We All Die

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“You could leave life right now so let that determine what you do and say and think,” Marcus Aurelius.  I’ve always been afraid of death.  I know it’s ironic considering I battled self harm for over a decade.  Maybe it wasn’t my death I feared, but the lack of legacy.  Or it was simply the fear of losing those close to me and having to move on without them, not knowing if I could.  I wasn’t trained to find inner strength, I was trained to find my weaknesses and hide them rather than develop them.  I still struggle to believe that I am capable of handling what life throws my way, but I am getting better at accepting that if they are shown to me, it’s a door meant for me. 

When I first read/heard this quote, a pit formed in my stomach.  Heavy like lead, I felt its weight as real as if I swallowed a brick.  My fear of time and never having enough of it ran front and center.  Thinking of how I wasted time and that I haven’t accomplished all I wanted to made me feel weak.  Like, what am I waiting for?  How has so much time gone by so quickly?  If I’m honest, I still don’t like it and it still makes me uncomfortable, but they say that those feelings are messages.  So what really bothers me about it?  It’s my own inaction.  It triggers the knowledge that time IS finite and we don’t know when the clock runs out so it’s time to stop screwing around and do something, anything that will bring me to the next level. 

Looking at the quote in that context, it isn’t quite so morbid.  It’s a reminder to appreciate the time we are given and to take whole advantage of it.  It means that yes, there are sacrifices we have to make in the present in order to get what we want, but if you want that reward, you must go for it.  It also goes to the kind of person you want to be.  Are you someone who gets things done?  Are you someone who expresses compassion and empathy when given the opportunity?  Or are you someone who has a hair trigger and expects the world to give you what you want?  Do you have a fragile ego and feel threatened by other people simply existing?

We get one go round and we never know when that time is up.  We are all waiting in line and when our number is called there is no going back.  Yes, it is still terrifying and slightly morbid, but that shouldn’t deter you from going for what you want.  It isn’t an excuse to say that it’s all futile because we all die.  It’s the impetus to make something worthwhile while you are here.  Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way because if they are there, they were meant for you.  I mean, you can choose to take either path, accepting life as meaningless or giving it as much meaning as you can.  I know this raises the whole half full half empty question, but I truly do think this is where we have to be grateful we have a cup.    

Thinking that all of this is going to end is actually comforting to some.  If we think about money and attaining material things, it is quite comforting to know none of that matters.  When we die, no one is going to check our credit score, so that is pretty damn arbitrary.  That is a standard and a stressor we put on ourselves.  So learn to treat those things like a game.  The truth is we really don’t know for certain what comes after our time here.  But that is also comforting because you can live knowing you did your best and that is enough because the reality is that is ALL you can do.  You have your shot, take it.  Let the knowledge that this all ends some day be a comfort and a motivator rather than a fear or a deterrent from living your best life.  Let it encourage you and take that action.  That’s probably exactly what you need to do so let go of fear, and do it.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for getting back to basics.  This world provides so much for us and we insert complexity to make it more.  I’m not saying advances in technology aren’t amazing or necessary.  But I am concerned about the pace and the purpose behind some of it.  For example, we are given food and water directly from nature.  We’ve adapted and created mass production.  But we’ve also created pesticides and a slew of other issues.  We have the ability to communicate with each other world wide, but we don’t mind our words.  So, after weeks of pushing and burning the candle at both ends, I slowed down.  I took my time and picked out some good produce to reintroduce meal prep into my life.  I took the time to read and write. AND SLEEP.  I’ve also started taking some me-time again.  Connecting to self is where it all starts.

Today I’m grateful for my health.  As I mentioned above, I needed to get back to basics.  I quite literally bought food from the Earth instead of packages, and I’ve been working out a few days a week again.  Reclaiming and sustaining my physical health has helped ease the mental strain I’ve been under.  I will say the resilience of the human body and mind is unbelievable.  I’m not short of trauma responses or defense mechanisms—but I appreciate everything my mind and body have endured and taken me through.  I’m learning to love taking care of this vessel. 

