I’ve been wanting to write for awhile, but I’ve had so many thoughts whirling around in my head… I am trying to make sense of all of them. This is my attempt.
First, I am so grateful for all of the people in my life that have been causing me to think lately. I have been gaining more empathy for others as I realize so much about myself. Since I have been working on letting go of my addictions, I feel like a fog has been lifted. I am seeing more clearly when I look into the mirror, and when I look at other people – and other people really do serve as mirrors, if we allow it. I feel like my awareness has been heightened.
For the past week, I have been fighting this new level of awareness because it has caused an internal struggle – it has reveled a some insecurities and self-loathing that I was, apparently, in denial about. I have been forced to dialogue about shame and inequities that I can no longer deny. I have seen my flaws in my children and realized that I am not fully loving them as much as they deserve. I felt a conviction that I am holding back because I am not loving the parts of them that are like me. Sadly, I could see the parts of them that are like my husband, and find those characteristics endearing. However, when I would see bits of my personality emerge in them, and it would bring up feelings of frustration- the same goes for other people in my life. Isn’t it ironic?
So, I have been forced to examine why I don’t want my kids to be like me, and I am grateful that my husband has been helping me process this because I usually need to process things externally – which means he’s had to listen A LOT. So, I have realized a few things: I blamed my shitty childhood, abusive relationships, and various other traumas for a lot of my struggles in life. Many people that know me, know that I have been through a lot of shit. (Who hasn’t, really?) So, I think I have used these things as reasons/excuses for my personality flaws. What I have come to realize is that I think that, even if I had a problem-free life (which doesn’t exist), I would still have most of the issues that I have. It’s just how I was created.
It’s a great gift to be able to fit in by acting/pretending, but it is also a lot of work. So, I am going the easier route and working on letting go of acting/pretending to be normal and embracing my eccentricities and quirkiness. Most of you already think I am authentic, and you are right. I have been. I have been as authentic as my level of self-awareness. Now I know more.
What I am learning: Everyone has struggles. Mine are mostly anxiety related. And, you could make the argument that I have reasons to be this way, given my history. However, I do feel like it’s just the way I am wired. Some people are more resilient, I am highly sensitive. In the past, I have worked very hard to supress my vulnerabilities, to be “strong.” I am not. I am delicate and sensitive. I do believe resiliency can be cultivated, and I am working on that.
I also have processing issues – my brain doesn’t work the way I want it to sometimes. Instead of looking for a reason why and trying to pretend that I have it all together, I am working on accepting that my brain doesn’t always cooperate. This means, I forget a lot. I forget names and places. I have no idea where I am going sometimes; I am horrible with directions. I do a lot of things at once and forget many details. I do have the ability to hyper-focus, but I rarely do because I know it means I am shutting everything else out. As a parent, I don’t get that luxury often.
I have sensory issues as well – thank you to my daughter who has helped me put a name to this struggle. I have a very high need for physical input. I used to frustrate me that my children are constantly touching everything, and realizing that I am the same way has helped me not be so judgmental. I need to touch (smell, and taste) everything too. I also need lots of affection and tend to by hyper-sexual. My husband has his hands full over here. On a therapeutic note – exercise helps me self-regulate so much. In addition, I got myself a weighted blanket and I find it very soothing. I wonder how many over-eaters are closet sensory-seekers. I believe it could be a revelation for many people with a food addiction.
These are just a few of the things that have been on my mind; I am working on accepting my struggles and working on them – instead of being in denial or frustrated about them. Now, you may ask, “What does this have to do with your weight?” If you have to ask that, I am going to yell at you: EVERYTHING! read on…
I really want to maintain my weight loss. I am so motivated to become the healthiest person I can be that I am willing to examine everything that could possibly hinder my goals. I must accept myself. If I don’t, I will struggle with the need to constantly bury what I am feeling and who I am. Denying who I am is what leads to unhealthy coping mechanisms (for me, that means an unhealthy abuse of food.) So, there you have it. That is how self-acceptance is related to weight loss/maintenance. Conversely, loving myself allows me to be less frustrated with how I am. I feel more freedom and less anxiety just releasing this into the universe.
C’est la vie.
I would love to hear from you. Have you looked at the internal struggles that may hinder personal growth? What do you think you need to accept about yourself?