*Inhale* 1234567, *Exhale* 1,2,3,4.
My breathing routine is usually my failsafe when I need to calm down- whether it be falling asleep or the need for a mindful moment. Last night, my go-to plan wasn’t working because I had knots in my stomach. The kind of knots that pang as soon as you think you’ve forgotten or possibly distracted yourself long enough that they will subside. Every time I’d squeeze my eyes shut a little tighter, another knot would form.
If I’m being honest, I’ve probably had knots in my stomach for about a week now… or if I’m being really honest a few months. Okay, okay… a while. Little kinks have formed that turned into knots over time. And when I look back, I feel the knots squeeze tighter as I remember what caused them. Some reasons being completely irrational, others being extremely painful or haunting.
Lately, untying the knots has felt exhausting. If not exhausting, daunting. How do you begin to untie knots that are seemingly endless? Just when you think you’ve started to loosen one, it makes it worse than it ever was to begin with.
I carry my knots with me everywhere I go. Sometimes they sneak up on me and other times they’re so big I can’t possibly ignore them. But regardless, I try to hide those knots no matter how firm a hold they have on me. Sometimes I mask them with humor or distractions, while other times I focus on my breath. Sometimes, however, the knots become so kinked that I can’t hide them anymore. They become so overwhelming that I feel as though I’m turning into one big ball of knots. I can’t possibly take anymore.
When I got home from work today, I was greeted by the sound of little claws scratching against the honey oak hardwood floors.
“Hi, hi, yes I’m home.”
I start to think about all of the next steps I need to take: wash the dishes from my lunch bag, take out my water bottle, take off the headband that’s been squeezing my head for too long, change into my pj’s, wash out my coffee cup, remember I need to pee. Only to realize, I didn’t pet my dog yet.
I notice her as soon as she placed both little paws onto my shins, furiously wagging her tail because she was so happy to see me. She doesn’t know about all of my knots. She just loves me unconditionally and anxiously waits for the moment I’ll return the love back. Thats the kind of love that makes the bad stuff knot so bad.
*Inhale* 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 *Exhale* 1,2,3,4