I’ve been in Chicago for five months... I was living on the west side when I decided that I was too far away from my ONE really good friend that I moved to Illinois with: so downtown Chicago I went. I’m currently in Southloop with beautiful views of the city and we’re only a couple blocks away from each other.
We have our conversations a few times a week, see each other maybe once or twice a week (no different than when I lived on the West side) and at the end of the day, I go home to my dog Frieza. I’m Mackin… at peace... life is great… I believed.
It hits me and I’m playing Devil’s Advocate. I’m in the apartment at peace because in my apartment I don’t have to worry about outside forces bothering me. I can separate myself from the world. I’m in an environment where it’s only me. I control what is happening here. I feel safe. Who can relate?
This is coming from a person that has suffered from depression for a year or so and has had anxiety for almost a decade. Occasionally, my anxiety flares up, but it’s pretty rare these days. Anyway.
I call it peace by being alone.
I’m not saying alone in a sense where I am lonely, rather, I’m alone because it’s just me and Frieza.
Am I the only person that feels at peace when I’m alone and in control?? Or, should I focus on learning how to deal with my emotions in interactive situations by going out, interacting with people, things and learning something new? … If it’s something that doesn’t suit you very well, why don’t you begin learning how to deal with it in that moment? Instead of… “I don’t have to, so I won't”.. “I’ll just go home”.
BY YOURSELF. ALONE. BUT NOT LONELY?
Why not learn new coping mechanisms that can help IN THE MOMENT? Everything is hard at the beginning stages. I believe many of us are saying, “This person/thing is giving me anxiety/causing me stress. So, I’ll stay in the house to separate myself from dealing with these people.” Instead of learning how to work through the discomfort.
We are living in a society that is trying to isolate us and make us less codependent on others.
But the truth is, we need people.
We know the saying that no one is perfect, right? So, let us show grace and mercy. True, there are people who may not be deserving of this. However, should we write people off because they are different than us? Simply because they have different thoughts or opinions? Isn’t that what helps the world evolve and revolve?
I’ve been reading this book “The Four Agreements' “, which if you haven’t, I suggest you do so ASAP. This book provides four agreements that we make with ourselves and if we keep them, we'll live a free life. For example, Agreement Two reads, “do not take things personally”.
Easier said than done? Well, not necessarily. If you understand that everyone has their own experiences and backgrounds that make them who they are, you'll understand how we are all different. Individuals' perspectives, much like your own, are based on these experiences.
In this age, if we don’t like something, we ignore it,and call it peace… When you learn not to take things personally, you will find peace. Nothing will get to you BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS. YOU KNOW YOURSELF. You can let things roll off your back without being affected by it. Control what you can. Let most everything else go.
Peace is within, regardless of the chaos surrounding you, regardless of other people and their actions. It is controlling yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions EVEN WITHIN this chaotic space.
So, let’s try something. Let’s try to interact more… Let us learn how to communicate with all sorts of people. Let's learn how to understand that no one is perfect. Stop judging people and understand that everyone is different. Do not take things personally. No two people grew up the same, even growing up in the same household. Noone has the same experiences. Let us broaden our view to that.
I leave you with my thoughts and a few questions while chiefing my joint, 8pm in Southloop: Do we see ourselves being more separated than we’ve ever been as we “work to find peace”? Is our anxiety our inner voice saying we’re uncomfortable? And can we push ourselves to get past discomfort by accepting others- by accepting what is- and learning how to live within that?
Until next time, peace and love.
About the Blogger
Tiana, or Ti as she is lovingly called is a proud advocate for all things authentic and true. Born and raised in New York, she later found herself in 7 cities, Virginia and then later in Charlotte, NC, where she has spent the last 6 years until Summer 2020. Tiana attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte during this time and double majored in Sociology and Psychology. After deciding to continue her education in studying human behavior, she received her M.ED from The Johns Hopkins University. Today, Tiana continues her educational journey working to help shape the minds of today’s youth, in Chicago, IL. Having combatted multiple years of anxiety and a bit of depression, she is excited to share her story and her continuing journey into healing.