Morning Y’all!

It sorta figures that, on a night where I go to bed, pleased and pleasantly excited by my revelations of the night, that I wake up this morning feeling like a sloth.

Oh well…Starbucks to the rescue….though I do wish it was Parlour Coffee–it really is a great independent coffee joint in Winnipeg if you are ever in town.

But, I digress.  It’s Friday…and I have lots to report from last night….and not simply that I managed to eat 500ml of Cherry Garcia–GUILT FREE!  No, this was not a binge…it took me about an hour to eat it, but I literally savoured every cherry/vanilla/chocolatey bite…I think I actually groaned at a few points because it was so satisfyingly delicious. 

What was also satisfyingly delicious was my reading and discovery work for the night.  I have begun reading two books about self discovery (I think I’m changing the self-help tag as, well, it makes it sound like I am crazy, and I don’t think I am), those books are: Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves by Amy Ahlers and Choosing ME before WE by Christine Arylo.

I have done a very quick read of Big Fat Lies and it made me cry. lol.  The book’s chapters are based on the lies one tells themselves.  For Example: Lie (Chapter)1: I am not enough; Lie #12 When I get (blank), then I’ll be happy.  In each chapter, there is discussion on how the lie is not true, it’s effects, an anecdote of someone who worked to overcome that lie and then a challenge to complete to help you get past the lie followed by an affirmation and an inspirational quote.  I cannot wait to dive deeper into this book as there are many lies to tackle.  The one challenge I did was in bed two nights ago and it made me cry the oddest, most invigorating tears…something that I didn’t think was possible.

Last night I started reading the other book, Choosing ME before WE.  At first, I thought I got sold a lemon, despite the positive amazon reviews because, well, the first part of the book is very, very heavily based on relationships with a significant other.  Since that part is greatly lacking in my life, I felt the urge to speed read through.  Though, that is not to say that this information is not useful, it just wasn’t overtly pertinent to me right now.

In the book, Arylo talks about self-love and how that is the key to happiness and healthy relationships, etc….but that most people don’t take the time to really start a love affair with themselves–loving their strengths, their weaknesses, their quirks, the whole package.   Most people aren’t willing, according to Arylo, to take the time to develop that love because, it hurts too much.  She likens a person to a piece of cheese and, as we go through life, pieces of us are removed, leaving holes.  Sometimes we are able to repair them, sometimes we don’t and we try to do other things to fill up that whole like addictions, an over filled schedule, work, etc. I immediately saw myself in this as, when I was approaching 30, I was filling my life with so many to do’s, to avoid being by myself and feeling/dealing with those missing chunks, that, eventually, it all came apart….my cheese had disintegrated because of the weight of the “stuffing” lol.

From there, Arylo states that the first step to getting yourself back together again is self-love.  In order to begin that journey, she recommends a “journey on the Restructuring Wheel.”  Truthfully, I would, too.  It was supremely enlightening.  It basically gets you to look at your images, opinions, attitudes and beliefs on the premises of self-love and putting happiness first.  The exercise requires some drawing and a whole lot of writing and thinking, but it is worth it. 

I had a few take aways from this exercise…and though they weren’t things I wasn’t aware of, it really made me focus on my life and how I’ve led it based on those images/opinions/attitudes and beliefs.  Essentially I have lived my life:

  • looking for external validation and activities to make me happy–praise, good grades, recognition that I lost weight, shopping, traveling, etc.
  • in fear of making mistakes, not living up to expectations, making people angry, disappointed or upset to the point where they leave me
  • putting more value on the needs/desires of others than my own–ie do what you need to do to make others happy, even if it makes you unhappy
  • hiding my feelings for as they may make someone else upset and it’s not worth doing that. 
  • pretending that the things I was doing (be it school, work, etc) was what I wanted to do, instead of fulfilling the expectations of other people who mattered in my life
  • in fear of becoming my crazy mother and that I am broken and need to desperately hide all of the things that are “wrong” with me so people won’t know and just see the facade.

*exhales* pretty deep stuff, no?  The next step is exploration of these ideas and their impacts and how you can transform these limiting thoughts/beliefs.  I haven’t done that part yet…might save this for Saturday night, post movie day with my bro.

Much Luv and thanks for listening,