Today I am grateful for spontaneous projects.  We’ve been a little lackluster on finishing details on the house and this weekend I decided we could at least paint one room.  We had paint leftover from when we fixed up our townhouse so we used that to finish our living room.  It was a wonderful time to reconnect and put my focus on something other than my spinning thoughts.  It was also really nice to get something done around the house.  I also found the perfect chair for my office so it completely feels like mine now.  It feels more like home putting those finishing touches in, the touches that are mine.  I’ve been feeling some imposter syndrome since we moved in, so it feels comforting to settle in.

Today I am grateful to adapt.  We’ve had issues with our refrigerator since we moved in and today the water line started leaking.  We knew it was coming, we just didn’t expect it today.  But all things happen for a reason and we simply started moving forward with working on getting a new refrigerator.  I’m looking at it as another opportunity to make the house ours. 

Today I am grateful to witness the innocence of my child.  One of the groups I follow drew a card about connecting with our inner child as a way to spark joy and to inspire creativity.  While we were painting, I watched my son turn paint stirrers into swords so he could “rescue” me, I watched him curl up on my chair and pretend to wake up to “go to work in the morning” and greet the day with a, “What a beautiful day,” and I watched him, and I watched him play with a vintage record player from one of my friends and he asked me to sing for him and he told me one of the songs reminded him of me.  There is something so pure in the infinite possibility of life.  A reminder that joy comes from how we look at things, not what happens.  Kids are amazing at practicing life.  Why do we ever teach them to forget?

Today I am grateful for time with my family.  This is not a new one, but I will always express it.  I got to spend time with my parents today (we watched the dog play in the yard and talked about the future), I got to talk to my sister for about an hour (it’s been longer than I care to admit since we’ve talked), and I got to work on my house with my husband (creating what we want).  It’s all about being intentional and planning out what your goals are.  For a long time I didn’t acknowledge how lucky I am to have these people in my life.  Now I’m much more intentional about spending time and going out of my way to make time to be together. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

Love Me, Love You- Purpose in Solitude

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“Sometimes you need to take a break from everyone and spend time alone to experience, appreciate, and love yourself,” Robert Tew.  Following up on our discussion of solitude as an anxiety remedy, I want to remind you that there are times you need to separate from the crowd simply to reconnect to yourself.  This is something I had to do personally over the last few weeks.  The amount of input from people around me was simply too much.  All of the opinions and feedback and people needing things with no consideration for returning got to be too much.  We all carry heavy burdens and when the demands outweigh the ability to recharge, the balance is too far gone. 

We are absolutely powerful creatures and we have the ability to shape our lives.  The more we appreciate those abilities and recognize them for what they are, the more we are able to appreciate ourselves.  The day to day world has gotten more and more chaotic over the last few years.  That isn’t to say chaos never existed, but we are a culture in hyper drive, always connected and always on.  The beauty of being connected to each other is that we can share in ways we never have before.  But that connection does have a cost.  We feel the pressure to always be on top of things and to constantly consume.  We aren’t designed to bring in and fill our minds with extraneous details day after day, stressors of the world, or compete and compare 24/7.  We are designed to co-create and build.  There has to be a balance between input and output and we take in far more than we produce.  Marie Forleo has an entire philosophy about producing before consuming and it is true.  We have to discharge the uncomfortable feelings inside of us and deflect those around us in order to connect with the energy of creation inside.  We are meant to bring ideas to life and to share them.

