I am beginning to swing back into a post-summer rhythm even though the kids technically don't climb aboard the bus 'til next week. We're making them get up as if it were school, so it's not so tough when it is.
It also means I have returned to the gym for laps and 5:45 a.m. class. During one of those swims I had an epiphany as I often have ... though not during summer swims at the crowded and noisy, but gloriously outdoor pool.
I realized, in a wordless way, that I really am fine the way I am, in the body that I have and with what life has offered me. I had known I was supposed to feel that way, but it finally sank deep into my tissues, as I need it to, to truly grasp any concept entirely.
OMG, I really truly have been fighting myself for so long thinking in my twisted mind that I should have done this, been that or had that. When, in reality, my being and experience are just as they should be.
When, exactly did all of that negativity and judgment of myself begin? Who knows, but our culture has certainly ingrained it more fully in me.
A more relevant question is: Can I release that unhealthy thought pattern NOW?
What would that look like, feel like and change?
It really is rooted in the fact I am NOT in control except in how I respond to life and circumstance. My wise pastoral counselor says responsibility is the ability to respond. I think that may mean I have a choice as to whether or not to respond. My auto mode is always to respond, even if I have not one iota of energy left. And that, in a nutshell, is why I feel such energy loss.
Just because I can, doesn't mean I have to. Somewhere along the line I fell into the nasty practice of believing I had to give all of my gifts away whenever there was a need, even if it meant completely emptying myself [granted, sometimes emptying is filling and restorative]. That really does feed my ego and perceived identity as the helper (enneagram type 2). I lost track of feeding myself. I was the one who could always be counted on to help, figure it out, be creative, etc.
Last night a strange little movie with an innocuous title, Post Grad, reminded me that life is not about where we aim to go, but who we're with ... and as I ponder that I also would add how we're with life.
A line from another movie, one of my all-time favorites, Bridget Jones's Diary, has become my informal mantra: "I like you just the way you are." That's all crazy Bridget wants to hear. That's all any of us wants to be told. Mostly, we need to tell that to ourselves.
My next favorite Bridget Jones line, from the book and not in the movie, is: "But what am I going to do with my life. I know. Will eat some cheese."
Feed myself, she's saying.
• How can I turn off my inner critic?
• How do I escape or counter the deadening and damaging cultural messages?
• In what ways do I fight myself?
• In what ways can I relax that pattern?
• How can I feed myself?
locked and I
need to relax
just a minute to rest
I am the ONLY
one who can