Full disclosure: I have a really hard time practicing gratitude. So I'm glad I stumbled on the Grateful Heart linkup over at Ember Grey! My mind is usually on to the next-next-next thing, and I often describe feeling like "I'm not happy where I am" physically--if I'm home I want to be out and vice versa. That would seem to be an issue of not being present, and I just end up feeling anxious--which happens when you're in the past or the future, as Sheryl so beautifully points out. I hate that I can't be more mindful and present, but instead of beating myself up about it today, I'm going to look at my inability to be present through gratitude goggles and explore how it has helped me in the past.
I went through some tough experiences as a kid, things that I was too young to understand and process without the help of a trained professional. (I didn't start therapy until college btw.) Being present was scary, so my mind went elsewhere, taking me on adventures with The Babysitters' Club (#obsessed #loveMaryAnne), getting lost in movies, making up stories and characters in my head, planning out things to do later in the day... Going elsewhere mentally was my safe haven back then. Not being present deflected some of the pain from situations that I wasn't emotionally mature enough to handle. This defense mechanism reminds me of the (totally awesome) SNES game Earthbound and how you can add a teddy bear to your party to absorb blows from enemies. That's how I envision what my mind was doing back then. By getting me out of the present, it took me away from super intense emotions and situations that I was not remotely able to deal with.
So I'd like to thank my mind for letting me escape some really bad situations and getting me through them. But ultimately, those things are long over. Now, I can practice mindfulness and gratitude because the present moment is safe. I can be here. I have coping skills and a support system now, and things are much better. Something to keep in mind when I'm struggling to be present...
Please feel free to share any suggestions you have for being more mindful, or any ways you have made sense of your negative coping skills. As much fun as it is to talk about fashion or budgeting (ok, that part is not fun!), To Sparkle Punch is ultimately about self-help and was started by a girl (hi!) a year removed from being inpatient for suicidal thoughts. Your heavy stuff and vulnerability are always welcome in this space. <3 <3