The mind can become so cluttered. There is always something to worry about.
As I learn in the middle years of my life to let go of the big things I cannot control, I have uncovered another layer of ideas and expectations I did not know that I carried around.
These little voices the noisy jays, I coined them to reflect the judgement portion of my personality based on the Meyers-Briggs test. The noisy jays whisper in my ear everyday.
You really need to walk today. Ignore what your body is saying to the contrary, we know you better.
Your asthma is not that bad.
You need to lose weight.
No one will believe you. You must have done something to make this person act this way towards you.
Keep the peace no matter what happens. It’s easier to just keep your mouth shut.
The jays have controlled my life for a long time. They kept me married to a man who did not love me as he should, because the jays told me, I didn’t deserve anything more.
They shamed me into silence when others treated me poorly, because the jays shrieked that I needed to keep quiet in order to get along. The jays shamed me when I put on pounds, even when the majority of those pounds were much needed. The jays called me lazy even when I walked five miles a day, and worked out at the gym five days a week.
The jays scream that only the weak admit to feeling ill, but listening to them and not my gut has caused some real problems with my health.
The jays are not yet silent, but they have been reduced in numbers. When one or more whispers in my ear, I shut them up with a quick question, what does my body say? What does my intuition tell me about this situation?
I look in the mirror each morning and before the jays can begin criticizing my aging body, I affirm it. I scan from head to toe, speaking words of love and thankfulness for this masterpiece. The feet that have carried me, the legs that have held me up, the arms that have held the heavy body of a sleeping child, the soft belly and breasts that held and nurtured three children, the eyes that still allow me to read the books I love, the brain that holds all my sweetest memories intact.
When someone treats me with disrespect, I delve inward, deciding how to act based on my intuition and uncritical assessment of the situation, and if necessary I speak up.
I trust my body knows when to treat it gently, and when I can push it more. If I feel ill, I slow down and take care of myself. There are no medals for false bravery.
The most important lesson I’ve learned from the jays is to be grateful for what I already possess.