But you know what changed my experience with this? When I lowered the bar. Yup. I changed my expectations. The ONLY thing I asked myself to do was to notice what it FELT like in my body when I made the choice to stay downstairs when I REALLY wanted to be climbing into bed. And I only asked myself to notice this for micro-moments. That’s it.
The demands of self-care can so easily become one more expectation on your plate. And then you start to resent the acts of self-care altogether. Sounds familiar, right? And before you know it, your inner Judge Judy is criticizing you even more because you failed, yet again, to succeed in your self-care attempts. Ohhhhh, it’s such an exhausting cycle!
We’ve ALL got that inner Judge Judy who loves to yammer on in unsupportive and even downright mean ways inside our minds. And sometimes this voice becomes so routine that we stop noticing its presence and it simply runs in the background. But this doesn’t stop its words from impacting how we feel.
A reader of last week’s blog about secrets and sexual abuse responded with a powerful question. And it might just be a question you share with him…
My secret had me convinced that the true me couldn’t be shared. Instead, I believed it was necessary to create an alternate version of me that would be accepted by others.
Most of us want to believe we are good people, right? So what happens when we discover we’ve been hurting others in ways we didn’t realize? Well, shame is often the first feeling to show up. But it doesn’t have to be the last…
What happens when our focus moves so wholeheartedly to the final goal that we lose touch with the micro-moments that make up our journey toward it? It means that our micro-moments stop mattering to us. They become an annoyance instead of the part of our life through which nudges and guidance can come. Isn’t that wild to realize?
As I moved into a ‘Soft I Don’t Know’, I felt relief. My shoulders became lighter. I started laughing again. It became easier to be present without working so hard at it. My mind relaxed even though all the solutions weren’t yet here. My anxiety and sense of responsibility to find all the fixes for my stress dissipated and my list of worries grew shorter despite the fact that uncertainty remained.
It’s hard to hear the wisdom of our inner compass when we’re moving at the speed of light. Yet we don’t need to bring the pace to a fast and complete halt to begin to feel better.
The year after I graduated from college, I was in the early throes of navigating a chronic illness that lasted another 8 years and completely altered the life that I’d known up to that point.