The not so chilly weather allowed me to spend a little more time sitting by the canal. I took a quarter-hour at a time. There was no knowing when my fingers were going to start freezing off. Barring the cold, I stayed as long as I could, one eye on my book and the other on the water. I didn’t want to rush my stay.
Alongside the early rays of light that illuminate the darkness, this is my go-to place for calmness. Converting my racing thoughts into stillness. I didn’t set out to write poetry, but since this is rhyming, I’ll go with it. On the days when all I need is a little pick me up, some marshmallows melting in my hot chocolate and to re-energize my batteries, I come straight here. And, today was one of those days when kindness to oneself was very much needed.
Taking a moment to breathe out all the stresses of yesterday, I reflected on the thoughts that bring me here, to this very spot almost every single day. For a long time now I embarked on the journey of befriending myself. Learning more about who I am and what my needs are. I’m not going to lie, this has been the toughest friendship by far. There were days when my thoughts had no filter. I’d be hard on myself, criticising the smallest of so-called mistakes. That was until my positive side pulled the fuse on the negative self-critique that brewed inside me. I simply asked myself “if I can be forgiving towards those around me, why can’t I be forgiving towards myself”. That question and many others stopped me in my tracks. I soon began charging the unwanted visitor unaffordable rent, every time an unkind word was said to myself, the charge doubled by the letter. There was just no room for self-down-talk in my mind.
While the odyssey has been challenging it has also been refreshing. The kindness I sought outside I found within myself. That’s the greatest lesson I’ve learnt. I accepted I was the sole person who was responsible for my happiness. From the moment I pursued this jaunt the compliments haven’t stopped. Time spent in front of the mirror has been fused with listening to affirmations that begin with “I AM”. Kind words have brought me closer to myself. And, so here I am taking a moment to sit by the canal. The surfaces of rough stones smoothened by my incessant treading. My mellowed thoughts applauding the peaceful time spent by the water. I wished for it, so I went out and got it.