An Ounce Of Honesty
Hello to you!
I decided recently that I want to start sharing my struggles, not because I want advice or a response or really anything from anyone, but because I believe success is in the journey and not simply upon reaching the destination.
We are hyper-exposed to final versions or works-in-progress with only the 'best' parts shown. So we forget or don't even realise that there are real daily mental and physical and life struggles that most of us have to deal with.
Everyone is figuring it out. And I think sometimes it's nice to be reminded that there are others out there figuring it out too.
So this is my commitment to share, from time to time, my struggles, as ridiculous or real as they may be. I will also make the effort to share my triumphs because they are important milestones as well. Basically, I want to present a complete picture because apart from reminding me that I don't have to have done a certain thing or applied a piece of wisdom to be worthy of the Greatest Love, I want to remind you too.
Welcome to my 'Dear God' posts.
Yesterday after a whole day of resisting the temptation of sugar-filled goods, I get to Finsbury Park and bought a brownie from Pret. It didn't taste amazing and it caused me more guilt than pleasure. Even though I am supposed to be saving, I decided to order in- last time before Lent and whatever else I said in the moment to make it okay. In retrospect that wasn't a great decision either because I have to go for dinner with a friend tonight and I don't have all that much money left. I wasn't quite successful at convincing myself that it was okay that I ate a brownie, pizza and tiramisu because I woke up this morning feeling like a terrible person. The reaction is not quite commensurate with the action. Yet, here we are.
At some point last night I felt very upset. I was tired and angry and frustrated that I wasn't living life right and I was even more angry and tired and frustrated that I even felt that way at all. I am unforgiving even of the fact that I am unforgiving in the first place. I am struggling between what I know and what I put into practice. These days they seem to be mostly different, or perhaps I am just unable to appreciate how far I have come.
This morning while showered I decided that 'messing up' is hard, not so much because of the actual act of messing up, but because of the judgement that comes after, the worst of which most times, comes from myself. It is not even just the judgement that is bad, but the self-condemnation that follows it. In my case, I am judge, and jury and prosecutor and I never leave room for the defendant to speak. Guilty until proven innocent. The problem is that I firmly believe that I did the 'crime'- so I am guilty.
The thing I struggle with the most is the ability to love and forgive myself, just as You love and forgive me. All I did was eat pizza and dessert ... However, I also realised this morning that life is about learning lessons and I also think the greatest lesson You want us to learn is Love. And so until I learn to love and forgive myself to the extent that you do, I am going to keep 'messing up'. I can say that 'I messed up' is usually code for I am judging myself. I know a judge should have all the facts laid out and I don't, but I still go ahead to condemn myself. I decided though, that Messing Up has the purpose of being a teacher of self-love because it takes a lot to witness yourself do something you have called bad and still say, with full and complete honesty:
It's okay, I love you anyway
Since you give us opportunities to become who we are, that was my conclusion. I really don't know what has to change for me to have such love for myself. I write about it all the time but I struggle just as much as everyone else does to apply it to my life.
The single thing I am sure of is that I am going to keep trying; for that at least, I am proud of myself. I think that is enough. I don't have the formula for self-love all I know to do is to keep trying to know and listen to myself better. I think with understanding comes love most times. It all goes back to being able to listen to myself. Despite being one of the most self-reflective people I know, I struggle with that. But I am going to try.
I don't have a plan. I suspect that at the core of it, I don't even need one because in this case a plan only acts as a security blanket- with a plan, where is the room to learn to listen?
I have written a lot today. It has felt good, to be honest and say- 'I don't know. I am struggling with this stuff.' Knowing what to do is the easiest bit, doing it is harder and sticking with that 'it' - whatever it may be- up until the end, is the true challenge.
Even though I tend to try and shield myself or lie to myself out of it- thank you for loving me anyway.
I was also upset at myself for not doing the work I intended to do that day, but perhaps that is a whole 'nother letter.