Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. What can I say? The weather in Dublin was shite but didn’t appear to dampen any spirits at all. I must admit, the sea of green was not to be found in the way I envisioned, but there were plenty of sparkling shamrock antennas bobbing atop heads, along with other assorted emerald green kitsch. It was good fun and everyone joins in.
I also heard new Irish music yesterday which was delightful. While Shane MacGowan and Drop Kick Murphys bring a smile, the latter is an American band and the Pogues are not Ireland’s only sound. There are plenty of amazing singers and songwriters here as one would expect, so it’s nice to hear them, too.
Another highlight for me was that the day wasn’t in any way bittersweet as holidays often are. There was none of the typical longing or feeling of aloneness. There was no desire to escape from my current situation. It seems telling myself new stories is having the desired effect. I’ve been meditating on aspects of caring for myself, too, which is really helpful. What I’m coming to understand, as plenty of you already know I’m sure, is that when someone respects/loves/cares for themselves, they don’t abuse or hurt themselves. Why would they? Seriously, you wouldn’t give a dog chocolate, or your baby a shot of tequila, would you? No, because you love them. So why do we inflict harm on ourselves with wild abandon until we can’t even see the damage our behaviour is doing? A great question for a future discussion. Today, I have to get around to money, of course, which I had some insight on yesterday, too.
Until recently, going out “on the town” has been really stressful for me. (Some of you might find that surprising but it’s true. Remember, I’m quite a skilled actress.) For starters, I worry about being presentable. Adding to that concern is the persistent thought that I can’t really “afford” it. Both are inextricably linked but where they come from, I’ve no clue. The dressing and looks thing dates to my preteen years. I can’t tell you how many lovely events I chose not to attend because I didn’t know what to wear, or how make myself up. Yes, I was chubby (quite) and gawky with fuzz for hair and glasses, but surely I could have let someone help! As for big events from pageants to my own wedding, I was a disaster, hating how I looked to this day! Later, when money became a part of the mix, it got easier to stay home than to try to overcome the fears. Many, many things I’ve done are the result of a free ticket and casual attire. Strange but true. What’s to be done, though?
Well, mulling things over or booking a therapist might just drag out this somewhat exaggerated and illogical set of fears. I suppose I could pin the blame of one of my folks, etcetera, and say it’s just the way it is, but that’s silly, too. It might be fun to try to tell myself a new story because as mentioned, that strategy seems to be working.
My wish tonight if for the courage to keep re-telling your story every time you need to. Try to make it easy. Start slowly with a hand up that signals “Stop. New story time!” when you hear the old tales of woe. If your heroine is “Lack”, make her “Plenty”. Focus only on this new protagonist as she fights off every self-pitying feeling with gratitude. Rejoice with her when she finally feels appreciation. Brava! And now we can move. Chapter Two. How exciting is this?