I used to engage with everything that I came my way. I would get into pointless arguments, make sure my opinion was known, explain to someone the ‘right’ way to do something, basically insert myself into each situation that crossed my path. I felt I had to. It was what was right. What I didn’t realize until I got healthier was that the reasons I was doing it was to feed my sickness, whether to make myself superior, to feel anger, to prove that all people were ‘idiots’ so I didn’t feel so bad when I lied to them, manipulated them, or even stole from them. I was never engaging with anyone to be helpful, or to be of service, well, if I was it was to get something in return. But most of the time it was to feed my ego because I felt less-than. Those little altercations where like a hit of a drug, for a moment, right after, I would get a high…and then it would wear off and I’d go looking for the next hit. It wasn’t until I made a commitment to let go of those old behaviors that I realized what those behaviors where doing to me.
Everyday we cross paths with a lot of people. And we cross paths with them for many different reasons. Nothing happens by chance. And there are those out there that seek out trouble, they were like me, and they’re looking for a fight, or a moment to feel better than whomever they encounter. I know now that they are just part of the passing parade. I don’t have to engage with each float, clown, and marching band that comes my way. I can stay on the sidewalk and just watch them go by. Because today I have nothing to prove. Today my mental health is what is my priority, and engaging with the passing parade is not good for my mind. Sure, if someone needs help I will jump in to be of service, and I will initiate a conversation with someone to hopefully brighten their day, but the rest of those hooligans, they can keep marching on by. Don’t get my wrong, sometimes it is tempting, they always make it look so enticing, and, on a bad day, I may even start to dip my toe in those murky waters, but it never feels good, I don’t get that hit or high anymore like I did, if I do, it’s very fast, and the awful feelings are quick to rush in and wash that high away. And, I’m glad they do, I’ve worked very hard to find my serenity, or peace of mind, because where I came from was so far off from that place, so far, I didn’t even know it was possible to find it. But trust me, it is. Just stay off that parade route.
I also use the parade analogy for the thoughts in my head. That negative self-talk, or bullshit committee as I like to call them, love to chime in, especially when I’m in H.A.L.T., hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, boy their voices get loud, but instead of engaging with them, I let them pass, sometimes I’ll even catch myself saying, “thank you for sharing, but you can take that someplace else.” Because the truth is, they are like a passing parade, they will just pass by if you let them, they might try to come back, but as long as you don’t acknowledge them, they keep walking.
As we navigate through each day, we have a choice, we can do what’s best for our own peace of mind, or we can try to win every battle that comes our way that we actually can’t win. Because we lose each time we engage in something we are not meant to be engaging with. Each of those battles chips away at our self-love, and it keeps us in a cycle of being sick. When we are well, loving and honoring ourselves, we don’t feel the need to engage with the passing parade, we notice it, and then let it pass on by, so if that parade passing in front of you is too hard to let go, that’s a sign of some work to be done SLAYER, and time to put on that investigative hat and find out why you feel so compelled to fight a battle you cannot win, a battle that is really with yourself, and not the people in that parade, because the only battle you can win, is the battle that goes on within yourself, and once you know the facts of why you feel you need to go to battle, you’ve found your armor, and that armor will protect you from anything that crosses your path. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you feel compelled to interact with anyone and everyone that crosses your path? Why? What if you didn’t? What do you think will happen? Do you get caught up in other people’s drama, and fights, at the detriment of your own mental health? Why do you think you do this? When you feel compelled to do this, are these times when you may be in H.A.L.T.? Are you looking to make yourself feel better? Are you looking to make yourself feel bad? What are you looking for? Why do you think you’re looking for it? What if you stopped? What if you didn’t engage with these people? What if you took a deep breath and walked away. Took your power back and did what was right for you. Noticed when these fights were fights that cannot be won, or, the expense was too great to your own person. What if you chose to not get involved unless it directly affected you? What if you chose to look for ways to give back and be of service instead of engaging with those who only want to inflict pain, or put you down? Why don’t you do that SLAYER. Let the passing parade go by and focus on those people who may need your help, need a hand, or just might need a smile. You’ll see how that affects those distractions that pass you by, they become much less distracting, and much more of just some noise in the distance.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you