulty. I have been in this place for a year or so now, and that ever-present nagging voice is back. Sometimes I wonder if I actually swallowed my twin and she’s still in there, angry. I mean, I would be too, so I can’t fault her there.
That voice is the same one that is constantly telling me all of the reasons I’m not worthy or capable of living the life I was called to live. I was starting to believe I was crazy and the voice is actually who I really am. As much as I was pretending to be a kind, strong, loving person, deep down I was a terrible human being who was just stuffing her true feelings behind a smile or just walking away to avoid actually saying what my head was shouting. I felt like a fraud, and it impacted the way I treated myself and others. I would actually cry at times wondering why I had so little control over my own thoughts and if I could ever truly be the person I wanted to be. In psychology, we talk a lot about one’s “true self” versus the self we let others see. This true self impacts how we treat others and even view ourselves. Was I a nice person who had crazy thoughts or was I actually a horrible person who happened to be nice at times? Doubting the core of who you are is a very uncomfortable place to be. It’s like walking around the desert without a compass.
Through the practice of meditation, I have actually noticed the voices fading. At first, I learned how to recognize the voices and view them as an outsider, like watching cars drive down the road in front of me. I began to see them not as me but as something I was observing. Eventually, I was able to stop them mid-thought. I then began to build the habit of stopping them before they even started, and one day I noticed that I had either not had the thoughts in a while or was not as impacted by them. Either way, I recognized a peace in my head that I hadn’t felt in a while. The voices in my head are finally starting to reflect how I want to behave on the outside. I’m still not there, but for the first time in a long time, I see a flicker of hope. For the first time in a while, I am starting to recognize my true self as me once again.
Perhaps this is way too much crazy for a blog post, but it is called The Psycho Mom after all. You had to expect a little crazy in the head.