I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss and Anne Lamott this morning, and she said, ‘when I was a child, I held my breath.’ It triggered me. She was talking about how her generation, and maybe mine, were raised. We held our breaths. Maybe it is why we have anxious adults?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at breathing, or at least I think I have. When a moment of stress happens, if I take a deep breath, it alleviates things. I know when I’m lying in bed, my mind racing about the monster underneath the bed or what I have to do tomorrow, if I take a deep breath, it will subside. You are taught when you meditate, which I don’t do enough, to focus on the breath. But, in my world, silence is difficult. Silence brings in self-doubt, disappointment, and pain. My brain is rarely silent. I am working on it.
This morning I wrote down, ‘being afraid of being a disappointment made me a disappointment to myself.’ Isn’t that one of the most depressing things you’ve ever heard? If you don’t have yourself, who the hell do you have? If you’re a disappointment to yourself, how are you not to other people?
Today Simone Biles, the greatest of all time, backed out of the team Olympics competition in gymnastics to take care of herself. All-day, I’ve heard this news without actually watching and seeing what was going on. I’m not going to lie; I was chatting with my husband, making jokes about it. How could someone whose ultimate dream was to be at the Olympics make that decision? It did not make sense to me. When I was a kid, I held my breath. Then I saw her do the vault. I saw her lose herself in it and realized how dangerous it could have been having she gone on. I realized that she was fighting for her breath. Things are changing. We are allowed to breathe now. We are now allowed to say we are not okay. We are allowed to breathe.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t hold your fucking breath anymore. Allow yourself to breathe. Allow yourself to take care of yourself. Thank god things are different now.