Sitting with ourselves can be a scary thing.  I know when I’m quiet with my thoughts, I feel surges of energy that I confuse.  I mean, I feel like I can do anything and I want to harness my mind but then I feel like I can run 10 miles and make meals and play with my kid and run the world.  It’s chaotic and overwhelming.  This is where the ability to discern what needs addressing first comes in.  I still get scared at this point and the urge to control comes in.  I struggle to decide what to do first.  While I feel like I can do anything, I have a hard time seeing where to start.  And there are days I disappoint myself either from not taking advantage of the energy or from starting too many things and not seeing them through.  I’m working on not taking it too hard and forgiving myself for mismanaging that energy.  But it’s hard to see it for what it is when I want to get results.  I know I’m not alone in this.

So one thing to look for is where the energy is coming from.  Is it genuinely a surge of inspiration that you need to act on or is it a compulsion?  A need to move for the sake of movement or is it something that will yield results.  The silence is helpful there as well.  If you’re not sure which way to go, start with thanking your mind for producing so many opportunities.  Then appreciate yourself for the ability to see one of them through.  Then thank the universe for the means to connect and create.  But if you feel like your mind is running rampant simply because it has no focus or you’ve been around too many people or looking at too much social media, then take a moment to do nothing.  Perhaps take the time to start journaling the emotion behind it and find the truth.         

There is peace in solitude and there is comfort in learning what works for ourselves.  Simplicity is key to finding what we really need.  My sister shared a beautiful visualization with me as a grounding exercise.  Imagine your brain is a room that has all of the dials to what happens in your mind and body.  When things get too loud or too busy or even just if there is just too much outside stimulation, pause and go to that room.  Look closely at the dials and start turning down the ones that are too much.  Feel the noise lessening and listen to what remains.  We do have control of what we allow in our lives and that starts with what is in our minds. 

Time Apart

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“Be alone, that is the secret of invention.  Be alone, that is when ideas are born,” Nikola Tesla.  I wanted to take a break from talking about the source of anxiety to talking about relieving it.  I’ve spoken candidly about taking action and about taking accurate account of what is going on in your life to give yourself a break.  But this quote covers a couple of things.  A lot of people who suffer from anxiety simply deal with too much stimulation.  In my last post I listed off all of the things going on in my life—and those are all DAILY things.  It’s no wonder with that kind of pressure that we start to feel like we are going to explode.  Beyond the pressure, it is all too much stimulation.  Anxiety is also the result of not being able to properly process outside input, and when we take in too much, our brain doesn’t know how to react.  That is where this quote comes in.

I’ve never really mentioned taking time to be alone with the purpose of removing stimulation.  My brain tends to be very active whether I’m anxious or not so I have to be very conscious and recognize when that activity is about to turn to anxiety.  I know I’m not alone when it comes to being raised on the belief that activity generates worth—but we never question whether that activity is serving us.  I know we all have obligations, I’m not talking about becoming entirely self-serving.  But I am talking about finding the balance. 

So, when we start to feel overwhelmed with our current situation, it really does help to remove ourselves.  Retreat.  That word causes some confusion because we tend to think of retreat as sacrificing something, or giving up.  The reality is, retreat is entirely strategic.  It is in retreat that we can take stock of where we are at and mend and tend our minds to redirect if needed.  We can’t see the forest for the trees if we are locked in a state of over-stimulation.  We blind ourselves to what’s around us and aren’t able to orient ourselves.  Soon the world feels like it’s spinning and before we know it we are curled up in a ball, unable to move. When we are in that state, we have to find a way to get quiet and hear.  We have to train ourselves to listen to the truth that only comes from within.

Going back to redirection, it is when we redirect that new opportunities reveal themselves.  When we see the new opportunity, we start fulfilling my other anti-anxiety strategy: doing.  The anxious person’s over active mind does have a purpose—there are valuable things that come from the creativity of constant movement.  We just have to learn to identify them and act on them.  Tesla talks about solitude being the mother of invention, and while he was more than likely referencing focused effort, I look at it as removing unnecessary distraction.  When we remove the chatter from our own minds, we see ourselves in a new light.

