A Severe Case of the Not Enoughs: An Opportunity

Sometimes, I feel pretty good about Me. I suspect it’s a result of getting older and giving fewer shits. Like, take me or leave me, you know? I know who I am. I know where I fall short. I’m doing my best except when I’m doing my mediocre, which, let’s be honest, is way more often, but I’ve also realized that doing my best on Every Single Thing is unrealistic and, frankly, unhealthy. Do I REALLY want to do my best while grocery shopping? Or do I just want to run in, grab eggs and milk and off-brand bread, and call it a day so I can save my “best” energy for more important things, like handling the 47th question from my children about the Exact Same Thing and still choosing not to run screaming into the night? “I STILL DO NOT KNOW WHAT’S FOR DINNER, CHILDREN. I THINK I’VE MADE IT CLEAR HOW TO FIND THE CEREAL, THOUGH, SO — GREAT NEWS — NO STARVING FOR YOU TODAY.” 

Yep, sometimes I feel good about Me. Like I’m good with the choices I’m making. Like I understand I’m not perfect, and, frankly, no longer strive for perfection like I strive for kindness or sanity. Sometimes I feel good about Me, like I have my priorities figured out: 1. Do NOT smother Greg with a pillow, 2. Show up for my humans, 3. Spend enough time at base camp so I can gear up for the next summit, and 4. Binge reading trashy novels is more important than personal hygiene.

Sometimes I feel good about Me. Like I’m doing enough. Like I’m being enough. Like this life is what it is and I’m striving for what’s important and letting the rest slide, and that’s OK.

Sometimes I feel good about Me. But today isn’t one of those days. 

Sometimes I feel good about Me. But today I’m frustrated and at odds with myself. Like, I’m a little jittery, you know? I’m looking at the To Do list, and the budgeting, and the meal planning, and the shopping, and the professional goals, and the farm work, and the kids’ needs (I swear I’ll answer your texts eventually, Abby), and the STUFF, right? The never ending stuff. And then I look at myself, and there’s just one of me, and I keep listening to the lies which are loud right now.

Lies:
1. You are LAZY, and that’s the main problem. If you were simply more EFFICIENT, and if you’d GET UP OFF YOUR BUTT instead of sitting to drink your coffee or sneaking another chapter of your book on the toilet, you would be able to accomplish EVERYTHING. 
2. You are FAT, and that’s the main problem. If you had self control and more tightly managed yourself — if you made time for daily aerobic and weight-lifting exercise — if you joined a gym and woke up early to go — if you made yourself breakfasts with only protein and vegetables — that would permeate all areas of your life, and you would be able to accomplish EVERYTHING.
3. You are NOT DRIVEN, and that’s the main problem. If you would just set GOALS and be more DISCIPLINED — if you had an immovable ROUTINE to which you dedicated yourself — you would be able to accomplish EVERYTHING.
4. You suck at TIME MANAGEMENT, and that’s the main problem. If you made a schedule and stuck to it, there are enough hours in the day to accomplish EVERYTHING.

Sometimes I feel good about Me. But today is… hard.

Sometimes I feel good about Me. But today I don’t.

And so today is an opportunity.  **sigh**  Sometimes, I HATE opportunities because they’re hard work and I have to confront the lies I feed my brain and my heart.

Still, today is an opportunity. An important one. A critical one. A life-changing, earth-moving, heart-healing one.

Today is an opportunity to be gentle with myself.

Today is an opportunity to practice kindness, even with me.

Today is an opportunity to feel the feelings of frustration and to grieve being human and finite and fallible instead of what I’d prefer to be which is God, omnipotent and omnipresent, capable of All Things, simultaneously.

Today is an opportunity to treat myself like I’d treat a friend who confessed the same thing. To whisper the Truths and Light which overcome the Lies and Darkness. To remind myself I’m already on the Right Track, which is loving the humans around me. To look in the mirror and remember I’m made from Worth and Value. To make a Small, Achievable List of the Most Important Things for the day and to let the rest go, knowing they’ll wait for tomorrow. To take One Very Deep Breath on Purpose — a long intake of air to hold and hold and hold and release — and One More, because deep breaths incrementally release stress like tiny bits of magic. And to remember our merit isn’t measured by ticking off boxes on a list — the importance of our life isn’t measured by getting everything done. We are all, instead, inherently worthy of love already, even worthy of loving ourselves.

So in case you’re here, too, having a Day of it, I want you to know you’re not alone. And we have an opportunity together.

Sending you Love and Light, friend, and waving in the dark, as always,

 

 

 

P.P.S. Did you know I run a small number of retreats each year? I do! One of my very, very favorite things to do is hang out with members of our incredible, worldwide community and offer rest and respite from our regular lives. I would LOVE to have you join me.

Click here for general retreat information.

