I am slowly learning that I need to free myself from myself. I have placed many “should rules” over my life. I should do this. I should do that. I should’ve done that. You get it. Those should rules shackle me to an unrealistic and unforgiving standard. I need to breathe and let go. I can be a people pleaser. I can have an unrelenting standard. I can have more compassion for others than I do for myself. I claim to believe in God yet I don’t show even a fraction of the love that God has for me with myself.
I think our culture has beaten into us that showing oneself compassion is egotistical and wrong. I’m not talking about arrogance here. I’m talking about self-love and self-respect. Why is it I can feel empathy for a stranger, but not myself?
I am slowly chipping away at the wall I built to protect myself. I am finding that I only ended up trapping myself in. For example, I have a ridiculous list of tasks that I told myself I have to accomplish each morning, in a certain order. The reality is that most of the tasks can wait or they don’t need to be done at all. I also place rules on myself that constantly compare me to others and what I assume they are doing with their lives. I tend to think everyone else has it all together and that I am the only one who makes mistakes. That’s not true. We are all on this road of life and we all experience wrong turns.
As I journey into what will hopefully be a new, free life, I am anxious. I have become so accustomed to my wall that I have adapted to an uncomfortable comfort. My wall completely encircles me and I fear what’s outside. I wonder if I have ventured out before, only to run back to this unsafe safe zone.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
I have found that journaling, practicing gratitude, mindfulness, and learning about the cognitive distortions and lifetraps that shape my life affect my quality of life help me. This will be a long journey, but I have to go ahead and eliminate the should rule that I must hurry or be perfect.
Write down your should rules and work on letting them go. I know my wall is formidable, but I hope to have a breakthrough. I don’t want to give up. I may not feel like I’m ready to move outside of my boundaries, but I deserve that freedom. Christ died so that I can also enjoy life here on Earth. I hope you can enjoy life too.