Over the last 9 days a friend of mine has been pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown. With legal implications still pending, I'll keep the details to a minimum, but suffice it to say that family can be your best ally or your worst enemy, and if the latter, they know how to deploy emotional terrorism better than any other human being on earth. When I speak to her I never know if I'm going to get the calm, competent, intelligent woman I have known for 20 years, or a sobbing hysterical self-doubting unrecognizable person. Yesterday, I sat with her and calmly talked for nearly an hour about updates to her situation. Not 30 minutes after I left, she called me at home fraught with tension and gasping for breath between crying jags and just needing me to talk her down.
Serenity Now! My brain shouted thinking of the mad mad Costanza family. In reality, I had to tell her she was not insane, unreasonable, or wrong. I had to tell her to breathe....just breathe. I suggested a cold cloth, a quiet dark room, and chocolate...dark rich chocolate, to get the right endorphins flowing. And I volunteered to lead her to a day of distraction this weekend.
Later that night, unable to sleep, I found my mind beginning to construct a Serenity Now Mantra that might help her in moments when I can't jump on the phone and talk her down.
SERENITY NOW MANTRA
I am a good person.
To be a good person I do not need to subsume my own wants and needs.
To be a good person I do not need to accept toxic behavior and forgive all deeds.
To be a good person I do need to be kind, be honest and be real.
I am a strong person.
To be a strong person I do not need to do it all myself.
To be a strong person I do not need to know all the answers.
To be a strong person I do need to accept help and be true to my core.
I am a person of truth.
To be a person of truth I do not need to explain all of my actions.
To be a person of truth I do not need to give advance notice of my intentions.
To be a person of truth I do need to keep my motivations true to my values and when I speak, speak honestly.
I am worthy of being loved.
To be loved I do not need to change.
To be loved I do not need to beg.
To be loved, I simply need to be my true self and to offer love in return.
So, my lovely friend....I hope you find your serenity....if not now....soon.