I am writing a little out of order this month. To be honest, I have not finished reading STIFF yet, which was projected to be finished by the end of March. So I am a bit behind. But I keep telling myself that it is okay. I have made some choices the past few weeks that could have been made differently, such as prioritizing my reading time over watching Scandal, but I didn’t. I chose to get sucked into the television, just like anyone else who watches that show does.
…Because it is really good.
Either way, I can’t be upset about those choices. All I can do is change my decisions starting at this very moment. Choosing to spend my time accomplishing the tasks on my wedding to-do list, finishing this book and starting the next one and prioritizing time with family. Perhaps taking the challenge to stay off of Facebook and away from television shows entirely for the remainder of my stay in the PNW would help me in this regard….
Or, I can choose to watch Scandal until I run out of episodes. In either case, I have to be okay with the choices I make and not feel guilty about it.
But I do. I do feel guilty about it. I feel like I am not doing enough. Or as I like to name myself, I feel lazy and non-contributory to society. These are not very good examples of positive self-talk. They are thoughts brought on by the little voice inside of my own head that criticizes. No one else is criticizing me for taking a relaxing break– which was in fact ordered by the doctor. No one except for me.
We are our own worst critics, as the saying goes. But why? Where does that come from? Who is setting all of these expectations of ourselves to be something specific, or behave a certain way, or fulfill X number of to-do list items in a given day? I feel that it must have come from somewhere originally, but now, in my adult life, it only comes from my own self. The self that has consistently felt inadequate for a long time.
I have talked about this before, but it is a lifelong journey to overcome issues with self-esteem and thoughts of inadequacy. Someone recently told me that I have to find my inner cheerleader, because the thoughts inside my head won’t really ever completely go away. Not everyone that I meet will like me. Not every person I meet will share whatever emotion I am asking them to have in a given moment.
It is unrealistic. So in those moments, I have to be excited, sad, hopeful, etc. for myself.
This is a part of my journey that I really have a hard time with. It is so much easier to listen to the negative thoughts in my head than to overcome them with positive ones. But, I am working on it. I am writing in my own personal journal daily to work through some of my triggers and re-direct the negative thoughts I have about myself.
It is so important for all of us to find ourselves. Our true selves, and be confident in that person. We live in a world that demonstrates hate too frequently and is untrustworthy. We live in a society where body image and accomplishments are the focus of success. It is a very “should” focused society that puts a lot of pressure on all of us. I am only 27 years old and find myself having a hard time with the influences out there. Then I think about the young girls and teenagers in today’s world with all the media influence and it scares me how much harder it must be for them to live up to whatever expectations they have created in their own heads.
Not only do we need to be our own cheerleaders, but we need to start cheering for others. Demonstrating congratulations and support, showing compassion and letting people know that we do see them, we do hear them and they are enough. I believe that people don’t hear these words. We may all think them, but people aren’t saying them. Out loud.
Encouragement can be contagious…
And who knows…maybe you will make a difference.
In light of this, I have chosen the book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” to read for April/May. I am hoping it provides some insight and comfort for me in moments like today, when I’m feeling a little lost. I am hoping that it inspires me to inspire others.
Out with the ‘shoulds’!