I'm grateful for self-possession: for knowing who I am and liking that I Am. It's interesting how self-possession is magnified as the layers of self-doubt and inauthenticity are removed by inner work and evolution. Even the sheen of false confidence and lack of inhibition provided by alcohol is not missed. It's amazing what time and outlook has done for my perspective. Learning to navigate the ups and downs of my life using the practice of equanimity during both brings me to a new level of self-confidence. Return to my normal "Light" Self, or rather, escaping the darkness that dampened that light, I recently began my trek back toward being socially outgoing again, from which I have avoided the past year-and-a-half. I needed to turn inward and be alone; I needed to trudge the darkness and find my own way. I couldn't bear the superficiality of social gatherings. I didn't (and dont') want to talk about the weather or jobs.
It's taken me that year-and-a-half trial to realize...
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...I'm okay again. Maybe it was the music last night, the vibe, the friends ... maybe it was the Old Skool hip-hop or the glitter...or just my deepest Self having a really, really, REALLY good time, but I noticed myself being and feeling carefree in my surroundings, expressing my buoyant Sunshiney Self without repression or inhibition or fear. I didn't need the false braggadocio that comes from booze, to lift my ego out of its cellar so it could mask all my former insecurities that have shadowed me so long ("do I look fat?" do I look old?" am I too loud?" does he like me?" do I have to dance in front of all these people?", etc. ad nauseum!).
I have come through the Darkest period in my entire life, unscathed and stronger (so that was the *&%$^!@* purpose??!! Aargh!) and I have learned to be my Self and like that Self again. I'm accepting the wrinkles, the extra weight--the outside package--which I have package I have fought for so long. I'm accepting where I am in life, in a general sense, (how do you escape Now? You can't!), knowing it's all okay.
It's all good.
Life is good!
In essence, my Feels are Good!