Where Things Are At

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I wanted to take a minute to level-set on the anxiety that’s clouded me (and that I’ve been mentioning…a lot).  I just watched Amy Bream, a brilliant one-legged athlete jump rope, swim, do pull ups, and kill in a dead lift.  Meanwhile, my sensitive ass bitches and laments that I can’t find time to work on what I want.  Like lightening it hit me—I am too much in my head.  I am a sensitive soul.  That is beautiful for compassion and understanding and I don’t regret those things because they are truly some of my greatest gifts.  But I will admit, that sensitivity means I really do need to develop a thicker skin.  That isn’t to say be callous or hard-hearted and ignore the injustices in the world but to stop taking things so personally and to be strong enough to be who I am and to share my light.

The truth is the opinions of others are only enough to stop us if we let them.  That isn’t to say developing mental strength is easy—far from it. But it is an illusion.  The challenges we create around standing our ground and setting boundaries are all in our heads.  We believe that saying no to someone is disrespectful or that we need to have a “good enough” reason to not participate in something we don’t agree with or enjoy doing.  That’s simply not true.  Setting boundaries doesn’t say as much about respecting other people as it says about how much we respect ourselves and our integrity and the time we are given on this Earth.  The saying perception is reality is given too much credence in regards to what other people think of us.  Who cares if those who aren’t supporting us don’t think we have it?  They aren’t fighting the battles we are so let it go.  We have the power to change.  We just have to DO it. 

We also need to learn to cut ourselves a break.  When I looked at my life over the last several months in particular, I saw the problem.  I’m working full time, managing four unrelated departments where I have to shift gears based upon need, three of them I had to learn from scratch because they are not in my wheelhouse, one of which I’m building from scratch, I’m starting my business, learning how to run a business (reading new books and taking courses), trying to apply lessons, managing four animals, a pre-schooler, a husband, a new home, my parents, trying to get physically healthy, all while we have been over a year in a pandemic, our government has enslaved us, the planet is being killed, it feels like the world is falling apart, and no one listens to anything anymore.  And I WONDER why I’m exhausted and on edge.  Why I’m so anxious I can’t breathe.  It’s too much.

I want to be clear, I know it isn’t hopeless.  But how can I pick one thing when so much needs to be done?  The overwhelm isn’t imagined, but it is hard to manage.  It takes a lot of conscious effort.  There is a saying along the lines of, “You’re not overwhelmed, your unorganized.”  It isn’t the whole truth, but there is some truth to it.  Having a plan and taking decisive action eliminates the anxiety because productive results come from taking steps.  But the reality is, so many of us face our lives like this: an endless to do list with things we can’t complete on our own but we are told to do it.  So.  What I can do now is breathe and prioritize.  And that is what I encourage all of you to do.  Take a break and get honest about what is going on in your life.  Eliminate what you can, prioritize what is in your control, and let go of the rest.  And for the love of whatever you believe in, give yourself a break. 

Creating A Manifesto

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I want to preface this with I have recreated myself so many times and I will recreate myself an infinite amount more.  After writing about forgiving, believing, and creating, I figured an example was in order.

Today I decide the bullshit ends.  The fear, the unnecessary stress, the worry of what others thing…of anything I’m doing, the sensitivity, the waiting to be me, the guilt of who I thought I would be and the actions I couldn’t quite keep in line.  Today I pick up the healing, the patience, the truth of who I am, what I want to do, the steps to be who I’m meant to be.  Today I put down the mantle, the yoke of what I was and put on the cloak and scepter of who I am.  I know it’s a journey.  I will falter.  But I know I can trust myself to get back up or even fly as needed.  I can trust myself to get back on track and see this through.  The reality is what I make of it, it is here for the creating.  IT will get messy.  Healing usually is.  So is creation.  We are born in blood and human ichor and we move through life like that.  Sometimes we even go out that way, filthy and bruised.  So while it is messy, it is beautiful.  And necessary.  And transcendent.  Get my hands dirty.  Feel the grit.  Let it take away some of the softness.  THAT is real.  We can’t life coddled and call it living.  Break the mold and embrace my greatness.  Are YOU ready to do the same?  Let the bullshit end.

