There is nothing like taking 43 years to figure this out.
But I will be honest – it wasn’t until just this month – and just a few days ago, in fact, that I finally convinced myself to stop worrying so much about whether who I am, how I act, what I prefer, and how I live is the “right” way to be.
Can you relate?
For 43 years, I have logged daily high quality time lecturing myself about how I need to do more of this, less of that, adjust my preferences or habits “or else”…..and yet after all those years of well-meaning and well-composed self-lectures, here I am.
I am still me. I am still the same me. I still act the way I act and think the way I think. I still have certain preferences and other aversions. I still live the way I live, and no amount of lecturing or motivational speeches or dire predictions can sway me from it.
Then it finally occurred to me – mid-way through this second month of my 43rd year – that maybe there is a reason for it.
Maybe the way I am – the me I am – is exactly who I am supposed to be. Maybe I am me for a reason. Maybe who I am and how I am is exactly what I need, exactly what my loved ones need, exactly what this world needs from me. And maybe if I finally stopped worrying about it I would see this for myself.
Thus far, this instinct has proven to be true.
While we are on the subject, it feels relevant to mention that one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 is to be more mindful of my mental life (my thoughts and the emotions those thoughts provoke) and how my mind affects me.
One thing I am learning from every mentor I turn to is that thinking bad thoughts about myself never leads to good results. Thinking “I am me for a reason” not only feels much better than all that self-judgment, but the more I accept myself just the way that I am, the more I meet a me I really like and enjoy spending time with.
So, as we are at the start of a whole big brand new year, I just thought maybe you would like to join me! 🙂
Maybe January 2014, today, is the perfect moment for you to realize that you are you for a REASON. You are the perfect you. You are exactly as you were always intended to be. You have something that you need, that your loved ones need, that this world needs.
Maybe this is the year you will finally choose to cease from all that worrying, all that holding back, and start offering the gift of YOU just as you are to yourself, to your loved ones, to all of us.
For which we will gratefully say, “Thank you!”
With great respect and love,
p.s. This does not mean that certain unpleasant and detrimental habits (my two-decade battle with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety springs to mind) haven’t been smoothed and even eradicated over the years – those are triumphs we work hard for and deserve to treasure. So that is not what I am referring to here. Rather, I am referring to our underlying sense of ourselves as conscious beings – as beings worthy of being who we are, beings who no longer believe we have to conform or fit in or adjust to the ways and preferences of those around us in order to be “acceptable” and “okay.”
Today’s Takeaway: What are your thoughts on permitting yourself not to worry about whether how you are living your life “as you” is “okay?” I would love to hear your insights!
This post is from this month’s edition of “Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery“