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Friday, June 29, 2012

Make myself face myself

When I started Letters to My Best Friend, I felt it was because I needed to be kind to myself.  I realized in an enlightening moment of self awareness that I had self esteem problems, and that it was the root of all other problems in my life, including my health and weight.  It was very hard to face it and I didn't want to.  I have always been on the surface a joyful, proud, and confident woman.  I didn't like admitting, even to myself, that I possibly suffered from damaged self esteem.  Since I was not acknowledging it, I was participating in lines of thought and behaviors that were unkind to me and certainly not the habits of a healthy person.  I had negative feelings about myself often, and I was way too hard on myself.  I realized that I would never be cruel or unkind to someone I loved, like I was to myself, and I knew from there that I needed to shift my ways of thinking before I could really tackle anything else that needed tackling.  So, I wrote my first letter to myself, my first bluntly honest, yet kind letter, and Letters to my Best Friend was born.

Since then, I've lost about 50 pounds and many aspects of my life have vastly improved.  I learned a lot about myself and what makes me tick.  I took care of many things in my life that needed taking care of, things I'd had stagnating in the background of my life for years.  It feels good to be free of all that extra weight (both literally, and figuratively!).

The thing about staying on a path toward continuous improvement is that just when it starts to feel easy, something tends to distract me and I end up taking the scenic route for awhile (which is fine) and eventually I end up so far off the path that I can't even see the way back anymore (not fine).  This I now understand is a result of a very pesky behavior of mine I usually call "glossing".  I'm a glosser.  I gloss over all kinds of shit--small details, words people say to me, things going on in the background, fine print; you name it, I gloss it.  I've had to train myself not to do this in a professional setting, so for 40 hours a week my brain is in non-gloss mode.  (I wonder if that makes it even harder on my brain to refrain from glossage when I'm not at work?)

I realized today for the very first time that my glossing goes much deeper than I first thought.  I gloss over my own behavior.  I gloss over my own thinking.  This is dangerous territory, my friends.  Let me try to explain what I mean by all of this.  Okay, in the beginning, I had negative thoughts, and was hard on myself, and that's why I started the blog.  Then I trained myself to be kind to myself and not allow feelings of guilt or remorse or disgust to manifest every time I made a "mistake" or took a step backward.  I'm pleased with how much improvement I've made in this area.  I'm no longer hard on myself about eating a piece of chocolate or skipping a workout, because I know that feelings of regret and disappointment only serve to hurt my self esteem and put me on a spiral back into all the old bad habits.  I know now that I must move forward from each decision without carrying along bad feelings.

However, the problem now seems to be that I'm going so far as to gloss over things I do to the point that I'm telling myself, "You're doing fine," when an objective observation might tell a slightly different story.  Today, I realize that some of my behaviors and thoughts in recent weeks (months?) are adding up to what could be interpreted as me being drawn back toward old destructive habits without recognizing it.  Things like: "it's okay to eat this, you can make up for it later" but then not making up for it later.  Or eating things every day that should only be in moderation.  Or failing to give exercise the time and attention I deserve to give it.  It may be that what I am doing is going to unravel my success and move me back on my path if I don't stop and make myself face myself.  Okay, not maybe.  It IS.

So it's times like these that a blog like this is so necessary.  Today, I face myself.  I accept and see now that I have been slipping and refusing to acknowledge the gravity of it.  Today I forgive myself and feel pleased that I am able to understand now what's happening so that I might shift direction before I make things even harder.

I missed this blog.  Feels good to be home.