If my train goes off its tracks, pick it up pick it up pick it up!! - Fatman Scoop "Be Faithful"
It's taken years for one of my favorite butt shaking jams to hit me in a very different way
(Proceed to play song as you read this lol)
My anxiety has been in the driver seat of my life for quite some time. I've been aware of it since I was a teenager, but couldn't figure out how to be fearless. Not realizing I needed to understand my anxiety not fear the unknown less.I'm a very analytical individual so for me, things need to make “sense”, they have to fit, there has to be a clear right and wrong. Nothing has been more challenging than for me to unlearn this theory that I need to be “perfect”. Over-exerting myself to say I'd done “enough”. Falling apart when things don't go according to how I planned. And not because I like to control things, but because I “did things right”. It's frustrating to put your heart, soul, sweat and tears into something and not have it go “right”. Even worse I pulled my self confidence, self worth, validity, credibility into question EVERY time I put in 150% the work and yet my train still got off its tracks. You could say, we'll stop putting in so much effort. Or lower your expectations of what “should” happen. Or just realize you're not in the driver's seat. But honestly none of that fits me.
So how to attempt to maintain my sanity?
I try to put in effort gradually as something or someone beings to deserve more of my effort.
I meet myself and others where they are, rather than having unrealistic expectations that is outside of their or my own abilities.
I determine what's important to me, what is serving me, what is contributing to my divine purpose and path. And make that my track.
Because I can control the controllables, but I cannot control the uncontrollables. I may not know what station are going to pop up on my journey because life isn't an Express train to your goals. But I can make sure that I stop at the stations I want to stop at.
Let's be real, this anxiety isn't new territory for people of color, immigrants and more specifically women of color. Because we know we have to work twice as hard to get to half of the journey (if even that) in comparison to our white counterparts. If we don't dress "professional", speak "well", act "right"; we won't get that job, or that promotion, or get married, or get arrested.... right?Although we now know that it doesn't matter how "perfect" we are we will always be seen as less and our bodies seen as dispensable because that's how systemic racism thrives. There are so many intricate layers to keep individuals of color oppressed. The weathering of black bodies is literally killing us mentally and physically, with black women having staggering rates of stress related medical conditions. Learn more on Code Switch's podcast.
This is way yoga and meditation are so important for myself and that more safe spaces and access are created for our communities of color and social justice advocates. With the constant turmoil, animosity, and physical dangers of our environment as a black individual in America, having safe internal space is so desperately needed for just our survival.
Dismantling the patriarchy will take some time, so while we're working towards a more peaceful world please take care of yourselves and let's support each other - as fellow sis or an ally.
I'm gonna to continue trying to enjoy the journey and every single station along the way :)Our train may not stop at the station we hoped, it may be a longer journey to a very different station, but no matter what know that we are strong enough to endure what comes with the support you need - and that is more than okay. That's exactly what life is. Life isn't about being perfect or doing things “right”. Life is messy, beautiful, and challenging. Consider giving yourself the space and validity to make mistakes, learn, grow, and welcome with open arms what YOU need to continue on your journey.
Share below, what do you do to manage your stress and anxiety?