Your perspective sometimes lies. You think you’re being self-aware but you’re buying into an excuse to relieve your doubts and fears.
I thought I had my life in control. I thought I had been doing the right thing by discarding the unessential to focus on what was necessary. The trouble is that I was counting on my perspective to be the reality.
My routine of walking every day for exercise had dwindled to only walking when I absolutely had to get somewhere. I had a great idea for a painting, and got lost in doing what I love do. Busy with more important things than have to take the time to exercise, my rationalization to skip my exercise seemed reasonable.
I would only take the required steps from my car to the grocery store. The closest parking space became my priority.
My son came to visit. He noticed how sedentary I had become.
“Use it or lose it,” he entreated.
After that I couldn’t help but recognize how much l would talk myself out of doing something that’s good for me because I felt lazy. I wanted to take better care of myself, but found ways to legitimize any excuse. “I’m too tired”, “I’ll definitely get to this tomorrow”, “I’m on a roll and I don’t want to disrupt the creative flow” were just a few of the justifications that passed my test for validation.
But it wasn’t just exercise that I stopped doing. When I was unable to continue some action I had faithfully taken in the past, after an interval of inaction, I had a hard time getting back in the routine of doing it again. I would procrastinate and ended up doing nothing at all.
We are creatures of habit. It doesn’t matter if the activity is something we love to do or if it’s something we do out of necessity. If the habit is broken, it’s like having to start again. And it doesn’t seem to matter if we have to or not. We still put up resistances making it harder to commit to the change.
Recently I had the flu that lasted for a month. I was sick and had no energy, so I didn’t write on my blog. I tried, but finally had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to. Better to rest and to take care of myself, I thought. When I finally regained my energy and I felt better, you might think I would take action, but I didn’t.
I found every reason imaginable to excuse myself for becoming so inactive. It’s hard to think of something to write when you haven’t written for a long while, it’ll be easy to get back to it when some really good idea comes to me, and I deserve a little rest after having to endure being sick, were valid excuses, I thought.
I’d find other projects to keep me busy. I accepted invitations I wouldn’t normally accept when I was committed to posting on my blog every week. I began to prepare more fancy dishes because I just had to try that recipe making the rounds on Facebook.
Finally, one day I had to face the truth. I was procrastinating. I had allowed myself to become a victim again. Full of fear, doubt and worry, I became anxious. I began to itch all over.
Looking up itching in one of my favorite books -Heal Your Body by Louise L. Hay-the probable cause for itching read, “Desires that go against the grain. Unsatisfied. Remorse. Itching to get out or get away.”
Our bodies tell us the truth, I’ve found.
That sounded right. I’d been reacting to my fears and not to my consciousness. My perspective had been clouded because of not wanting to have to stand up for myself and control my situation. It was as if I had become another person, someone who I didn’t recognize. I had always been eager to do what I love.
Once I woke up to the fact that my doubts, anxiety and fear were causing me to cower, I was able to easily reclaim my power. I knew now that I would write whenever I decided I would.
But just to make sure that I’d follow through, I made a commitment to write every day for a month. A month is a long time and enough time to reclaim a habit.
This is the first of my 500 words writing sessions, and I’m looking forward to what will come up next.
And the icing on the cake is that after writing this blog post, going back to painting was just as easy. If you work through any hesitancy toward change in one area of your life, you’ve worked through every other obstacle you’ve talked yourself into.