Sitting in the chair at the salon this morning, I felt my tummy rumble, my chest race, and my head swirl.  Anxiety! My thoughts were going ninety to nothing.  Inside were these words:

I have to handle it all, but I can’t handle it all, because what I need and want might not be best for everybody else, which means I’m going to cause other people pain, and I don’t want to cause other people pain because it makes me feel like crap about myself.  How did I get in this mess?  I need my therapist!  I need my mom!  I’m scared of making the wrong choice and scared of making the right one.  Oh, right, my job needs my attention.  Okay, I’ll make a list.  There’s too much on the list, crap, I need help!  I think I just gained 5 lbs.  I need to go on a diet.  Oh Lord, when do I have to travel again?  What’s the truth?  What’s the truth?  God………….HELP!

Thankfully, after years of having these feelings, I have created a support system that is deep and wide.  In my work, I have chosen an amazing manager, in my job I have excellent co-workers, in my personal life I have a sponsor, therapist, and am spiritually connected.  It’s important to surround yourself with strong wise safe people.

My manager was the first one I reached.  Her words were perfect:  “Here’s what you’re going to do….”  exactly what I needed to hear, some clear concrete direction.  “You’re going to sit in your chair for 30 min of silence, with your phone off, eat a healthy lunch, and have a cup of tea.  I will talk to you in 2 hours.  Don’t worry about one thing between now and then.”

What she knows, that all of my spiritual big sisters know, and help me to remember is this:

Pause.  Breathe.  Sit.  Reconnect with yourself.  Don’t take care of anyone else for thirty minutes.  You are safe.  You are not alone.  You have your answer.  Rest. 

As I sat in my chair, eating my healthy lunch, I became very clear.  My blood pressure dropped.  My heart quit racing.

You see, I am so afraid of making sure everybody’s feelings are taken care of that I deny them and myself the truth.  It’s okay if what I need doesn’t fit in with everyone’s agenda.  It’s okay if what someone else needs doesn’t fit in with my agenda.  It’s okay to disappoint people.  It’s okay for it to not be okay.

Life is a journey.  We don’t have to get anywhere in the next twenty-four hours.  We don’t have to rush, push, or struggle.  In this moment, in this single breath, God is with me, and all is well.


—– Tyler Hayes

—– sending you love wherever you are in the world