On: self-aware and self-care

I’ve been in a self-development phase for at least the last 4 years. I realize I’ve manifested many of the changes that have come my way. When I think about them that way, I’m actually pretty proud of everything I’ve done. But moments still exist when I get down on myself about where I am, how I am, who I am.

I’m developing that awareness muscle for those moments and that negative thought spiral. I can’t deny that it’s difficult. It’s a sort of muscle memory, or maybe a neurological one. But I recognize doing things in my old way doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t gain me any happiness. It doesn’t provide me with any positive wealth.

I’m also, more recently, in a phase where I’m trying to understand why I feel what I feel. I’m especially trying to drill down to the origin of the feeling–from where it stems, to what part of my personality does it speak. The most difficult thing which I aim to apply is learning to love and accept the things I do not like about myself.

Did I mention I’m a perfectionist?

Well, I am. Not the type-A kind, though. I’m the kind that feels like I’m lazy so I freak myself out in order to spring into action. I’m also the kind that will spend hours on Instagram and not feel like she’s just lost hours of her life, nor recognize that she’s just gained pounds of insecurity from comparisons.

Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” from my previous post was recommended to me for a particular line. “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

Yes, that was me a week ago falling down, deep into a comparison spiral. Yes, I am aware of how self-absorbed those thoughts become. Why is s/he doing this to me? Why is s/he trying to compete with me? Uh, hello? Maybe s/he isn’t? Could it be possible that s/he is really just doing something…for her/himself?

No–it is really all about me. At least in this blog it is. When I’m going down that spiral, I can only see myself and the carnival mirrors around me reflecting back distorted images of my gigantic face, my broken, gnarled arms, my bulging midriff, my humongous clown feet.

I am learning my perfectionism is Fear talking. Fear that what I have and what I am are not nearly and never will be enough. But I don’t aspire for debt! I aspire for abundance!

Somewhere in me I know I can be my own judge on what’s important to act. I’m worthy of judging what I need, and what is right for me. I don’t want to feel unworthy anymore. My values are worthy. They are abundant in worth.

So, to stop that feeling guess what I have to do? Feel them. Sit with them. Drill down to the core of them. That all takes time and energy. The energy I have. The time, though, is sometimes hard to come by.

My personality and my phase in life require me to maintain a good amount of alone time. Alone time while cohabiting a 900-square foot apartment with my man is a challenge. I’m not complaining about my situation, of course. I’m grateful for it. I’m complaining about the effort required to self-care.

It is also difficult for me to balance alone time and social time. I have friends (I think). Sometimes they want to spend time together sooner than I can afford because I have a self-care debt. I have a hard time owning up to this because I think it’s difficult to understand. I find most people to be substantially more social (hello, comparison spiral), but I know I’m worthy of my alone time so here I am.

Bill is working in his office all day. I have been working on my website format and this draft. Mostly I have had some decent alone time today.

On the brighter side to taking the time I need to myself, I find I am becoming more myself when I am around others–I engage better (probably because I’m rejuvenated). Also, I find myself to be funnier. I do tend to make people laugh, intentionally or otherwise.

So, self-awaring and self-caring–is that the right way to say it? They go hand-in-hand. I have to do one in order to have the other. And here I am, doing it. Here’s hoping practice will make me…. not perfect, but able to love myself more.

 

May good things come to you always.

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