When I read some commentators in the media and online, there’s a backlash against expectations of achieving anything during Lockdown. Time is still passing though, days, weeks and months now and what? We let the year go past without making any effort to live into the promise of our lives, the potential we have?
I get it. Everyone is stressed and anxious and ‘Oh My God! Its Coronavirus!’
It’s like life has stopped. And for most of us, it hasn’t, the world may have paused significantly, but its still turning.
To all those who have personally affected by the virus, you have by deepest sympathy and condolences.
But its not the virus that has affected our lives so significantly. Its the reaction, the Lockdown and the media.
Personally, I’m against giving anything that much control over me.
I did do so. Tuesday of this week. I watched Good Morning Britain from start to finish. Three hours of Piers Morgan ranting and everyone else either pandering or soothing him, with a hapless junior Government Minister thrown into for target practice.
And the ad breaks? Jeepers, there were worse, the Government infomercial with wailing ambulance sirens and a deep voice intoning the dangers of stepping outside of your home.
It’s taken me until today to feel even remotely like usual self. I stressed out and melted down, reverting to my old subconscious patterns of dealing with life by avoidance with over eating, attention jumping from one online headline to the next, tv on netflix automatically rolling into the episode. Mindless internet shopping filling baskets with clothes I don’t want and will never wear, I’m out of control on stress.
Achieve something? Not when you’re immersed in stress like that, no.
But I believe I’m worth more than that automatic reaction that leads to me self sabotaging my best efforts to live into the best version of myself. These two are incompatible.
What we have to decide to do is not what we want (in the moment) but what is right for us.
What we want in the moment is usually a temporary reprieve from our feelings, a brief respite through using a substance or behaviour that ultimately makes us feel horrible, often even while we’re doing it. Certainly, the limited pleasure that comes with that behaviour is fleeting, the self hatred, dislike, the sense of betrayal we have for our own self lasting much longer.
Why do we keep self sabotaging? Do you really believe you’re not worth more?
Still? after all the time and work I’ve done, yes, sometimes I do still think I’m not enough.
That damage is still there, deep inside of me. There’s a little girl who’s scared, tired, sore, broken in heart and spirit waiting for another blow to fall. Wanting to be loved and instead given a biscuit or chocolate to shut her up.
We have to express our pain to allow ourselves to heal.
We must soothe the broken parts of us and bring them into our whole, to be loved and treasured.
What do I want for myself this year, regardless of whether we stay in Lockdown for weeks, months or more?
I want to live into that best version of myself that I know is inside of me. And sometimes, to do that I will need to say No to things I feel I want to enable me to say YES to being true to the best of me.
And I need to take care of myself, to soothe that child inside and give her what she needs and protect her. She doesn’t need chocolate or carbs or alcohol or shopping.
The child inside of me needs to feel safe, secure, loved and protected. To be free to be a child, carefree, funny, joyous, not worried about what might happen if she did this or that happened or what mood her parents are in.
Self love and self compassion means discipline, setting boundaries on my own behaviour so I keep myself feeling safe, secure, loved and protected.
When I/she are both feeling calm, safe, loved, I make better choices. I have full use of all my adult learning and experience.
Rest, relaxation, discipline, love. For me that means eating healthy, eating what I need and no more, getting to bed early, asleep by ten. Rising early and out with Amelia early. Writing, meditating, doing my work, inner and outer.
Go beyond what you think you want, the momentary gratification of the senses. Delve deep into your true wants and desires, what are they? To be healthy? To do good work? To live a life that means something?
Those are your true wants and needs and desires. And you can step up into living the best version of yourself even now, even in Lockdown and that to me, is a worthy goal. And an achievable one. Yes, even now.
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