Just BreatheA personal motto, words to live by, a creed, a mission statement ... however you want to put it, whatever you want to call it, I have one. It's not complicated, not flowery and overly poetic or prosaic, it's not even extremely insightful and intelligent. Its simple, straightforward, and to the point. It only contains two word: Just Breathe. Thats it, that pretty much says it all.
Those two words, which when I was younger I debated getting tattooed on my left inside wrist in small black lowercase cursive writing, provide me with all the guidance I need to live my life on a daily basis. They are a reminder to me that as complicated and as messy and stressful or painful or whatever life gets, I will always get through it and the solution is always the simplest one: Just Breathe.
All I have to do in any situation is stop, pause, for the briefest of moments, close my eyes (literally and figuratively) to everything that is going on around me, take a step back/away/whatever, focus on myself and just breathe. It's as simple as that. Just focus on taking one long, deep, rejuvenation breath in, inhaling oxygen, filling my lungs with life. Then, breath out, equally as slowly, exhaling all of the tension and hurt, all of those things causing me to not be and let go. It's so incredibly simple, such a small thing, but it helps. Just breathe.
Just breathing will help to settle nerves, untangles knots and settle those butterflies that often take flight in my stomach. Just breathing will calm growing frustration and anger, cooling my quick temper and keeping my tongue from thoughtlessly stabbing at those around me. Just breathing helps me to be understanding, and compassionate and patient with those who maybe can not keep up or don't grasp what I view as simple concepts, or who just plain don't get me.
Most of all though, the thing that remembering to Just Breathe has helped me with is survival. I've had a lot, in fact I would be justified in saying more than my "fair share", of bad things, tragedies, abuses, etc. happen in my life. Things that maybe would have, and did in fact (my mother and sister being two such examples) break and change other people, cause them to be bitter or lost in a sea of depression. I, I have been fortunate. There are many reasons why I am different, why I have become the person who I am today. However, the bottom line, all things being boiled down to their simplest essence, most basic components, is this: I kept breathing.
Just Breathing means that you take things as they come and always recognize that "this too shall pass", you are not going to die, you will get through things, you will come out the other side (maybe even a stronger and better person), and the sun will shine again. I know, I know, a lot of sort of cliched concepts. However, they are cliched for a reason, and they all have a ring of truth. All I ever need to do, all anyone needs to do, is Just Breath. One breath in, one breath out. Repeat. One at a time. Take it one second, one minute, one moment, one hour, one day at a time. Just focus on now, on your next move, your next step and push forward and through it. One step at a time, placing one foot in front of another and keep moving forward. Sometimes it's at an almost glacial pace, but at least it's forward.
All I ever need is to remember those two words.