Sunday, July 01, 2007

An important insight - getting out of my own way

A facebook bulletin entry from June 28: “I’m the one who’s stopping myself from being happy and enjoying my life right now. I’m the only one who keeps telling me that I should be different, do different things, to change NOW. Therefore, I’m the one creating the guilt I feel when I don’t live up to these expectations. For whatever reason, I think I should be able to snap my fingers and become this other person. Well it doesn’t work that way, and being hard on myself is actually slowing down my progress by making me depressed. So I’m just going to have to drop these insanely high standards and have faith that I will get where I want to be without ‘should-ing’ myself to death. I have been satisfied living on little steps and faith before, so I know I can do it again.”

To elaborate further, the harder I try to make myself do things, the less I do them. I have this intrinsic rebellion to anything that comes with a “have to” instead of a “want to”. Even when they are things I actually want to do, that desire is overshadowed by the “must” and the “should”, to the point where I just become obstinately paralyzed. Having 42 things plus all the other goal lists, having the list of foods I “can’t” eat, this lists of things I should do, the lists of things I should not do, it is all so constricting I just bust the whole program up by refusing to stick to any of it.

I want to wake up every morning and feel FREE. That won’t happen when I have so many have-to’s. I want to let myself just do what I want to, including things that are on my list of shoulds, but without feeling like I’m fulfilling an obligation, without pressure of having to get up and do the same thing tomorrow. I’ve gotten more good things done when I just do them because I want to. The trick is to accept where I am at, and have faith that I will want to do things that will carry me forward in the right direction. I did the most yoga in my life when I just wanted to do it, not when I told myself I had to do it. I remember saying to a friend “I love yoga, I want to do it ALL THE TIME.” And I was doing it all the time, daily in fact, despite being in University.

There have been a number of times I really felt like swimming, but didn’t. I can talk myself into or out of anything. Trouble is, I usually talk myself into the unhealthy thing and out of the healthy thing. I want to reverse that.

I have been feeling unhappy lately, with days almost as bad as I used to have when I was severely depressed. With this insight, I now attribute these experiences to my incessant “musterbation”. What am I telling myself when I do this? That I am not good enough the way I am. That I am unacceptable and unlovable until I reach that ideal person. I am not paying attention to my process. The harder I push, the less progress I make. It is a hard habit to break, not having faith in yourself to make decisions in present moments. I am so afraid I’ll make the wrong choices each moment, that I plan them ahead of time, and then feel so trapped by them that I rebel.

I know I’ve made the most spiritual, emotional and physical progress in my life when I just let go and enjoyed myself. When I trusted the universe to lead me on the path. So I know there are impulses in me to do good for myself. If I follow them instead of trying to whip myself from behind, I will surely benefit more. I will surely find myself swimming, doing yoga and cooking great meals, just because I want to. I have to let go of the reins, shush my superego, and learn how to FLOW again. I want to live my life from the gut, not the director’s chair.

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I sometimes write things that I don't really mean or believe. These are not to be taken literally, nor as definitive statements about me or my beliefs. Thoughts and emotions are transient, and I reserve the right to change my mind, generalize, exaggerate, give strong opinions, or write other possibly offensive statements. I don't lie, but I may say something that's not true to check whether I believe it or not, or to make a point. Call it creative license. This is my blog, and do have the right to say what I want. I'm using it in creatively therapeutic ways. Whatever the reader may think of me and my words, please believe that my core intentions are always good and I never willingly hurt anyone.