Category Archives: give up perfection

Shame on you…shame on me

I have been a long time fan of Brene Brown. If you are on a journey of self discovery and you have not yet read any of her books, I suggest you make some time to do so.  She has been a long time shame researcher, and for someone who has lived the life I have, her lessons on shame have been invaluable.

Don’t think you’ve experienced shame?  Not a shamer yourself?  Well let me tell you, you are probably wrong. Identifying it in your life will be the best thing you can do to help yourself, and those around you. I recently had this with my mother…”I’m sorry that you are making this all about yourself. I just see you just keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. You’re not helping.”  This was in response to her not getting her way, and not being open minded enough to be involved in knowing or understanding what is really going on.  That is shame in action.  I was supposed to feel all bad about what I was doing and give in…not happening.

As a society we do a lot of shaming.

We shame women who stay home with their kids, and women who chose or have to work.

We shame people who need food stamps to feed their families, and people who over indulge.

We shame people for ordering diet Coke, and people who drink protein shakes.

We shame people who smoke, and people who over exercise.

We shame in those who take religion too seriously, and those who don’t take it at all.

We shame the overweight women in the drive through, and the skinny kid who doesn’t want to eat.

We shame women who breastfeed their babies, and women who chose or have to use formula.

We shame our friends and families for not including us in their lives enough, and for always being around.

We shame ourselves too.  As a matter of fact I’m doing it to myself right now.

Why can’t you get your shit together? If only you would just stick to what you say instead of always caving in?  Hey, why not put a picture of your fat self as your phone back ground so you can remind yourself what you are doing to your body?? Fat shaming myself is not turning out to work as well as I’d hoped.

Is it fair to say my life is not a good one because someone I have chosen is not living up to my personal expectation???  What about the 20 other people who are? The one’s that are ready and willing to be what you need are worth less than the one person you pinned your expectation on who isn’t living up to it?  OMG.  Honestly, I am pretty sure I’ve been in that position myself.  Thankfully I have learned better.

Why do we shame everyone?  Do you know the facts? Are you being everything to everyone and living the highest of high values and character that you feel it is ok to judge and shame a person for doing something you think makes them less. Do you feel like a failure in so many areas, that you think anyone who is failing in the one you luckily have down is a piece of shit? People…geez.

The mom who stays home or the mom who has to work. What the fuck do you care what or why they have chosen their path?  Aren’t we all just doing the best we can for our kids?  My life is not the same as yours even if we choose the same path. So what if the parents are greedy and spoil their kids into being abnoxious self entitled assholes.  Why do you give a shit??  Are you SURE your kids are going to be perfect??  Here’s another thought…no matter what you do, someone else is going to judge you.  So get off what ever fucking horse or soapbox you’re on and do YOUR best with YOUR family and stop the judgment on others.

You think people who use food stamps are pathetic and lazy??  How many do you know personally?  People who are over indulgent are greedy and selfish??? Sounds like jealousy.  Think diet coke and cigarettes are death by hand…so what if they are?  Are they tying you down and forcing it on you? What if they are in transition from an even more deadly addiction and they are trying to step down?Disgusted by the overweight person standing in front of you???  Have you checked the scale lately or maybe you need to check your compassion switch cause you are an asshole.  Think mothers breastfeeding their babies in public is indecent???  Oh please, come tell me that to my face.  Breasts are beautiful…and they are uniquely designed for FEEDING YOUR BABIES!  OMG. Every time I see a video of a woman yelling at another woman who is breastfeeding in public I want to reach into that video and flog them.  I have never seen a mother with her tit hanging out for display.  If there is a face attached to it then there is less of it to see then most bikini tops on the market these days. If you are uncomfortable look away. If it makes your man excited punch that fucker in the face and tell him to stop being a pervert.

The answer to end all of this shaming is compassion.  You either need to have it for others, or you need to have it for yourself.

Another is to let go of expectation.

We are not the same. None of us.  Even if you shared the same womb with someone you are not the same. Every single one of us has our own challenges.  Some put on us by society, some by family, some by circumstance, some by choice and some cause we just don’t know what the hell we are doing.  Ultimately, everyone is just trying to do the best they can…even the fucking asshole next door tossing dog poop in your yard.  Some just don’t know any better, and some have just no been shown any better.

Not a single person has improved their own personal life by shaming someone else.  If you find yourself doing it, turn that shit around on yourself and find out why you feel that way.  Most likely you have some kind of deficiency that you need to tend to. You don’t have to share it, but you should work on it if you truly want to be a better person.  If you don’t, well then toddle loo…. Why not try being a friend or reaching out to someone you might see as less than you.  Maybe that person just needs a kind word.

