Individual versus the Group

Dear Readers, just because you belong to a group doesn’t mean you stop being an individual.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Recently, I had an experience that taught me a profound lesson. The experience wasn’t tragic, but it lasted long enough for me to understand that it was time to disconnect, step back, get still, turn inward and have a deep conversation with my inner self. The old me would have reacted differently and became angry, and ranted about the experience to anyone who would listen to me playing the role of the victim. The old me would have carried my anger around like a badge of honor for my wounds. But I am not that person anymore and I have learned to step back and critically think about an occurrence that my mind and heart want to immediately conclude as negative.

So, what did I do? I spent a week in silence, meaning, no TV, no soical media, no chatting on the phone, and I didn’t mention the incident to anyone. I journaled, prayed, and kept silent. On the 3rd day of my silence, I arrived at the conclusion that the incident brought attention to an area of my life that I wasn’t nurturing. What I’ve learned is that I need to pay attention to my behavior and thinking when I am in a group setting, more important pay attention how I attach myself to this group. Humans naturally have an instinct to want to belong, no one wants to feel left out. However, it is out of habit that when people join a group, team, organization, or tribe, whatever name you give to your people. It is good to connect to like minded people, but be careful that you don’t make a habit of changing your mindset or behavior to match that of the group because you want to belong.

The group is an amazing collection of ages, culturally mixed and like minded. Since being in the presence of this group I discovered that I am not as depressed as I use to I be. I am surrounded by loving people who verbally express and show love, and when we meet usually twice a week it is am amazing celebration. I often leave our meetings happy and looking forward to the next meeting. The incident that happened singled me out, but only a few people witnessed the interaction. It left me wondering why me? I have found my tribe, why me? I wasn’t going to play the pitty game, and I didn’t feel the need to confront the other person. I am glad that I simply took a step back and examined what really happened.

I know that your asking yourself, am I going back to the group? Yes, I am going back with new knowledge and better awareness. It was a teaching moment that lead me to examine who I am.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

My Day To Rant!

Dear Readers,

At last count I heard it’s been almost two years since all hell broke loose and we were ordered to shelter in place. Presently, I am feeling worn down due to the everlasting threat of the Virus.

For a long time I’ve pretended to be okay. I expected the fact that I had to stay home, be careful about were I go, not allow people into my house, double mask for the two days I take public transportation to work. I rarely ventured out to family dinners in fear of not knowing who’s been around who.

I’ve been walking on the outside of the school yard to help get rid of the twenty pounds of coronavirus weight. I am afraid to go back to my gym, and when I visit my nail salon, I beg for an early morning appointment and wear a mask and face shield.

I ceased accepting invites to dine out because outdoor dinning isn’t fun in the cooler temps, I live in New York City and baby it’s getting cold outside. I recently book a ticket on Amtrak to visit my mother in South Carolina, ignoring the suggestion to have a virtual celebration. my mother is 78 years old and she deserves to have family around during the holidays.

Why am I saying all of this? It’s taken me a few months to understand how living in fear has taken a mental and emotional toll. I am exhausted just from worrying. Staying at home turned my once toned body into a lump of Jell-O. My sleeping schedule is like riding on a roller coaster to the point that I am taking melatonin. Getting dressed up and wearing make up such a task that I don’t bother anymore.

A few weeks ago when I was at worse, I took a deep breath, and said out loud,” this is madness complete madness I can’t continue on like this or I will end up in the nut house.” So, I took matters into my own hands. I said, ” self as silly and fearful as this sounds we are going to have to learn to live with this virus.”

I carfully looked at my opinions. I teach a college course two days online, instead of staying home both days, I gladly go to the school, and sit in my office leaving the door open, and wear my mask. I have a great view of the Hudson River and I placed a chair at the door for people to sit and talk. It’s going on week four and it’s been great connecting to people.

On Tuesdays, I am back with my chours. Most of the members are vaccined we wear masks and socially distance during the entire rehearsal. When the college reached and asked if I wanted to work extra hours on Wednesday’s, for academic coaching to help the students who are struggling to adjust to online and distance learning, I proudly and eagerly said yes.

The fear is still there but it’s getting less and less, in other words, I don’t allow fear to dance on top of my head drowning me in a pit of sorrow and depression. I am working on adopting a small dog, so I won’t feel alone and walking a dog will get me out of the house. The other two days I have my part-time gig in a group home.

With that said, I look forward to my Thanksgiving trip to see mother, and planning my March birthday trip to Vegas, in addition to my advanced booking for the Easter three day retreat in the beautiful country side of Connecticut. I have not made up my mind what I am going to do about going back to the gym, but in the meantime, I will push myself to get back into working out at home and take more outside walks.

I am feeling better and don’t view the world as a dangerous place. I continue to be cautious, but I am happy for the small changed I have made to improve the quality of my life and lessen my depression.

Thank you for listening you’ve been a great audience.

Football 🏈 day