Or, if you want to head straight to the registration pages, you can register via my farm website, CAIRNS FARM:

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
16 comments
  1. Umm – hello? Have you not been listening to yourself? All those wonderful grace-filled thoughts you are extending to yourself in your moment of perceived “not good enough ness” are actually proof positive you are nailing it!! It IS because you’ve recognized your need for all of that that you are winning! Remember when you would have plowed ahead in your pursuit of “perfection” at your own expense and the expense of your tribe? You have come a long way since those days! You have taken so many bold steps toward grace and forgiveness and acceptance and self-love and worthiness and grace and kindness and grace. You’re doing great, and don’t doubt it for a moment! It is the moment of down time, the potty reading, the rest, the comfort in our skin and all the rest of it that helps us KEEP our shit together for ourselves and everyone else who matters to us! You’ve SO got this!

  2. Evidence that lie #2 is indeed a lie. I woke up at 4:55 am to go to kettlebell class where I got really sweaty. I followed it with a cup of coffee (because I’m human and who lives without coffee?) and then a beet smoothie with collagen for protein. It has not permeated my entire day. I’m currently procrastinating, because I’m a perfectionist, and I desired a piece of Boston Cream Pie, which I ate because beet smoothies aren’t satisfying. EVERYTHING will not be accomplished today, but I’m feeling less alone now and will do one thing to move forward. Thanks for the wave from the dark. <3

  3. Sooooo so good! Thank you Beth!

  4. All 4 lies are in common with me. There are helpful things I tell myself, and say “Self-thank you.” These 4 things fall into a different category, where I tell myself “Self, no thank-you.” And pop in Lizzo’s album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo0RK_olDb4
    Thank you Beth for your honesty, and spreading love and truth and kindness.

  5. We have our lies in common. Why is it so hard to show ourselves that grace that we so easily extend to others? I’m so with you, lady!

  6. Girl. I hear you. I have a cluster of bitchy voices that live in my head and each appears to be the chair of a different committee. We have Demonic Donna Reed who is appalled that I let bowls of oatmeal sit in the kitchen sink until they become paving material. Next to her, and all up in her face, is Stompy Booted Girl who is outraged that I am not woke enough to realize that dirty dishes are not my calling and could just as easily be dealt with by a person with a penis. It gets loud in there, and sometimes very hard to hear my kindest self think – but you help!

  7. Your writing comes from the heart and makes us all feel less alone, less “less” and more “good”, and that should be on your list of “things that make me feel good about being ME”. My counselor once said to make a list of the things I like about myself, and when darkness comes, look at said list for reminding myself that it’s just darkness talking and I am worthy. Getting darkness to let go long enough to get to the list was the first hurdle. 🙂 But the more I saw the list, the louder it spoke and soon the darkness ran away. It lurked, don’t get me wrong, but the list was like a magic shield. Over the years I turned to the list less often, sometimes adding a bit to it, but it was a hug when I needed it. Your writing is like hugs to me. Thank you for sharing your shield, helping us fight darkness, and teaching us to be a friend to ourselves as well as others. Kindness rocks! ♥

  8. Oh, so much #1, #3 and #4.

    You mean they are lies? I think I have told them to myself often enough that they feel like the truth.

    Thank you for being so real. It opens me up to be real with myself too.

  9. Oh boy. I often “love,” mark with a heart, your posts, but certain ones just get right to me. Like this one. I could have written this if I could write so well. Thank you. I’ll think of this post for years.

    BTW, others I think of often years after I read them are the one about all moms being real, in our case that includes the egg donor and the surrogate, and the one about telling your doctor that you were being a raging bitch while she wrote down “irritable” and diagnosed depression.

    Thanks for sharing your life and the struggles and joys of being HUMAN.

  10. I have learned this practice of being gentle with myself and telling myself truth when the lies are overwhelming. I’m reminded of these words from Cheryl Strayed: “Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a shit? There is nothing more boring and fruitless than a woman lamenting the fact that her stomach is round.“

    We are busy women because we aren’t actually lazy and we don’t have time to worry about the fat. We are driven and we will move on to the hard work and the celebrating.

  11. thank you… you have again said what i needed to hear, what i needed someone to say for all of us, to remind us we really are not alone

  12. Lie #2 is my biggest hurdle and I’m really feeling it today, being back to work. Anticipating all the filter-less preschoolers this year who will comment on my body or ask me why I’m so fat (and I can only say “I ate too many preschoolers for breakfast” if another adult isn’t within earshot). Sitting in too-small kiddie chairs and at chairs without tables because we don’t have tables (or meeting rooms) anymore because we’re growing, growing, growing. Which is good. Serving more kids. But also, really, really feeling #2. And so worried that its all that people see of me, because its certainly one of the first things they see…. and I have the *opportunity* for therapy today, too. Waving back at ya!

  13. I think that I am lazy, fat, unmotivated and disorganized often. These things feel true to me.

    At the same time, I have managed to keep two boys alive to age 7 and hold down a demanding full-time job, while not wholly alienating my husband, family or friends, so maybe I’m doing OK? 😉

  14. waving !
    xxx

  15. I would really like some recommendations for said trashy novels 🙂 Also reading before bedtime… sometimes class… sometimes trash

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