Please please learn to be kind to one another.  It is the only way to truly being to heal the world and make it harder for those who would chose to bully or attack people.  I’m sure most of us would be heartbroken to see somone get abused, but the only way to make less victims is to make people more empowered.  That comes through compassion and understanding.  Either get to know someone, or get the fuck out of their business.  There is enough shit in our own backyard to attend to without pointing out what looks like shit in someone else’s, and quite honestly what looks like shit to you might be a life raft for someone else.

Take you shame, your judgement and your pity and turn it inward.  If you feel this way towards someone else that means there is something that YOU need to work on.  Good people, kind and compassionate people, people who are secure in their own skin don’t do that.

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First comes the epiphany…then comes the negotiations.

Here I am all proud of cracking the code to my deep seeded need to self-sabotage.  How do you celebrate such and epiphany??  Do you throw out all the junk food and start doing laps around the neighborhood? Do you throw out all your “fat” clothes?  Do you high five yourself while you do 1000 crunches and tell yourself that those fuckers who thought you were a failure are going to have to eat shit?

If you are me, you have two (homemade mind you) bacon, avocado cheese burgers.  Yep…now we start the negotiations.

Excuse one: I am fucking tired and besides I ate good all day and I am hangry for a cheeseburger.

Excuse two: I don’t have to start today.  I can just be happy knowing I got a grip and will soon be putting myself to work.

Excuse three-infinity: You have time and you need to finish up some stuff…and there’s this and that and how can you expect to have the time right now. Geez.

Yeah. That’s me.  I feel like what I need is to put a life size cut out of my mother and my ex-husband giving me that stupid fucking “See, we knew you couldn’t do it” face right in the middle of my living room.  Maybe that would be motivating.  Since cutting those two out of my life (for the most part) it’s nice not having to look at their face, or listen to the negativity.  Nope, now all I have to listen to is me…and me ain’t saying too much to get my shit going.

I won’t be beating myself up for too long. Right now I’m still absorbing the message and kind of laughing at myself.  At least it’s with a kind heart, not like when the other shit-heads used to. I also have to acknowledge that I am not sitting around on my ass not doing anything but stuffing my face and complaining about my jiggly parts.  There is work to be done…and so it must be done.  I am not leaving myself behind, I’m taking care of shit, before I take care of MY shit.

Planning is important, but doing is the key.  So, while I am not doing the “eat healthy and exercise” shit right now, I’m trying not to negotiate with my inner dumbass about why I don’t really need to be doing this today. Or tomorrow.  Or why it would be ok if I just started next week.

No, I’m keeping my mind on the prize. I’m acknowledging the slip and reminding myself that I am important…and how I feel is important.  I’m not giving up the good fight. I’m not throwing in the towel.

I’m going to end this post and head into the kitchen and start putting together some delightful meals to grab and go for the next few days.  I’m also reminding myself that I have tools at my disposal that are not in the least bit overwhelming…

Negotiations can be tough, especially if those negotiations are with a voice in your head that has been some what in charge for a hugly (hahaha)  part of your life.  She has won enough times…now it’s time for a new champion. A champion who can’t wait to stop bitching about not finding anything comfortable to wear.

 

 

Please hold while I put on my broken record.

The other day I had to yell at myself.  This yelling consisted of several poorly written pages in my journal.  The topic, self-sabotage.

Losing weight and getting in shape has been on my “To Do” list for as long as I can remember.  My track record hasn’t been too good…a few good days here and there, but always back to square one.  Recently I had been rather busy doing shit around the house, which has been moving along pretty well.  That week, with no work and lots of chores/projects I managed to lose 6 lbs.  What I learned, and probably already know but sometimes refuse to accept, is that food is my biggest problem with weight.  I eat too much.  I eat too much bad, and I eat too much good.  I just eat too damn much.  After seeing that 6 lbs weight loss and feeling fucking elated, I spent the next four days putting it all back on…plus two more.

I got on the scale at then I lost it. The journal was filled page after page with…

What the hell is your problem?

Why do you keep sabotaging yourself?

You eat like you’re a starving child who has no idea when or where her next meal is coming from?

What the fuck??

It continued for 6 pages.  There was a lot of self-bashing and a lot of “pull your head out of your ass.”  I didn’t give myself too much of a break because I know this is all bullshit. I am more than capable of doing this. It’s not like I have 50 lbs to lose, I have 20 at most.  After completing my written beat down, I went back through my journal…and would you believe, I have had this same damn conversation on more than a few occasions. Surprise! OMG why the hell would anyone want to listen to a broken record year after year? What I can’t wrap my head around is the WHY.  Why the fuck do I do this? Why do I get going strong only to throw myself back down the damn hill and lay there is a pathetic heap of “I just can’t”.