Forgive to Create

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“Forgive your younger self.  Believe in your current self.  Create your future self,” Rob Booker.  Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve run the emotional gamut with anxiety.  Logically I know I have no reason to fear.  But my brain doesn’t believe it.  I’ve hit a crossroads in my life where I know I need to think differently—again.  Ironically, I just finished a book called Think Again by Adam Grant and it absolutely made me question and redefine my thought process, specifically about where I’m at.  For the last several months, I’ve honestly felt pretty good.  More stable, able to talk myself down when I felt escalated, communicating better.  And then a few weeks ago, I felt an immense surge of overwhelm (I will speak about this in more detail tomorrow) and I went into an absolute spiral of anxiety.  There was no talking myself out of this.  There was no movement that helped me.  No amount of talking brought be back to where I felt level.  The timing of reading this book really helped because, as the anxiety worsened, the logic behind it kept repeating itself in my head. 

I realized that this wasn’t just an anxiety spiral.  This was one of those things I keep coming back to, one of the things Buddhism says we come back to until we learn the lesson.  My ego keeps getting in the way of my emotional management and I am being tested to say the least.  So…the overwhelm crashed over me and I felt helpless for a while there.  And then my training kicked in: reframe.  You already know this, you’re actively reading material on it, so put it into practice. 

I realized that so much of the pain I’m feeling today is still for things I’ve done in my past.  Some of them aren’t even mine, I just inherited them.  I found a picture of myself with my best friend and I’m about six or seven years old.  At first I just laughed and smiled and felt the love of over 30 years of friendship.  But as I really examined it, I saw myself differently.  Even at that age, in this picture I saw the strain in me.  The strain of trying to live.  My mouth is a thin line, my shoulders are hunched up, and I’m facing forward, sitting in front of my friend like I’m prepared to take a bullet for her instead of posing for a photo.  While I never wanted for basic needs, I am acutely aware of the mental burden I carried from the time I was born.  No child should be born with that kind of fear.  I knew I was loved, I just wasn’t sure I was supported.  And I certainly didn’t know how to fit in. 

I see now that so much of what I internalized affected my ability to form healthy relationships.  I spent a lot of years mourning my social ineptitude and I see now it wasn’t a weakness, it was a defense.  I constantly felt the need to take care of myself, constantly felt alone, constantly felt the pressure to prove myself and that I wasn’t a burden on my family.  At five years old I remember making the decision that I needed to be good and to listen to my parents all the time.  By seven, the evidence of that pressure was clear on my young body. So that habit, that feeling is something I need to forgive myself for.  I forgive myself for existing and celebrate being alive.  I forgive myself for putting unrealistic expectations on myself I didn’t comprehend.  I forgive myself for the consequences I set in motion with those decisions I didn’t understand.      

I’m learning to believe in myself.  My strength and confidence have improved, but I know that is also on the spiral of things I return to.  Little things still feel personal to me even if I thought I worked through them.  The triggers of revealing my imperfections still send me into anxiety and fear of being alone or excluded and feeling abandoned.  Seeing how early those misguided attempts at control formed my life, I understand why it has been so challenging to break those beliefs and habits.  But I am trying to reframe and keep my successes at the forefront.  I’m trying to remember all I am and that my worth isn’t based upon how much I can carry, or how little space I can take up, or what I can do on my own.  I can believe in myself because I’ve already gotten this far.  I’ve survived and I have thrived, even in a broken state.  Getting myself well will only improve that.

To create my future self, I have to apply that belief and learn to keep going.  Not every set back is a failure or a sign that I won’t achieve what I’m looking for.  Creating my future self is a matter of doing.  All the thinking in the world will not yield results.  Doing will.  So even when it feels scary or like I’m messing it all up, I will continue to do.  I will do bravely.  I will do imperfectly because done is better than perfect.  I will do often.  I will do with intention.  I will do with purpose.  I will do it all.  And even when I’m feeling afraid, I will keep doing…something.  So can you.

