Breathing Releases Me


I almost did it again, reach out to someone in authority to tell me if I’m doing it right, going in the right direction, following the right guidance, making the right decisions. I come right to the edge of my doubt and feel lost, adrift in my questions and frustrated with life. I doubt myself, doubt my guidance, doubt my intuition, doubt my choices, doubt my direction. It’s a crazy place to be juxtaposed between being guided and being lost. My mind questions and I start sliding towards less-than thinking.


I reached the point where I had an email half written to a mediumship teacher in the UK plucking out my story of doubt, what I need to help guide me. It didn’t feel right. I left it in drafts and went on about my day.


I remember a teacher long ago saying to me when I feel lost it means I am on the right path. I doubt.


When I imagine myself as a child, doubt played a huge role in my safety. If I react this way, that will happen. If I choose this, that will happen. If I make a mistake, I won’t be loved. If I’m too sad, someone will give me a reason to really cry. If I’m too happy, I’ll lose what makes me happy.


Recently, I made a mistake in a task that left something undone I thought was done. A day went by and then I realized my error. I felt terrible. What will they think of me? Now they will know I really don’t know what I’m doing. I beat myself up admonishing my neglect like my father used to do so well, berating me, insulting me, putting me in my place. My mistake was not the end of the world. My reaction felt like it was.


With a day to reflect, I’m realizing it’s easier for me to create my self-abuse than it is to wait for abuse to come from the outside. If I beat myself up, I don’t have to wait for it. I don’t have to wonder whether it will happen. I’ll get it over with. An old habit of survival.


Doubt takes up residence in my body and feels like aching muscles and a headache. The tension that rises from my self-imposed guilt hurts. Do I take it further and make my whole body miserable; my whole day miserable?


Today I take a breath and break through the walls of shame and affirm - I’m doing the best I can. I have good intentions. Mistakes happen to the best of us. Things have a way of working their way out. One step at a time.


I do not live among robots. I live among humans just like me who make mistakes, who do their best and have true intentions. Breathing releases my inner walls built to incarcerate my innocence. Breathing releases my shame and invites in compassion. Breathing releases me.



Always we hope by Lao Tzu

Always we hope

Someone else has the answer

Some other place will be better,

Some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer

No other place will be better,

And it has already turned out.

At the center of your being

You have the answer,

You know who you are

And you know what you want.

There is no need

To run outside

For better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rathe