This topic is actually quite appropriate after taking some time off from writing in my blog. Because it’s about the one thing I had been denying myself for years, that upon giving back to myself made a profound difference.
Recovery is a lifelong process. Does that sound depressing? It’s not. Because in my definition of recovery from eating disorders, depression or any addiction, it’s about learning how to LIVE. First learning how to live in peace and contentment…then learning how to live with meaning and joy.
In all the work I’ve done coaching and researching this thing called happiness, I’ve found that there is no such thing as being “done.” We never get “there” when there means a perfect life where everything is completely done and there are no mountains left to climb.
In fact, what I’ve found is that we are “done” when we’ve mastered the art of perspective.
It’s when we can accept what IS — whatever shows up in our lives, however WE show up in this physical and emotional human experience. And when we can trust that no matter what happens, we are always OK.
On this journey to accepting what is, I recently was focused on what it would take to feel “good enough” or feel that I would always have enough.
And even now, years into my recovery, I’ve found out that I was still denying myself something very important: TIME.
Why Time Matters
In denying myself time, the translation was that everything I had to do mattered, but I didn’t matter.
I didn’t matter enough to give myself time. In fact, with my roots as a workaholic, I gave my time to my employer. I gave my time to others. I gave my time to cooking and cleaning and doing errands to make sure I was productive. But I never gave myself the luxury of time for self-care. Part of my recovery was learning to add self-care into my schedule: yoga, reading, writing, reflecting…yes, even adequate sleep.
BUT, after 6 years of this kind of practice, I found out that there was still this little part of me that would fill up my time with “stuff to do” and cut corners when it came to ME.
When I finally focused on why I felt I wasn’t good enough, I had to start looking at what I truly wanted…and what I was still denying myself.
I had to look at all the “not enough” parts of my life.
The biggest not enough was time. I always felt like I had a shortage of time…like there was never enough. This put me in a low level state of frustration and lack. I became a time miser, counting my time, thinking about my time and worrying about my time. In the back of my mind, I’d be wishing there was more.
And still, I started to see the threads of denying myself time.
Time to do what I TRULY wanted to do. If I wanted to learn to garden, to read a book, heck — even to cut up some fresh ginger for my salad…I’d be counting and weighing time, just like the eating disorded behavior of counting calories and weighing food.
Why was it OK to give myself the short end of the stick all the time?
So over the past six months, I’ve been giving myself the gift of time. I’ve started to tune in to what I really want to do, deep in my heart. For example, I may want to read when I think I “should” clean the house. So I’ve started reading and trusting that the cleaning will get done (it does!). I’ve started taking the time to cut up fresh ginger, to garden, to reflect and to just LIVE.
At some point, it started to become ingrained in me that I MATTER. And so do you. You matter.
You deserve to give yourself what you’ve been denying yourself…that will make life that much sweeter, so that food isn’t the only sweetness in your life.
What is it you’ve been denying yourself all these years? What do you wish you could be, have or do?
Find out…get in touch with what you truly desire and start to incorporate it into your life. It’s truly healing. You will learn things about yourself that you never knew. If you commit to it (these things don’t change overnight), you may find that new habits of self-love and self-care start to show up.
Pick one thing you’ve been denying yourself and commit to spending no less than one month cultivating that in your life. Because you deserve it and you matter!