“It is necessary to face and accept some very difficult truths about yourself.”
A line from Elizabeth Gilbert’s fantastic book Eat Pray Love, which I adore, as well as the movie (I don’t think they could have gotten a better actress, honestly) and it really hit me today. I put the movie on in the background a lot of the time, when I’m doing other things, and it suddenly popped out at me today as I was at my desk.
There are certainly some aspects of “me” that I wish were different, but I think the reason I’ve become so unhappy with myself is because I’ve just been beating myself up about it, wishing I was different. There is a reason the “Serenity Prayer” exists, and it’s because I’m not the first, nor the last, to have this problem.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
The truth simply radiates from this prayer to anyone with a shred of common sense, but like many lessons, it’s easier to understand in theory than it is to apply to your way of life. I guess that part takes practice. A lot of practice.
Practice is something that I never really quite got the hang of. If I wasn’t immediately good at something, it made me feel bad, so I just didn’t do it, rather than practice and improve. Childish, I know, but who we are as adults most definitely establishes roots in childhood. So now I’m 26 (that’s a scary number…) and I still tend to avoid things that I’m not good at, mostly because it ends up hacking at my self esteem to constantly try and fail. Believe me, I know how lame that is, I would love nothing more than to tell myself I’m being a big baby and to just get on with it, but it’s not so simple. I’m not one of those that plays the victim, I don’t want anyone to think that I am weak or simply asking for people to pity me, I simply need to acknowledge that I have weaknesses and faults, and that that is okay. If a particular weakness is one that I cannot or should not live with (for example, my constant need to validate myself by being right) then I believe I should have the right and the ability to change it. Especially when it interferes with my ability to be happy, because I’m not. I’m miserable. My criticism led me to a place where others felt the need to point out flaws that I was well aware of, but vehemently ignored, and having them thrown in my face in the manner they were was like being shot. I had a complete emotional breakdown, I simply could not continue on the path I was living. So I cried, and screamed, and even considered cutting myself again, and the funny thing was that the reason I didn’t was because the razor blade I found was full of hair, I guess Dave hadn’t rinsed it well, and I thought that was gross so I just threw it away and went back to bed. The mind is a strange thing. Or maybe it’s just me.
So today I spent a lot of time thinking about what was said to me (I was essentially told I was fat and ugly) and what I could do. If I was happy with my appearance, it would probably not have hurt, so I supposed the first thing I should consider was weight loss. I ordered a stationary bike online (Dave and I had been discussing getting an exercise machine anyways, so it wasn’t that rash of a decision) and looked through a website designed by models to share tips on staying in shape (no, I do not want to be a model, nor do I even believe I could be, but let’s face it, they have awesome bodies, or they wouldn’t be models). I also dusted off my My Fitness Pal app (www.myfitnesspal.com), reset it, and started anew. The app is for tracking food and exercise, so I logged my tiny breakfast of ice water, a cup of Yoplait light yogurt, and a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter, sighed, and realized that there can be no victory without sacrifice. I’m not going to get back into shape being lazy and eating garbage all the time. I know it’s kind of an obvious affirmation, but I have been in denial for about two years now. I used the injuries I sustained in the Navy as an excuse to give up on my own health and live the life of an invalid.
Well fuck that.
I am fully capable of overcoming the herniated disks in my back, and the arthritis and tendinitis that is attempting to destroy my knees. I’m going to take glucose supplements, lose the weight, tone my core, and get flexible with yoga. I’m going to do this, I’m going to. I have to. This is my life, and I’m not going to be lazy about it anymore. I am a spirit that has been given a body that I have not been respecting. Well it starts now. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, I will make myself worthy of this life, and nothing will stop me.