My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

cleansing by fire

I have to share about my doctor's appointment today. I've been feeling a lot better (except that the summer heat's kicking my butt!) and when I was not feeling as well I did something. It started out with a feeling I had long held that there were 2 sets of rules in the world--everybody else's and mine.

I decided to take some index cards and write down those rules. It evolved into any irrational and negative thought or belief I held or felt. I took my time doing this. I had a pretty huge stack when I was done. It was so great to get them out of my head. I literally felt like by putting them on paper, I was getting them out of my head so I wouldn't start thinking about them again.

My original plan was to post them on a wall where I could see them and realize their ridiculousness. Then I was going to put them in a paper shredder and dispose of them. However, the cards had a post-it type backing and I decided that shredding wasn't the best idea because the sticky would gum up the shredder blades.

I took those cards and presented them to my doctor, explaining that I was through with them and I was giving them away, getting rid of them. She thought this was cool and looked through them. I would see her get a disgusted look on her face and thought she was upset with me, however, it was the thoughts that were upsetting her, but she was excited that I was ready to part with them.

She asked me if I would consider burning them. We went outside and while it took a while to get the fire going, I burned every last one of those horrid thoughts. It felt SO good to be free of them. It was actually a cleansing, cathartic moment. I started with the one I've struggled the most with "Don't take up space." I know that I'm worthy of living and not just surviving and that I have just as much of a right to get what I need as anybody else. Burning that one first and using it to start the rest of those cards on fire was kind of symbolic for me. I can't even remember the other one that I "did something special" with, but it had to do with my mother and I ripped that baby up into a million pieces before adding it to the fire.

Inside my head, I thought something like "I surrender these thoughts because I know they're not true and that I deserve better" but outwardly I said something less ceremonial, like "let's get rid of these things once and for all!"

I can't tell you how differently I felt this afternoon having gotten rid of those cards and what they represented. I didn't think it would impact me the way it did.

Lest anybody think I was a reckless firebug, we poured 2 cups of water on the ashes before throwing the mess away.


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