Namaste. It is 5:31 a.m.
I know…Saturday morning, and I’m writing earlier than I usually do on a weekday. Holland has a gymnastics competition in Laurel this morning; timed warm-ups begin at 8, so we’ll be on the road by 6:20 a.m.
Well, I wouldn’t exactly call yesterday a pivotal day, but I do think that there were some major events — two to be exact — that took me by surprise. One was a natural outcome of this journey that I am on; the other was a major setback that, fortunately, I managed to control before I let it consume all of me.
I’ll forgo all the drama and begin with the major setback.
Prior to my decision to begin this journey, Friday afternoons and evenings were, for some reason, tough for me. I could feel sadness creeping in, an unassigned melancholy that I couldn’t attach to an event, anniversary, or upcoming concern. It was just there, and I couldn’t do much about it at all. Given the time to reflect on these bouts of sadness on Fridays, I think that it might have been caused by the simple shifting of gears; after running hard all week at school and in the evenings for numerous responsibilities, I was looking forward to the calmer two days ahead. The sadness could have just been a part of that transition of relaxing, taking the time to reflect a little, and giving my body, my mind, my soul, the permission to get off auto pilot and go solo for a few days.
I’m not entirely convinced that it was all related to that “taking over” of the controls, but I’m fairly certain of it.
Yesterday, though, all of that came back. It might have been triggered by the two straight weeks of classes after not having a normal week of school since the second week of December. My birthday on Wednesday — turning 45 — might have had something to do with it, although I’m not usually hung up on age or the significance of turning one year older with the coming and going of a 24-hour period.
They might have all been cameo roles, in the background, feeling a little neglected that I was no longer paying them any kind of notice.
Then I received a phone call, and it seemed to trigger their sudden call to the stage, and they became major players in how the next few hours would go.
In the scheme of things, it really was no big deal. An individual had called to let me know a letter I was supposed to share with him last week listed a sensitive date for an appeal hearing. The hearing was scheduled for March 4; he received the letter (from me) on March 5.
He was not angry with me, and the majority of the blame rests on the individuals who sent the notice to the wrong location anyway. But the damage was done. I screwed up. Something I chose not to do caused an inconvenience in someone else’s life.
I know–writing about it now doesn’t make it seem like a big deal. And it’s not. Everything was worked out within five minutes of getting the call. But the inner critic seized that opportunity, that small, insignificant event, and ran with it.
For the next few hours, I felt horrible. I started doubting myself, my 40-day journey, my decision to become a vegan. All of it was on the line to be destroyed as a self-punishment for this mistake.
It is absolutely unbelievable how strong negativity can be and how it can feed on your weaknesses, no matter how small or insignificant they might be.
I did four things to stop the derail.
First, I combated the negative self-speak head-on with allowing myself to throw this pity party within the rules of my new journey. I immediately went to eat to use food as a comfort as well as a punishment. But what I allowed myself to eat were all vegan foods.
Second, I didn’t let it feed on me internally. Amy had been out for a few hours with Madelyn and Braeden for Madelyn’s soccer game, and as soon as she came home and we sat down, I actually talked about this with her. I shared what I was feeling, and put it on the table. I’ve never really done that before.
Third, I told myself that I have the ability to control this, to recognize the negativity for what it is (and is not), allowed it to come, and then gave it permission to go.
Fourth, I gave it all to God, thanked Him for his sacrifices, accepted my weakness, and allowed his strength and love to fill me.
I know, I know. All this for a silly phone call about something I neglected to do.
Here’s the point: If we don’t recognize the need to do this, then that negative self-speak accumulates within you, eats at you, and makes you believe that this is truly who you are: a worthless person who fails at everything you do.
This is how I have allowed such little things to consume me in the past. Now I know what I must do to release them.
Time to run to the competition. I’ll write more later today/tonight about the other major event. Have a wonderful day, everyone. 🙂 ❤
4 thoughts on “40 Days: 030610-D18.0”
Im PROUD of you Rus… We all make mistakes, we all have alittle too much on our plates, etc and sometimes things slip through the cracks– intentional or not… Im SO happy you didnt beat yourself up over this. You know the expression” S*** happens” and yeah, it happens to all of us. You just found out how human you are… you made a mistake that you regretted, you gave into a weakness ( but in a good way by staying vegan) and you talked it ou but most importantly… you let it go. You didnt allow it to consume you and drive you nuts. Very proud my friend! Keep up the great work!
Thank you, Michele. Hugh Prather has another book called, “The Little Book of Letting Go,” and he provides a great deal of insight into 1) why we harbor things as we do and 2) how to let them go to live a more healthy life.
“No one has ever been made more sensitive or more thoughtful by being judged, bullied, or frightened. Putting pressure on others doesn’t change their hearts. It merely engages us in a pointless conflict that splits our mind and muddles our emotions.”
Certainly, Prather’s words apply just as much to how we treat ourselves. . . .
Here is my mantra when issues like this arise:
“Will it matter or will I even remember it two weeks from now?” If the answer is no, then reduce the amount of anxst you attach to second-guessing yourself.
It has always worked for me and also has been valuable advice that I have given to corporate execs who encounter issues of this nature ona regular basis.
Rob–I like 2 weeks a lot better than the old, “twenty years from now” approach….
Thanks. I’m going to give this a shot in the future.