I’ve been going through a period of uncertainty of late, confused about what I should and should not be doing in my life. I feel now, like it has been a process of letting go what was and a figuring out of what should be.
Change doesn’t come easily for me, which is why, I think, I have found it so hard to let go of some of the things that have served me well for so long. My identity has forever been wrapped up in the fact that I focus so much on my health; I have updated anyone who will listen, on my latest exercise regime or the fad diet that I was trying. I thought that I had all the answers; that my way was only way.
Even with all of my focus being on my health, I have never been happy with what I saw in the mirror. Regardless of what the scales told me, I have never been skinny or toned or pretty enough. Regardless of trying all of the latest super foods or wonder vitamins, I have never felt the picture of health and contentment that I envisioned in my head.
The same with my personality. As much as I hate to admit it, I have always been more of a talker than a listener and I was never happier than when talking about me, myself and I. When having a conversation, I would spend the whole time that I wasn’t talking, thinking about what I would say if and when my companion would finally shut up.
Everything I did was a million miles an hour. I am one of those people who lives by a never ending to do list, my day planned out to the minute . I prided myself on my multi-taking abilities but in reality, things were only half done or missed entirely and I was often chasing my tail. It resulted in me constantly living in fight or flight mode and probably not much fun to be around.
My measure of success has always been material and even though I want for nothing, it still never felt like enough.
In short, I have wasted years striving for perfection in every area of my life and regardless of what I have done, I have never once achieved it.
I have been aware of this for a while now and have been actively working to change it but as I said, change does not come easily to me. This means that I have been resistant to every change I’ve tried to make. Last week for example, I went for a trial at a very expensive gym, even though the thought of going to the gym filled me with dread. I had a two week internal battle about whether I should or should not join, my ego trying to persuade me that I needed this exclusive gym environment in my life. Common sense won out in the end when I reminded myself that my current routine involves walking and lots of yoga at home; I didn’t need a gym for that.
Slowly but surely though, I am noticing some success. I realised the other day that I now handle situations completely differently than I once would have. In a particular past situation, I know that I interfered and was judgemental and tried to influence; yet faced with an almost identical situation two years later, I have not had any of those impulses.
I am more aware of listening, really listening and not just waiting my turn, and then thinking before I do speak. I consider whether something really needs to be said, only offer advice when asked and try to make sure that my words are kind.
Even though I’m not training like I used to, when I look in the mirror, sometimes I like what I see. Not in a, “God you’re beautiful,” arrogant kind of way but more of a, “you’re good enough,” way. I’m appreciating my health and my strength and the wonder of the human body. My clothes might feel a little tighter but instead of reacting by pushing myself physically to shed the pounds, I’m trusting the process and sticking with what I know that my body is asking for at the moment.
My ego is constantly trying to take me back to how I was and I have to be ever vigilant, questioning my thoughts and actions to ensure that everything I do is moving me forwards. As ever, I am a work in progress; but I do feel buoyed that I am noticing small changes. I’m being kinder to myself and those around me and my measure of success now, is the health and happiness of myself and those that I love.