The Daily Me (Journal) Perfect – 11/23/2016

Today’s prompt comes from 100 Inspirational Journal Prompts by Melissa Bolton @ The Mogul Mom

Your idea of a perfect day.

This prompt presents a slippery slope for me. For years now, I have been trying to get away from “perfect” because it is a symptom of the OCD that plagues me. I would plan out my days from the moment I woke up until I went to bed. I sought control and perfectionism over my plans and heaven help anyone or anything that derailed them, including myself. Unless you’ve spent decades enslaved to perfectionism, you have no idea how a prompt like this can shackle you again.

Through intense therapy, Mindfulness and spending a year focused on the word Acceptance, I have learned not to expect perfect days. Instead, I get up, go through my routines and allow the day to unfold as it will. I do have hopes for each of my days. I try to make it through the day by writing something, reading a book I am reviewing, spending some quality time with my dad, and watching something on Netflix or Hulu.

I can afford this because I lead a fairly simple life. I have no one to answer to but myself – no husband or children – so I can decide how much time I will spend doing any one thing. I have little stress, mostly just what I put on myself. And since there are some areas of my life where perfectionism still crops up (mainly my routines and writing), I can’t afford to pressure myself by inventing a perfect day. I’ll just take it moment by moment.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #65 — Changes in the wind…

For this week’s question, Calen still has us pondering prompts from Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall. 

yesterday-i-was-clever-so-i-wanted-to-change-the-world-today-i-am-wise-so-i-am-changing-myself

What have you struggled to change in your own life?

It would probably be easier to list what I haven’t tried to change, but I will give this a shot. Time for a list, I suppose.

My body – I’ve been overweight most of my life and have tried just about every diet out there and nothing seems to work. I will admit, I am a carboholic and I know carbs keep weight on you, especially the bad carbs, not veggies, the good carbs. I love bread. OMG do I ever love it. Cakes, cookies, pies, chocolate, ice cream and donuts too. It does me no good to try to eat those things in moderation. It won’t happen. If any of those are around, I will eat them until they are gone. I am not giving up though. I know that somewhere out there, there is a diet that will work for me.

Self-Worth – I’ve struggle with this since I was a child. I never felt like I was good enough, not to my parents, my siblings, friends or teachers in school. As I grew older, I became careless and reckless, seeking my own worth through the mates I chose – usually jerks, narcissists, and/or abusers. I could never measure up and felt like a burden and failure. I still find myself feeling this way.

My Life with Mental Illness – This has probably been my biggest struggle: how to live with mental illness, all of its harshness and destruction. Unfortunately, this will be a life-long battle and although I’ve made a few changes here and there (my attitude toward it and practicing Mindfulness), I will never completely rid myself of it.

My Attitude – I have issues with some people. I can’t tolerate those who are willfully ignorant. It’s not that they can’t learn and grow; it’s that they don’t want to do so. They are blissfully stuck in whatever dogma they’ve been taught and refuse to change. I’ve had to learn to just accept them as is and decide if I want to be engaged with them or not. Some days, its a losing battle.

Those four are my worst struggles. I could probably go on for an eternity, but many of my issues overlap and I am not in the mood to be redundant today.

 

The Daily Me (Journal) Wishes – 11/22/2016

Today’s prompt comes from 100 Inspirational Journal Prompts by Melissa Bolton @ The Mogul Mom

I wish everyone had___

I love ‘wishing’ prompts. They allows me to explore the what-ifs and what-could-bes of life. This one is especially endearing because it takes me out of my own head and allows me to explore for others.

So what do I wish everyone had? Respect for their fellow human beings, creatures great and small, and for Mother Earth and her limited resources. Too often these days, I see and read about divisiveness all over the world. The us/them mentality is ripping this entire world apart. It seems that certain people have decided that some humans are lesser-thans and unworthy of respect, love and compassion. Some have also decided that Humans are more important than other species that populate this planet. Creatures are going extinct daily. And Mother Earth is being destroyed so that some wealthy people can continue to line their pockets off Her resources.

I’ve heard often that in our modern technological age, the world has grown smaller, and yet, we’ve never been so disconnected from one another. Selfishness and greed rules the world. You cannot respect others unless you step outside of your own desires and see their hopes, wishes, and needs. You cannot respect other species unless you see how vital their existence is for the survival of this planet. And you cannot respect Mother Earth until you realize that we have this one planet and She has to sustain us all.

 

Thoughts on Being Worthy

I had a breakthrough this morning while watching Tony Robbins’ I’m Not Your Guru on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it, you should. Really, you should). Truthfully though, it was not the first time I’ve had this eye-opening experience, but I think this is the first time I’ve felt it deep in my heart and not just in my head. I’ve asked myself so many questions over my life related to my relationship with my mother, my siblings, my friends, my teachers in school, my other classmates, my partners and even my employers. Questions like, why did my mom almost always chose my siblings over me? Why did my creative writing teacher in high school tell me that I would never be a writer? Why don’t my friends choose to spend more time with me? For that matter, why don’t my own siblings want to spend time with me? Why did none of my partners ever want to really get to know who I am? Why did they always want me to be someone I wasn’t? Why even bother to be with me if I wasn’t their ideal companion? Why? Why? Why? And it all boils down to the very same question… Why am I not good enough?