What Matters

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“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation.  Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes,” Via Manifestinglord. Continuing our theme of self-improvement and expressing our gifts, I felt this was a good starting point.  We don’t come out of the gate automatically believing we can do what we’re trying to achieve.  It typically starts quietly, with an inkling, or a feeling that there is a different possibility.  Then we decide to possibly stop numbing ourselves with distraction  

We are taught early on that if you aren’t perfect at something, that you aren’t successful.  We are taught that areas we need to improve upon somehow diminish what we are capable of.  Imagine if we let go of what we can’t do and start looking at what we CAN do. It’s a matter of reframing and rethinking what we do.  It’s about approaching what we do with intention and if the intention is to improve, then we will see continual progress.  Trying to achieve perfection only sets us up for failure and it deters us from trying again in the future. Similarly, focusing on what we are bad at doesn’t move us to get better, it makes us feel worse. 

When it comes to character, we often face a fine line between being concerned about what we look like over doing the right thing.  Our character is tied to our integrity—our reputation is tied to what people think.  Character is who we are regardless of who is around.  Reputation is how others perceive us.  You see where this is going?  We have no power over what our reputation is—people will think what they want to no matter what you do.  Our character is who we are. 

We have to learn to take small steps toward what we want each and every day, establish consistency and follow through in order to get where we want to be.  It all starts with taking stock of what you have working for you instead of piling up what is against you.  If we live in a constant state of lack, we will never establish a belief in our abilities.  Learning what is really important in life is the key to shifting where our energy goes.  We do have a say in what we give time and attention to.  You will find that we have far more blessings in this world than we consider.  The fact that we wake up and breathe is a gift.  If you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to eat, you’re blessed. 

Each of us has strengths.  Our job is to learn to apply them and to appreciate what we’ve been given.  Mourning what we don’t have only takes away from what we have.  It’s easy to give the mind power to believe that you are worthless—take it away.  Feed your mind all that you are capable of.  Tell yourself that you are worth the space you take up.  That you have a gift to give the world.  It may not be conventional but if it is yours, stick with what is right for you and share it.  You may surprise yourself.   

Sunday Gratitude

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Today’s gratitude is a bit different. 

Today I am grateful to be alive.  I don’t want to be flippant and ignore that yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but I needed some time to process what I wanted to say.  Everyone has their story of what happened and where they were on September 11th, 2001.  For me, I had only started dating the man who would become my husband a few weeks before.  My mother and I went to New York to visit my sister.  We got back, and exactly seven days later, 20 years ago yesterday, the towers I had just seen in person, fell.  I sat in a classroom watching the attack, resulting from so many complicated things, and feeling helpless, hoping my sister was ok.  My heart hurt witnessing people die, the images frozen in time and recorded as planes flew into buildings and people jumped to their deaths rather than suffocate or burn to death.  It has a surreal feeling to it now, two decades removed.  The pain is there, but it means something different.  We’ve lost the ability to come together as we did in the days following the attack.  We’ve all endured countless painful events since then—that is life.  But that doesn’t negate the memory of those who lost that opportunity that day.  Who would they be?  Who would we be?  We won’t ever know that, but I know and I don’t ever forget that I was given an opportunity to do something new after that moment.  Remember, we are better together.  Now, to share some lessons from the last week.

Today I am grateful for the words of wisdom from my son.  We sat outside, me ever chewing and contemplating and feeling the nervousness course through my body.  I had some work to do and I told him it was time to go in. He looked at me and simply said, “Mommy we have plenty of time to enjoy the view.”  He is so much smarter than I am.  I am truly grateful for the gentle reminders to take in life as it’s happening and to appreciate what is right in front of me.  It’s hard to not constantly move, but we all need the time to enjoy the view. 

