The Rosary

"I feel anxious. I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I feel guilty."
I hate myself.
"I see a tornado; it's coming; it's inescapable."

I glance down at the bracelet on my wrist. My personal rosary--one bead for each of my failures. I hold each bead one by one between my thumb and forefinger, pausing before moving on to the next.

"I see a large, calm lake. It's still. It's clear. In it, the clear sky and towering mountain reflects. I feel it in my head; I feel my muscles relax."

This anxiety is not me. It's a reaction. It's a reaction to a stressful situation. The stressful situation is the tornado in my mind. We do all we can to take care of ourselves, but suddenly, we're triggered. We can't help but react in the way that we do. We don't get to choose how or when a reaction comes up.

Don't forget the dozens of tiny stones in-between your trophy, dark red beads. The little triumphs; the big triumphs; the unnoticed victories; the everyday, good, albeit in no way remarkable. You know you're improving in almost every other aspect; a breakdown does not contradict that growth.

This was a bad day. You've had bad days. This won't be your last bad day... and that's OK. Because you'll bounce back. You always have. You're not judged for falling; you're lauded for coming back. You're OK.

You're OK.

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