Baked Rambling · Depression

Are You the Best Version of Yourself?

An elevated mind is steering the keyboard today. πŸ˜πŸ§šπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈπŸŒ±πŸ’š

These thoughts are presented to you by my brain after having a small dab of White Buffalo shatter. I can also thank my friend, Paula, for sparking some of the thoughts that led me here today.

I am currently in a mental state that is somewhere between depression and happiness. I’m not upset, however feel extremely vulnerable, emotionally. I steer carefully through these times as a single thought can trigger a physical and emotional response, and that’s not a fun feature to have no power over, yet.

While talking with Paula (chatting in messenger), she stated she was sorry I was struggling. I was able to reply, “I’m actually okay! I’m working on my little company… I’ve been a busy girl. My only struggle is my Air Force time, but will get through that in counseling. I’m a different version of myself. I’m a better version of myself. I allow my mind to think more freely and it’s served me well. I feel more now, nerves are raw and emotions are confusing.”

I’m okay underneath, even when I’m broken.

I am not struggling too much. I know where I am, I am not lost. I have only recently begun to understand that we are forever a version of ourselves, and this constantly changes as our situations and circumstances necessitate. We do have the option to choose some of the attributes that our current version of ourselves is putting out into the world. Some may think that it is all a choice; it is not. It is not all a choice. Part of mindfulness is coming to terms with the fact that there are so many things in life that I do not have the power to change. That makes me feel vulnerable.

When I think of the current version of myself, I become emotional. While we all strive to be the best version of ourselves, there are demons, or memories, hidden way back in crevices that you may have not known existed. There is the vulnerability, not knowing what I may feel or find around the corner. I am the current Jaime Renee Cruz.

I am not hating who I am. For the first time, I am realizing that I have been numb. No, not numb, but hiding from feelings for decades. As I type that, I well up with tears. When I think of looking back, I am scared. When I think of looking forward, I am scared. I am afraid that I am going to wake up and find that no one has ever truly cared about who I am as a person, and life has been a ruse. Crap, I went dark, sorry.

Anyhow, this version–me, Jaime–I’m in a weird place right now. In order to feel happiness, I have to allow all feelings. Not a fan of the feels. I’m the chessboard, as so many ACT Therapy books illustrate mindfulness. I’m the chessboard. The black pieces represent my thoughts; the white, my emotions. As the pieces move across the board, the board can only watch, observe. The board has no power to make any of the pieces move. I am tired of fighting to do something that is physically and mentally impossible for me to do. I have taken an “observer” role in myself. What I am able to do is notice the links between thoughts and emotions and decipher if it seems an appropriate response, logically speaking. If I find the level of emotion is not in tune with the thought–in tune with anticipated human responses–I take a look behind the curtain to see why. This part is scary. What am I ready to remember? What was hidden for good reason? And who is to judge either way?

This is my conundrum. If I am to truly be mindful, I believe my action would be to “acknowledge” both the thought and the emotion and simply keep going. I feel I have put that into practice in my life. Not judging myself for being confused why a thought brought about an emotion has allowed me to work towards conditioning certain thoughts to… wait, no. Mindfulness is not necessarily going behind that curtain, practicing mindfulness would possibly leave that curtain unveiled. Does our brain make that decision for us? Is our own human nature, the protective device that kicks in whenever something may emotional harm us, always at the wheel? If it is our own human nature doing whatever it cares to, in my mind, I’m more aware of the changes.

I have fallen in love with myself.

I believe the best version of myself is the version I currently am. I think that is what some would call self-love. If it is, I have fallen in love with myself. I feel strange about it, but it is also wonderful at the same time. Who we were yesterday, or two decades ago, is not necessarily who we are now. Who we are is not who we will be. Learning to love the current version of ourselves is worth working towards if you’re not currently there.

One of my three daughters, Ashley.

I cannot be who I was ten years ago. That Jaime was wrapping up four years as the registrar and executive board member for the soccer club where her daughters played, coached, refereed, and their father coached for six years. That was a lifetime and two divorces ago. I’m happy that we can’t go back and change the past, maybe. I cannot get angry and mess up what were important developmental years for my daughters. I may no longer be that person, but that person was no less or no more than who I am now. My core values have not changed. What fulfills me has not changed.

I find I am happiest when I’m doing something to better someone else’s situation, day, week, month, life. I am crying as I type that. I cannot explain why. Why do I cry when I reflect on my inner values? There are a great deal of exposed nerves and they are excitable without effort. Almost a year ago, March of 2018, I ripped a scab off of a large surface area. (I cannot currently think of a better analogy, my apologies.) All of the nerves are exposed and it will take time for them to develop a new protective layer. I don’t want a new scab, I want my body to soothe those nerves so they can withstand the exterior exposure without harm. Possibly a weird statement, but I cannot really describe it any other way.

I’m determined to not retreat into a smaller version of myself. I simply will not allow myself to do that. This is where I am able to see that I love myself. I care more about my nerves healing to withstand further exposure without damage than I care about. (Again, my conundrum.) I feel guilty and need to figure that out. Why do I feel guilty for feeling that I should take care of myself before others? There is clearly quite a bit more work to be done to be the next version of myself. Notice I said the “next” version, not the “best” version, as that is always who I am present day.

Joe and I, New Year’s Eve 2018

Always remember: You are the best version of yourself, every day. I’d love your feedback.

One thought on “Are You the Best Version of Yourself?

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