Today I am grateful for clarity and boundaries.  There are things I am working to achieve in my life and I finally feel some peace that I don’t need to fulfill some social obligation or offer an explanation if something isn’t aligned with what I need to do.  No one is going to come and save me or present the life I envision for myself—I don’t need to worry about pleasing people who contribute nothing to my arena.   

Today I am grateful for support.  Things happen for a reason, even the delays and the setbacks.  I hate that part if I’m entirely honest, but I know enough that it does happen for a reason.  There are so many times things aren’t going according to plan and I’m struggling to keep my head afloat but I have learned that there are unexpected resources that show up and help us when we least expect it.  We just have to be open to it. 

Today I am grateful for nature.  I’ve needed a lot of deep healing and I’ve been working on different ways to get out in nature lately.  I spent time with my plants, Earthing in my yard, and out on the water.  I still feel an immense energy surging but I am so grateful to have a place to re-evaluate and examine what’s going through in my head.  I’m grateful for the tools that mother nature gives us and to learn how to use them.  Nature is medicine. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

Who’s Stopping You?

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“There’s nothing easy about realizing you’re the one that’s been holding you back this whole time,” via mindset.therapy.  This is an appropriate follow up to yesterday’s post about holding back our gifts.  Perhaps it’s a bit of a subconscious message to myself about why I’ve been feeling so off lately.  I haven’t been giving enough attention to my personal goals and my spirit knows it.  I’ve mentioned many times that starting a self-improvement journey focused on evolving and letting go of your inhibitions requires radical honesty.  I want to add that, not only do we have to be really honest, we also have to have incredible follow through.  Step one is acknowledging the issue and step two is figuring out what you can do about it and step three is executing.

It is painful to see that the bully and the real reason you haven’t gotten where you want to be is you.  It’s not like we can walk away from ourselves, and there are millions of people who try—addiction to virtually anything, avoiding family and friends, jumping from job to job or place to place.  That often doesn’t work because you are still YOU at the end of the day and that isn’t some baggage you can check—you carry that on at all costs and at all times.  We have to learn to deal with the baggage.  I feel like there is a lot of shame surrounding self-perceived failure.  It’s human nature to want to look like we have it all under control because if we look weak, we create separation.  But we never acknowledge that we ALL FEEL THAT WAY.  We all feel weak at times.  We all fail at something, period.  It’s the come back that is most important.

So, painful or not, the reality is those “painful” feelings will go away.  Embarrassment doesn’t have to be lasting.  Continuing to treat yourself like crap because of some misguided belief can be permanent until you make the choice to stop yourself.  Again, you can’t run from that voice no matter what you do, so learn to get that in check.  It’s a mountain, yes.  But it is worth every sweaty, emotional, step to the top.  Because once you’re out of your own way there is literally no one that can stop you. I also want to acknowledge that people aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think.  Yes, there is a sick habit of pointing out flaws but once you see that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with that other person’s insecurities, it’s easier to brush it off and deal with your own goals. 

I think we also need to get comfortable with the idea that it doesn’t matter what progress looks like as long as we make progress.  Mel Robbins talked about the habit we have to only celebrate something when it is achieved.  Like, you’re only worthy when you cross the finish line.  The truth is we may set a bar for ourselves and we may not reach it, but the real question is, did we get closer?  If we can mark progress then we are already further than those who don’t believe in us. Most importantly, this is all outside interference.  Celebrate yourself for every step you take rather than lamenting how far you need to go.  Each time you speak ill of where you’re at, you chip away at your will to keep going—and that holds you back. So no, there is nothing easy about admitting you’re your own worst enemy.  But if you wouldn’t let someone talk to your friend in a negative way, why the hell do you allow yourself to speak to yourself that way?  Take the time to do the work and then, do something different.  If you can survive as much as you have treating yourself as you do now, imagine what you can do if you simply believed?