Saturday, August 6, 2011

My vision board is not selfish...I tell myself. Do I approve?

Blogging, I find, brings a lot of things into question.  There's a fresh awareness that springs from wondering how my entries are perceived.  After my post on my collage, now renamed my "Vision Board" by my vibrancy coach (that's a term I made up for what she's doing for me), I became very self-conscious about it.  Concerned that you would view the emphasis on myself, and not on being a wife and mother, as being shallow and self-absorbed.  Marnie's feedback was just swell.  She reminded me that it is our responsibility to ourselves and the universe to be our best selves.  My definition of my best self is unique and our uniqueness is a key part of God's creation.  Apparently, animals share the same DNA, but human DNA is absolutely unique.  For a purpose.  So I give myself permission and encourage myself to focus on being my best self. 

Long ago, when my 23-year old was very young, I read a book about the pressure of our current culture on being a "good mother" and how, trying to live up to impossible standards and not honoring yourself, actually makes you a bad mother.  I had to learn to put myself first, some of the time;  otherwise, I absolutely could not provide good parenting for my son.  It was, and still is, a difficult balance to maintain and I feel frustrated, sad, and angry about the pressure I feel from within to not focus on myself because it is "selfish".  I don't think that's what God intends for us. 

I have health issues that must be addressed.  I am 40 pounds overweight, have borderline-high blood pressure.  I suffer from uncomfortable bloating on a regular basis.  My ankles swell.  I have 2 types of skin cancer (the "better" 2 of the 4 types).  I feel uncomfortable in my own body.  And not ttractive, which makes me grumpy.  I am tired ALL THE TIME.  I get sick often.  I am embarassed to see photos of myself because I think "That's not me!"  "That CAN'T be me!

It is imperative to my well-being that I learn better ways of living and that is why, even though we really can't afford it, I am working with Marnie.  We really can't afford for me to continue with my current living habits--they are marching me to an early grave and I have been a willing participant.  Change is hard.  I love my life.  I love God for giving it to me.  I love my husband.  I love my children.  I love my family and friends.  I love horses and dogs and cats.  I love to knit, and crochet, to sew and make music.  I love to read and watch movies.  I love to go for drives with my husband.  I love doing almost anything with him (fighting...not so much--thankfully we spend little of our precious time on that endeavor).  I want to feel vibrant, strong, healthy, flexible, and energetic.  And so I am starting to learn new habits.

One of the most intersting ones, is that of celebrating my successes.  I have always pushed myself to do better.  No matter what I achieve, I barely pause to acknowledge that accomplishment because I am very focused on what I plan to do NEXT.  Learning to stop and really, truly celebrate each victory has been oddly painful.  It hurt, at first, to feel the feelings of celebrating a success.  Because it was impossible to ignore that I have lived for 51 years WITHOUT doing so.  I see how unapproving I have been toward myself.  How unkind.  How terribly judgemental.  The opposite of what Jesus asks me to be.  I judge myself harshly.  I judge others harshly.  What is the opposite of judging?  I think it's approving.  Regardless of whatever imperfections you see...approving.  Or is it accepting?  Or a mix of the two?  So now I celebrate my little successes and when I forget, as often happens when creating a new habit, Marnie gently and firmly reminds me to do it.  In fact, she tells me to stop and do it RIGHT NOW.  And then she waits while I do it.  And a tiny miracle happens.  I feel better.  I feel happy.  I feel hope.  And I want to do MORE of whatever it is that brings those feelings.   


No comments:

Post a Comment