Not a big surprise that many of my conversations with others these days meander around to health and wellness: My health, their health, practising the art of wellness… and the like.
Tonight’s conversation is the same story I hear constantly. Consistently. Routinely. Different twists, but same same. I wish, en masse, I could help the world see things differently… even just on this one habit in our thinking that has been instilled into us since we were children: “I’m not good enough.”
Here’s the conversation:
“…but,” I say, “you’ve looked after yourself very well.”
“No, not really,” she answers.
“You eat well, you walk often, you are doing volunteer work you enjoy and that keeps you mentally active, you are using the skills that are your expertise, you have a social life…” I ramble on. (She’s over 75. She’s rockin’ it.)
“Umm…Yes,” she answers haltingly as she processed what I said, but then very quickly added, “but I could do more.”
Yup, that’s the clincher. Never thinking that what we are doing is good enough. Never acknowledging what we are already doing well. Always beating ourselves up for not doing some elusive ‘more.’ It is an ingrained thought habit, and wow, is it ever fed by media.
“The only ‘more’ you could do that would help your wellbeing is to stop saying “I could do more,” I suggested.
She snickered and agreed. She got it. I hope it lasts more than an hour before the old thinking habit comes back.
Okay, altogether now: “I’m good enough!”
Ya ya.. I know. First thoughts are all the things you need to improve. Pretty please, just for a moment… can you find one area of your life that you can say, even hesitatingly for starts, “I’m good enough!”?
Or you could go for the biggie: “I Rock!”
Me? I could beat myself to the ground for all kinds of things that I have not done ‘perfectly’ in my life, if I listened to everything the media, the ‘experts’, and the foodies say about how I got to the point of dealing with cancer. It’s a challenge enough to keep spirits lifted and manage treatments and keep going forward… can you imagine how hard it would be to be sitting here beating myself up in the process?
There are, in fact, no answers… not one fact… about how I got here. If I constantly drained my energy imagining the elusive ‘more’ I should have done or should be doing, there’d be no energy left to go out and snowshoe, to play with the little ‘uns, to hang out with muse friends, to write a blog post, to work on my book, to paint my tall ships, to find the funny in things, to dance under the willow tree, to make jokes about my Eddie Munster hairline, or even to plan a decent meal. And those are the things that are healing me. Good enough, I say.
(Coming soon to a blog near you: “Finding a less elusive more, if the “I could do more” is beating it’s way to the top of the thought factory anyway.”)