Love & Honesty. What Else Is There?

Grandpa’s words have served me well.

It was a blazing hot June day in Phoenix, Arizona. Is there any other temp there? To say that Phoenix was hard on me and the absolute worst thing for my frayed neurons is an understatement. That’s the nicest thing I have to say about Phoenix, so I will move the story along.

My memory of my time in Phoenix is fuzzy and that has everything to do with the legit and seriously negative effects that stress and anxiety have on your memory. As if it’s not bad enough to be struggling with mental illness and high stress at the same time, the brain has to throw in forgetfulness to the mix. To my brain’s defense, I had been the one defiantly firing the anti-meditation thoughts. My brain was doing the best it could under the circumstances.

Hmm… adding ‘we’re all doing the best we can,’ to the list of topics covered in this month’s blog series on overcoming anxiety, which you’re reading day 11. Follow through is my jam, as covered in day 8. I apologize, the content strategist in me is struggling not to map out an SEO web here. Workaholic tendencies could be another great topic…

I do vividly remember sharing a childhood memory with… and old friend. I’ll stop abusing ellipses now. That’s his jam, not mine and admittedly annoying AF. We were excitedly texting and while I don’t remember how it came about, I do remember instantly thinking of my grandpa. In an instant I was sitting in the backyard next to grandpa, on a reasonably warm summer’s day in Wyoming. Sitting in the backyard staring off at much of nothing was our thing, regardless of the weather. I asked him a question and he patted my hand. All he said was, “Love and honesty. What else is there?”

I come back to this a hundred times a day. As far as I’m concerned this is a Universal truth. On the days anxiety tries to tank my big, beautiful life, it’s right there for me. It’s like having a billion dollar bill in my pocket ready for whatever I may need it for. I may not have won the monetary lottery, neurological lottery or even the skeletal lottery, but I sure won the grandparent lottery.

I share this tidbit with anyone who could use a billion dollar bill. Sharing doesn’t make it less valuable, quite the opposite. Sharing strengthens its value.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

When overwhelmed by a situation, legit stressful or daft anxiety trigger, I come back to this. Love and honesty. What else is there? I sort out the love in the situation. I redirect my thoughts to love. I get honest about what is really going on and go through the honest best case and worst case scenario.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

Confronted with a tough conversation or situation with another human, again it comes back to this. If my intentions, words and actions/non-actions have all come from a place of love and were honest, I have nothing to fear. Everything will work out for the best.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

When treated poorly and/or lied to, regardless of how sexy the person is, I know they’ve gotta go. There’s no room for assholery and lying in Sheilaville. I mean, I’m still going to oogle your social media pictures, but bye-bye.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

This serves me in good times and situations as well. I am currently living in the best city that is my purpose. I have more friends than I have time to count exactly how many I have. And not acquaintances you run into and give a half-assed hug to, nope. Real friends. The kind you text a date, time and location and they show up without question, except maybe what to wear. I’m living my dream. The one where I get to write for a living as a self-employed writer. Yeah, that one I’ve had in my heart since 2nd grade. That one. Also, the eats are good here in Durham, North Carolina.

Despite all that, time and time again, I am forever reminding myself that everything is not going to go to shit. That friends who deliver tacos or spend $20 on a cup to fund your heart project really like you. That when a certain political figure personally reaches out to thank you for all you do for the city and to see how your project is going, he means it. That all this magic of the city is real. That I’m right where I am supposed to be.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

To that ellipses abusing old friend, I hope you are well, if not awesome.

Love and honesty. What else is there?

This is article #11 of a 31 part mental health series. If you enjoyed it you may also dig the previous article Practicing Non-Judgement and the next article The Good Stuff Is in the Center.

If you want to start from the beginning of the series go to the first article Anything You Put Before Your Recovery You Will Lose.

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