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Look Here Vade Mecum

Section Four: Remember

Sometimes when I’m struggling with less than stellar mental health, I hear a gentle voice talking me through it. Usually, a simple sentence or two nudges me enough to break out of the mental loop. Over the years, I’ve tried to capture those words.   

The final section of the Look Here document, titled Remember, is a collection of those messages. When I’m struggling, I’ll read them as part of the Look Here exercise. Occasionally, I’ll read them on their own, working to remember their messages more clearly before the next mental loop starts. Some of these are very “Hallmarky,” and that’s okay. No part of the Look Here tool is meant to be great literature. 

Full disclosure: This isn’t the complete list from my Look Here document. While I strive to be transparent, the Remember section gets very specific about where my brain can go and my own mental loops. Some of those places I’m not willing to share publicly. So if you read this and think that would never help me with where my brain goes, please know that I can go to some pretty challenging places. And there ARE phrases that help talk me through them. 

If you don’t have a voice that helps talk you through mental loops, consider writing down helpful things you’ve heard. Maybe a poem, a song lyric, a book excerpt, a conversation with a therapist or a friend. Look Here is just one aspect of my Vade Mecum. The rest consists of photographs, poems, and quotes. But there are zero reasons why those things couldn’t be in your Remember section instead. 

My Remember section:

  • You are real. Right now, right here. If you are reading this, your life is real. 
  • Don’t be so afraid to be who you are, see what you see, and know the world the way you know the world.
  • You can be selective in what you share with others. But you MUST always be honest with yourself. 
  • Be kind to yourself. This being human is damned hard.
  • Be gentle with your body, your mind, your spirit. Nourish yourself in all ways, always.   
  • Love large. It’s why you are here. Stop playing small. You are the universe wanting to express its love. Let it shine through.
  • You are not broken. You are healing. And you are beautiful in your mendings.   
  • Suffering is inevitable. The good news is that it, like everything else, is also impermanent. 

What do you KNOW to be true when all is right with your world? Is there a way to remember that when things are challenging?

This brings us to the end of the Look Here document. From the Non-Negotiables to Unstacking Horses to How Are You, Really and ending with Remember, I hope there has been some aspect of this tool that you’ve found helpful.

Take good care of yourself.

Disclaimer: If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting themself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by certified crisis response professionals.

My degree is in creative writing. I’m not a psychologist, therapist, guru, coach, or expert. These thoughts are thin filaments meant to share some things that help me through the hellish times. That’s it. Please make sure you have the support system you need to get you through wherever you are in your own journey.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

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