do the next right thing, not the next thing

cr jack kornfield meditation

i did not meditate today and i’m not going to. my mood and mental state is not conducive to it being a positive experience.

sometimes i resist the overwhelming apathy that comes with depression and do the things that i know are good for me. other times, i don’t want to. i don’t want to eat right. i don’t want to exercise. i don’t want to practice deep breathing, or journal, or interact with people. i don’t want to do anything at all (she said, stomping her feet).

i don’t want to do it and yet i do. even at my full-inertia worst, there’s a voice inside screaming “do it anyway”. that nagging, jiminy cricket voice that tells me to get up and get dressed. that suggests i read something inspirational. that tells me to meditate, to get outside, to send someone, anyone, a text. to connect to this life, for god’s sake.

these mundane things are the basic components of my daily “to-do” list. it has become that basic. rise. wash. eat. dress. undertake a few, relatively simple tasks. go to bed. repeat. it’s achievable, according to that little voice in my head. sometimes i make it. i succeed more often than not these days so that’s good, but often it all seems too impossible, the work required too gargantuan, and the effort too herculean.

occasionally what appears to be a good thing just isn’t. it will go badly and i know it. for whatever reason, today is not the day.

i used to push through those feelings. i had an all-or-nothing approach to my recovery. i thought i should be perfect in my execution and that i shouldn’t make mistakes. if it’s not and i do, then i’m failing. i have discovered, however, that this kind of black-and-white thinking ends with me back in the hole, and back in the grips of depression and eating disorder.

you have to give yourself permission to be imperfect. you have to give yourself permission to stumble. they might want to start drilling that truth into us from birth.

recovery path chelette'sdecorandmore

therefore, i’m not going to meditate today. generally, i like it and mostly it’s positive but sometimes when i wake up, my mood is dark, and the version of myself who hates my guts is mouthing off in an abusive fashion, and no good will come from listening to my thoughts. forcing myself to sit as i insult and berate myself for a thirty-minute stretch of meditation ends badly every time. no more.

perhaps there will come a time when a dark morning mood will not end with me suspending an aspect of my recovery practice for that day; someday i’ll be able to silence the nasty, mean girl inside, if not completely then enough that it’s not a negative distraction as i try to go within. until then, i’m not going to punish myself with rigid adherence to what is supposed to be a good thing.

instead, i’m going to do the next right thing, and keep moving, continually reminding myself that good enough is good enough.

keep moving forward shutterstock phloxii


january 12, 2018

photo credit: jack kornfield

photo credit: chelette’s decor and more

photo credit: shutterstock/phloxii


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