In the film, Tony told the audience to close their eyes and think back to their earliest memory. I did so. I have two that stick out in my mind the most. The first is waking up during the tonsillectomy when I was about five years old. I’d had Reye’s Syndrome* and as a result, I went into a coma. For whatever reason, my tonsils were shot and had to be removed. I remember waking up and feeling the intense pain and the metallic taste of blood in my mouth and crying out. Then I was put back under so the surgery could be completed. The next memory that I have is related to that experience. I was lying on the couch in the living room, eating either jello or ice cream because my throat was sore from the surgery, and I heard my parents arguing about me. I remember being upset and crying because I didn’t know what I had done that made them fight. I still don’t remember what they were fighting about, just that they kept saying my name and they were shouting back and forth in the kitchen.

So my two earliest memories are both traumatic memories. And I think that early memory of my parents fighting about me left the impressions on me that I had done something horrible, or that I was a burden, and definitely that there was something wrong with me that disqualified me as being worthy in everyone’s eyes. I grew up with the feeling that I was the sickly child that needed to be guarded and protected, but also kept at arms’ length – meaning that if I was shown too much love or affection, then perhaps I would become sick again and possibly die this time. I mainly got that impression from my mother. The running theme was not to let me get too excited or exhausted because I could have a relapse. That’s what the doctors told my parents. I am not sure though that the doctors meant for that to go on until I was ten to twelve years old (I cannot recall exactly when my parents stopped being overly protective of me as my memory is very fuzzy now about that time of my life). I wasn’t allowed to play hard or help mom in the kitchen with dinner. Instead, I was told to go sit down with my dad. So I felt abandoned by mom because she pushed me off on my dad. With dad, if he was watching television, which he usually was, I had to be quiet until commercials came on and only then could I talk and ask questions about whatever we happened to be watching – generally football, baseball or a western. Sometimes my questions would get answered, but not always, and of course, commercials only lasted less than three minutes, so a lot of my questions went unanswered or rushed through. Eventually, I just stopped asking questions. With my mom, if I did go to her for advice, I generally got stories about her horrible childhood and that I should be thankful that I don’t have her childhood and to just suck it up, or at least that is how it felt. So I stopped asking her for advice or even telling her anything about my life.

I guess what I am getting at here is… I learned early on that I was not good enough. Not good enough because I wasn’t a healthy child. Not good enough to play with my siblings or cousins. Not good enough to help my mom cook. Not good enough to get my questions answered or be given advice. Not a good enough writer. Not the perfect mate or lover. Not a good enough friend. Just not good enough, period. And those early messages stuck with me my entire life. As a result, I have become guarded, introspective, withdrawn, suspicious, doubtful, and self-sabotaging. I will jump into things with all the passion in the world, and then wait for the proverbial shoe to drop – someone will think I am not good enough and if it is not someone else, eventually I will think it of myself. That gnawing doubt always lingered – What if I really am not good enough?

I am now 50 years old and for the past 45 years of my life, I have lived with the pain of not being enough. This pain has prevented me from building solid relationships, friendships, life goals and job opportunities. It has made me feel like a phony, imperfect, and unlovable. It has driven me to the brink of suicide too many times to count. And it has fueled depression for the majority of my life. I don’t accept praise because I don’t believe people are sincere. I don’t trust people because I am scared I won’t live up to their expectations. I don’t seek attention because I am scared people will discover that I am really not good enough. Worst of all, I wallow in self-pity.

Tony Robbins would tell me to fucking get over myself. To stop believing the story I’ve been telling myself all my life. That if I am going to blame everyone (including myself) for this pain, to also blame them for the good things about my life. He would tell me to list those good things. To believe in them. But most importantly, he would tell me that I AM GOOD ENOUGH.

So what is this incredible breakthrough that I had this morning? I need to stop “thinking” and start being and doing. I know I’ve been told this many times before from friends and therapists. I’ve even told myself this. So what makes me think this time will make a difference? Because for once in my life, I am going to start listening to my heart and not my fucking head. I am going to begin living a heart-centered life. If I want love, peace, joy, acceptance, involvement, and success in my endeavors, I won’t find any of that by living in my head and letting my mind tell me the same old repeated lies it has for decades. Only by listening to my heart and believing in myself can I begin to live the life I truly deserve. Because I really am Worthy. Thank you for the reminder, Tony Robbins.

*Reye’s Syndrome is a serious disease resulting from a fever treated by aspirin. For more information, please visit the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation website.

02.12.16 – End of Day Notes

What I did today: I actually slept for 6 hours last night. Shock. Shock. Got all of my writing projects completed. Did some grocery shopping. And now I have a sinus headache, so I am thinking about going to bed early.

What I learned today: The mere mention of a chance of snow, no matter how slight, empties grocery store shelves.

What I am most proud of today: I didn’t run over anyone in Walmart. I was tempted, but I resisted.

What did you do today? Learn any lessons? Have a reason to be proud? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!

Bittersweet

Get a tissue ready… this will leave you in tears. Such a beautiful lesson though.
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Impromptu Promptlings

This morning Jane over at Making it write wrote a beautiful story about a stray orange tabby who adopted them once and introduced himself as Ginger. It reminded me of one of my own blog posts from February last year, Gray Guy. But there was a bit more in my journal about Gray Guy about ten days later. Thought I’d post it here today to add to Jane’s tribute to HER tabby…

“…every happening, great or small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us;
and the art of life is to get the message.”

I ran across this Malcolm Muggeridge quote years ago, and it rang so true to me I wrote it down. Jesus was a master at taking ordinary things and turning them into teaching tools. Things like bread and wine skins, mustard seeds and coins, fish and flowers. Humans are visual creatures. Perhaps that’s…

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