Fair warning, I’m feeling like there may be strong language in this post. If that offends you, you might want to skip this one. If you can’t look away from the train wreck, then push on with me into the discomfort.
Okay, so train wreck sounds negative and stronger than the point I am trying to convey. Think of this one as a train conductor that knew he was approaching a break in the track, would most definitely derail, but ended up having enough time to slow down to nearly a stop before leaving the tracks. It was tense enough to cause you some major stress and make you face your current state of existence, but no one was physically injured in the end. That’s how I have been feeling these last few days.
I am on day 9 of a free 21 day meditation series found on chopracentermeditation.com. It’s entitled, Shedding the Weight: Mind, Body, and Spirit! Let me tell you, it’s bringing up some serious shit for me. I’m grateful for this, but it’s not easy. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over time, it’s that my perception is my reality. While working through these meditations, which always come with a daily centering thought, I have realized how much I don’t like some of my perceptions. How limiting they have been, how much bullshit I’ve allowed in my life, and how many times I have let living my best life fall away because I bought in to the insanity. And how LONG I’ve been carrying some of this weight around.
Okay, so some history. I grew up learning that it was expected that I would be the best at everything. I needed to be the best at the sports I played, know all the answers to everything (always), which would translate to straight A’s and being favored by teachers and coaches and adults in general. I needed to be the prettiest, the fittest, the nicest, most polite, etc. This was supposed to make me successful, well liked, and make things “easy” for me. Do you know what it actually did? It made me always second guess myself, compare myself to everyone else on absolutely every level, hold back on things I had great passion for, and become disconnected from others and retreat into my own little mental world. And scared. So, so, fearful. Of everything.
Oh I was able to perform, don’t get me wrong. When the spotlight was on me, I was the best at the sports I played, got good grades, won singing contests, was the anchor of the class newscast, and was quiet, reserved and well spoken. For God’s sake my 4th grade teacher wrote in my signature book that I would be the first woman president of the United States! That should tell you something!!
I never stepped out of line, never broke any rules, never developed any sense of self. I became what others told me I needed to be. I was so afraid of breaking the rules that at the end of one school year (I think it was again 4th grade) they were giving out obsolete text books to anyone who wanted them. I took one. Perfectly legit, right? I was so worried that I had taken something that I wasn’t supposed to have and that my parents would be disappointed in me, that I hid it and gave myself horrible anxiety until I confessed to what I had done. All the while in tears, waiting for the condemnation and lack of acceptance I was sure was coming.
Why do I share this? Not because I want to blame my parents or the other adults in my life, I don’t. I am 100% sure that they were doing what they felt would give me a better life than what they had. And they did that! And I am grateful. I share this, because what I have realized is, this is some of the heaviness that I carry around with me every day. Not physical weight, but emotional and mental heaviness. Not only am I shifting my perspective to realize that experiencing and releasing those old emotions is allowing me to move forward toward living my best life, but it is also giving me the opportunity to share with you that there is hope of experiencing joy, even in the face of other adversity. I may have physical pain, and things that are not yet restored to balance in my immune system, but I am not defined by those things. My perspective is my reality. I am choosing to see things in a different way. The very essence of who I am, is not connected to that pain, nor limited by the body, or my thoughts.
So, why do wellness journeys suck? They don’t. That’s my old way of thinking, but I find myself wanting to fall back into that old pattern of limiting behavior. Of being so afraid to disappoint someone, to not be accepted, to not be right or good enough, that I make sure that I fail before I even get to the point that someone else could point out that I failed. When I found myself feeling scared of the fact that I was being vulnerable by starting this blog (which by the way is about the 4th try at blogging – in the past I always found a reason I couldn’t keep up on it and quit), that I was falling behind in the expectation I had set for myself with physical activity to try to best this fibromyalgia, and feeling impossibly isolated and alone, my first thought was; “Wellness journey my ass, this sucks!” What I am grateful for today, is that I was quickly able to turn that around and realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That the rain has finally stopped for a bit, the sun is out, I have two daughters I love and get to experience their wonderful spirits, and I am enough. One step at a time y’all. Thanks for reading.
In warmth, Bobbie