Not gonna lie. There is a constant stream of chatter in my head, seriously, ALL the time. It ranges from deep thinking to random things…do I need the Jo Malone perfume…yes I do it’s a limited edition…well maybe not…but what about those jeans…maybe I’ll write a book…should I go to the movies today…ugh I need to clean the house… You get the picture and that was just in the last 5 minutes. I wake up in the middle of the night and have to tell myself not to start thinking or I’ll really wake up instead of just awake to go to the bathroom – which – ladies can I get a shout out – that’s an aspect of getting older I could do without.
But I’m also very introspective so I think a lot about my life. I think about my choices, again and again and again. I tend to question myself, to think through decisions from a million different angles. To decide and then to rethink it again. I’m hard on myself. Harder I think than anyone else would ever be. Partially, I don’t know that that’s a bad thing. I push myself to levels of excellence. I push myself to do my best at whatever I set my mind to. I strategize my choices and decisions. I’m a planner too, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if it’s used for good rather than beating myself up. Here’s how it played out today. I wanted to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go for an 8 mile walk – I’m training for a half marathon. Alarm goes off and I laid in bed for a minute – so cozy. Next thing I know, it’s after 6 a.m. Ok, so in reality, so what? It’s 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, I have nothing really to do today, but it wasn’t my plan. The ensuing conversation I have with myself is actually talking myself off the cliff. Ok Lisa, doesn’t really matter. It’s ok if you’re day starts a little later. Don’t let yourself be time driven, it’s not that big of a deal, let it go. I did and it was, of course, fine. But these are the things I think through, that I beat myself up about. And I guarantee you that I’m in recovery and have actually gotten better – believe it or not.
When I make a mistake though or when I fall short of my own expectations – brutal. Again, I’m trying to be in recovery about it, but it’s incredibly hard. Can anyone relate to me on that? The negative self-talk is crazy. Truth is, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes, and I’m learning that beating myself up about it doesn’t do me any good. The over analyzing doesn’t do me any good. It’s that idea of let your yes be yes and your no be no. I need to do that even in my own mind about my own stuff (and I’ve got plenty). I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think a lot of people would maybe not raise their hand but silently giving me an “Amen Sister” to the idea that they tend to beat themselves up, just like I do. Comes back to that self-forgiveness idea that I talked about a while ago. It’s ok to see a mistake, but have to accept, make amends with yourself or others, and then move forward.
This idea really smacked me across the head recently when a friend shared a bit of wisdom from a book she read. “In your whole life nobody has ever abused you more than you have abused yourself. And the limit of your self-abuse is exactly the limit you will tolerate from someone else.” The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz. (Side note here – the basic principles in this book made a lot of sense to me – the spiritual aspects were not something I aligned with as a Christian – but the principles were great) So this was one of those things said to me at just the right time. I think you can hear things from people at times and they might just bounce off. But if they hit you at just the right time, you might be open to hearing and applying. That’s how this hit me. It really made me think about relationships I’ve had and the constant feeling of not being enough or not meeting that person’s expectations.
It really hit me from the standpoint of the tipping point. The tipping point where I felt like my eyes opened to what was happening and that was not ok anymore. The whole thing really made me think about the way I talk to myself too. If I’m setting the standard for what’s ok, I need to change that standard. I already know this but it helped drive home how important it is that I treat myself well, with kindness. I need to give myself a break, remember that I’m not perfect, remember that making a mistake or bad decision does not make me a bad person. IF I can shift the way I think about the way I treat myself then what expect from others will shift. That may come with some tough decisions, decisions about whether a relationship is healthy or toxic and stopping if it’s the later. BUT, if I can do that, if I can treat myself kindly and expect the same – I’ll be healthier, happier and more able to live out the life God designed me for…using all my gifts and abilities well, being a good steward what He’s given me. That’s the end game, this is just one step along the way.