I love Indian romantic comedies and romantic dramas. I love them so much. The Indian culture (about which I know practically nothing) brings in a family element to the love stories which makes for a much more complicated but also true to life look at relationships that our love stories love to exclude and maintain the illusion that none of us live in community and that our relationships have nothing to do with our extended family and friends.
And also they always pull in a dance number, the women are gorgeous and India seems like a very beautiful, romantic, complicated, rich place to set a story. So I’ve been watching Indian RomComs like a boss. If that were my job, I’d get a raise I’m that good at watching Indian Romcoms.
Last week was a real doozy. My brain IS my body’s worst enemy and it was really giving me trouble last week. If last week were my very own Indian RomCom it would be perhaps a remake of “The Taming of the Shrew” only set in Mumbai. Or something like that.
I was feeling like it was me against the world last week. My brain was working overtime to inform me that I suck, that I’m making a fool of myself, I have absolutely no business doing any of things I fancy myself free to do and also, you should just quit.
Now this isn’t anything new for me. This used to be the running commentary I had in my brain all the time but I’ve decided I don’t do that anymore. In the past my brain would typically follow this pattern:
****be good, be good, be good, shut up, shut up, shut up, reign it in, reign in, reign it in, FUDGE THIS SUGAR AND THE SUGAR BOWL I RODE IN ON, act out, act out, act out because who cares? who cares? who cares?
Feel better after acting out, feel bad for acting out and then start all over again.****
I don’t do that anymore. That’s not what I’m into. It got me this far, I’ll give it that, but it won’t take me where I want to go so bye bye.
When it showed back up this week I was doing everything I could to make peace with it and leave it alone but something just would not let me shake it.
In my life coaching work I learned lots of ways to resist old thought habits and center myself in new ones. I learned how to journal from a place of abundance and completeness. I am whole and complete. I am not working to make up for the things I lack. I am not trying to earn my way out of some jail by getting a stamp of approval from some power somewhere above me. That’s not a thing. I am living in the mind, body and gifts that were chosen specifically for me and I am invited to love every minute of this day, week, year.
I did that. I still felt crummy.
I said, “This is just a bummer of a day. It’s not a grade your earned for being bad at life. It’s just a day”
And then, right before my gig on Friday, after days and days of feeling on the outside and so very uncool, I remembered this tool:
I can handle anything. I . can. handle. anything. and I’m like, “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I CAN HANDLE ANYTHING!!!! BRING IT ON!!!!
And I felt free. Free again. I’m not afraid of feeling bad feelings. I’m not afraid of bad days. I can friggin’ feel anything and it doesn’t turn me into a troll. Bad feelings don’t put me in chains, they don’t suck away my identity or make me less than anyone else. They’re just bad feelings and I’m going to be just fine.
CUE INDIAN DANCE NUMBER AND MAKE SURE THAT WIND MACHINE KICKS MY HAIR UP JUST RIGHT!
Turns out mental toughness isn’t just for NFL players anymore. It’s for all of us. When Bob at the nursing home heckled me during my nursing home happy hour set last week saying, “Don’t quit your day job.” I have the freedom to ingest that information any way I want. I have the power to decide if it’s something I wish to learn from, internalize or let go. I can look at rejection and choose to feel just as powerful and complete after the no as I did before it. And on and on and on. AND I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, NURSING HOME BOB! I ALREADY DID!!
I cried my eyes out at this Indian Romantic Drama called, “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” about an arranged marriage where the husband despised his new wife and everyone else for that matter because life wasn’t going the way he wanted it to. He felt powerless before the choices of his family, his past, and his new wife. It was pretty sad because it felt pretty true. Until the moment he ever so cautiously tried his hand at steering the ship and becoming the hero in his own story.
Turn’s out there’s no fight, there’s no jail, there’s no conflict at all. It was just stuff I got used to thinking to prove my case for smallness. There’s no judgment other than my own. People are pretty great at encouragement and helping. People are cheering you on. Mental mastery consists of thinking through all the thoughts you’ve just naturally adopted as your own and choosing if they get to stay or not. Are they helping you? Are they making you better or keeping you stuck right where you are?
The guy in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” started letting go because no one gets points for hanging in there. No one earns favor for slogging through it and slapping a smile on your face. No doubt, we will all walk through the valley, no doubt the valley will change us forever, but even so, we get to choose how that trial will tattoo itself upon us. We will live with pain and grief, and still the story belongs to us. And there are no points. For any of it.
And now I’m going to make my list of things to do while watching “Bareilly Ki Barfi” (it stars the same guy from the other one and he’s dreamy). Cue wind machine, cue Indian dance music. Go be amazing.