Recently, at our Health Happy Hour, I shared information about the topic “Thank your Stress (& Weight) Away”. While I was planning for that presentation, I worked on a blog I could posted after the presentation that summed up the same information about using gratitude as a recovery for your body. Unfortunately, every time I read it this last week, I couldn’t stand it hearing the drone of my “voice” go on about all the positive ways to stay positive. I skimmed through looking for the connection I was missing in my work, but a week later, I still haven’t found it. So here is what I can tolerate “hearing” come out of my “mouth”…
With the holiday this week, my schedule is slightly different than usual and I didn’t have to get up early. But of course, my eyes popped open at 4AM with the brain wondering when it would be time to get up and go, go, go. I couldn’t fall back to sleep in my bed because hubs has some congestion that causes some distracting snoring. Hoping for a couple more hours of sleep, I grabbed my pillow and headed into the guest bedroom.
What I got instead was a racing mind about all the things I could do with the extra time in my days, then I moved into some bible study time on my phone, and some mindless Facebook perusing.
When I finally crawled out of bed, and turned on the heat (my San Diego blood has a hard time when it’s below 65), I went into my kitchen for coffee, vitamins and more bible time. As I read my devotional about being thankful to God in all situations, I felt myself getting annoyed. I know I’m supposed to be thankful, and I know God blesses those prayers of thanksgiving with joy. But in my heart I was struggling with the act.
Feeling hopeless that reading more bible verses would make me feel any better, I started my typical prayer journaling while thinking about conversations I had over the last few days with my counselor and my bestie…
The other day, I was telling Bestie that I can’t stand myself. I can’t stand listening to myself talk; I don’t like anything that comes out of my mouth; any part that is a part of who I have been so long needs to go; and if it’s good for me, it can’t get out of my life fast enough. I’m apathetic towards my diet, towards fitness, towards God, and towards being a better person. In a true sense of whining with wine, I continued to moan that I am still working on all of these things, and I don’t feel sad or depressed about it, I just….don’t….care. As Joe Diffie once said: “My give a damn’s busted!”
We had a lot of good laughs (hahaha!) as I shared my feelings (yuck!). Then Bestie dropped a hammer by holding up a mirror, giving advice that I would give a friend or client sharing the same information with me.
Bestie said, “Instead of just writing 3 things your grateful for every day, write 3 things about yourself you are grateful for every day.” Right in that moment, “Bestie” turned into “Bitchy”… OK. Not really, I just didn’t like hearing the truth with which I had no desire to comply.
Fast forward a couple of days, and I am talking to my counselor. I share my feelings again (yuck), and she has the same exact response Bitchy, I mean Bestie did! Come on, seriously?! I don’t want to even think about myself never mind focus hard enough to find gratitude about me! UGH! SNARL! SIGH!
So back to my journaling this morning…As I began to write, I complained to God that I didn’t want to feel this way, but I didn’t want to do what I know could help. Part of what I realized as I blabbed on was that I couldn’t get there. I just couldn’t find things to be thankful about from the heart. I wrote things down. It didn’t matter. I didn’t believe a word of what I was saying. Like a teenager who mistrusts her parents, I was rolling my eyes at every grateful thought.
After much lamenting over what to write, I realized that many of the things I am tired of or don’t want to do are because there is a possibility of a “should” being placed in front. We should exercise, we should eat well, we should be grateful, we should be disciplined, we should be diligent with money, we should be kind to ourselves and others. Again, like a teenager, I’m rebelling against all responsibility. It doesn’t matter right now that these are things I enjoy and have benefits. The rebellion is all in the should!
After realizing that the “should” was the issue, I decided to change the tactics that were suggested to me. I decided to be more objective, like a detective trying to find truth and justice (hear me saying that in my greatest superhero voice).
I created 2 columns in my journal: LIES & TRUTH
Then I proceeded to write down a lie I tell myself and I am choosing to believe.
LIE: “I hate all things fitness”
Then counter with a logical, unemotional, truthful response. I didn’t have to feel, I just had to know in my head it was true or it was worth faking the funk until it became truth again. Really trying to stay away from those feelings (yuck!).
TRUTH: “I spend 8-14 hours a day 5-6 days a week being active, teaching others to be active, writing about fitness, reading about fitness, and modeling the fit life, and I am getting burned out.”
I went on to do 3 of these lies and truths. I would be lying if I said it immediately turned things around and I am better. It didn’t. But it did get my slightly less annoyed with who I am.
Since I am annoyed with who I am, and being me means that I take action on self-improvement when I see an opportunity, I didn’t even do anything with the truths. I just brought awareness to the truth and decided to believe the truth a little more than the lie.
Even as I write this, I see that this feeling, this burn out, this cloud of lies I am choosing to believe right now will pass. I see ways that I can help myself….and the first way is accepting that this feeling is a choice.
One last thought…Be patient & kind with you. Allow yourself the time to feel (yuck) this moment if you’re in something similar. Don’t fight it, just recognize it, feel it (yuck), and speak the truth. The rest will come.