Jailhouse Rock

An old friend posted this on Facebook today, “For the first time ever, I looked into the mirror and said out loud: ‘you deserve better’……I nearly had an out-of-body experience and scared myself!”  This is her get out of jail free card.  Will she use it or remain in her comfy cell?  We are inmates who are assigned to the chain gang of psychological dysfunction.  We work it everyday moaning and groaning our lives away while we try to convince ourselves we are happy.

We neglect ourselves emotionally as we do physically.  We eat poorly, refuse to exercise and don’t sleep well.  The screams for help from our  bodies as fatigue, extra weight, high blood pressure, etc. affirm the need for change, but we do not always listen.  The psyche is no different, just harder to recognize, and even more difficult to modify.  It is so much easier to remain in prison.  It’s secure, we know the rules, we have no rights and we are not important, nice and cozy.  I don’t even have to look in the mirror, there isn’t one for fear I may use it to hurt myself or someone else.

The emotional prison is both inflicted and self-imposed. Incarceration begins when we are very young.  We are told one way or another to behave a certain way or risk losing people.  Fear is instilled via the actions of those around us.  Tow the line or risk abandonment, rejection, humiliation.  We choose to keep these beliefs into adulthood.  It’s safe there.  I know the outcome.  I believe the lies.  As a young mother, I neglected my body, heart and dreams because I was not worth the effort.  If I took care of myself, I have to say, yes, I deserve better.  I did not believe I merited anything.

What does it mean to break free from this prison?  First and foremost, I need to recognize I am in solitary, and my thought processes may be distorted .  I choose to remain alone in the cell or to bust out.  The challenge is in the escape.  It can be painful.  We need to see where we have fallen short, where others have let us down and that we have choices.  I am worth a happy and fulfilling life.  I have something to give back to the world, and the world has something for me.

Next we need to stop believing the lies.  The falsehoods from life situations can be devastating.  But we will continue to suffer the same pain over again until we change our perspective; it’s not about me!  The people to whom we choose to listen may need to be varied.  I have found that aligning myself  with good, honest friends and mentors who uplift me as well as help me to see where I need improvement offset those negative vibes from the not-so-do gooders. I need to stop listening to my own Debbie Downer comments as well. Doing the next right thing to the best of my ability keeps the fears at bay.

Finally, it’s time to enjoy the new-found vigor that kept us in the dark cell.  It’s time to bask in the sunlight of a new day.   It is surprising how much energy I spent worrying about how I could justify myself and my actions, that I was ok.  I really was only trying to convince myself anyway. I now have a renewed sense of self.  I am relishing my life: starting a new business, meeting new people, living life on life’s terms.  The burden is so much lighter. Stop the skipping LP in your head.  Eight tracks went out in the 70’s, leave yours there too.  Look in the mirror and say out loud: “I deserve better!”

Tell me what’s going on in your life.  I want to hear from you.

Wishing you love, balance and peace.

Amore & Baci (love & kisses),

Just Steph

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