I hate complaining.  I hate complaining about myself because in my experience nobody really gives a shit.  Ok, not nobody, but for a large part of my life, the people who were supposed to be my greatest support system didn’t give a shit about my problems.  They always had worse problems…mine were just pathetic.  I hate when other people complain because most often they just complain, there is rarely little action.  So, when I start to complain about not fitting into any of my clothes comfortably, or I feel fat and uncomfortable, I keep it to myself, and I don’t usually complain for long. It is a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over…. all the damn fucking time.  One week I bitch, I get focused and start to see results, pat myself on the back and then in the blink of an eye all my hard work is washed down the drain and there I am whining about how I can’t wear this or that cause it’s too uncomfortable.  Oh my fucking lord, please make it stop.

When you look up the meaning behind self-sabotage, it usually centers on self-worth. You fail because in the end you don’t think you are worthy of the reward.  Is this my reason?  After all the work I have done, the years of therapy, the books, tapes, videos that I have engulfed, in the end do I still feel unworthy? Something harming is hiding inside of me and I can’t find it.  It’s deep…real deep.

I have subscribed to several Instagram feeds about health, fitness and nutrition.  This is my passion.  This is where my heart goes every single time.  Yet, for me, my own personal journey, looking at all of this is just a reminder that I am a failure.  You are never going to make it. You are never going to be good enough. Funny, as I type that I can hear my mother’s voice.  She has said those exact same words to me on several occasions.  At 16 when I was trying to find my own identity, I believed her.  At 24, when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be married or not, I believed her.  At 32, when I was a stay at home mother of two and feeling overwhelmed by life, I believed her.  I can remember several instances over my life where I was in a place of accomplishments, feeling like I was coming into my own, and she would “put me in my place” and point out what a failure I really was.  Every time I agreed, and went back to settling for meritocracy.

Alright alright alright…did I just get this shit figured out? I did!!!  It’s all my mother’s fault.  Whew!!! Now I don’t have to take responsibility, I can just sit back and blame her.  Except….no, I can’t.  Now I understand where the core of this self-destruction comes from, and, I also understand, by no fault of my mothers, that this is what she knew, so I have to be responsible for myself.  It is time to take the little girl inside of me, who has always believed that she would never be anything more than a failure, wrap my arms around her and allow her to forgive that life.  I need to tell her that those are the stories that her mother feels she was told, and she repeated them, nothing more. It doesn’t now, nor has it ever had anything to do with ME.  Now I can hug that little girl tight and let her know that she isn’t a failure, she never was a failure, and the woman she has become is strong, capable and empowered.

Honestly people, I just floored myself.  I have tried for sooooo fucking long to figure out why I do this to myself repeatedly, always coming up short on the answer.  It is because of you, because I share my stories, that I finally found the answer.  Thank you.

Now the work begins.  How do you break down a lifetime of stories that were never true?  Where do you start repairing the damage that is buried deep in your bones and start to heal them?  You start with on small step. One step towards the goal, and when you hear that voice, or when you see yourself slipping, you give yourself a little reminder that….

This is no longer my story.

Things will never be the same.

I had a bit of a breakdown, completely lost my shit and had and epiphany all in a span of 5 days.

It’s been quite a week.

I’m not going to go into details of the breakdown (cause I’ve been there before), or the losing my shit (yeah, that too).  I am going to tell you how all of that got me to a clearer understanding of myself, in a way I haven’t before. (even though I totally know I should have by now)

I’m reading the book The Conscious Parent.  What I like most about it is that it isn’t telling you how to discipline your children or how to get them to behave the way you want…It is about understanding yourself, as a child and as a parent.  It is about finding truth behind what it is your children do and the things they trigger in you. It’s also about accepting them completely, as they are, who they are…right at this moment.

I am completely and immensely grateful for having read this book.

Anyway….after my breakdown(don’t all great stories of triumph start in the gutter?), and after losing my shit (the hell storm before the calm), I was in sort of a “what the fuck am I doing?? why do I keep doing this shit??” state of mind.  While I was reading the chapter about the roles we play as children, when I got it.  I am chasing love and acceptance.  It was absolutely clear that was my role as a child, my role as a sought our romantic relationships, and the same role as parent.  What was so eye opening was that I do it with my children too…every single trigger is about my feeling loved and accepted.

Ok, here it is, I’m chasing love AGAIN!! Instead of stepping back and making some room for it to come to me I’m trying to control a situation I know damn good and well is not going to change no matter what I do.  I was not accepting things as they really were.  Still trying to say the right thing, or do the right thing, or take the blame for anything and everything…just to make him love me.

I chase and chase until I’m exhausted.  With my mother, with my father, my ex-husband, friends, lovers…Every fucking person, every fucking time.  Chasing love and acceptance from anyone who has rejected me, but claims to care for me.  This shit has got to stop.

I told my counselor and he agrees.  I was nurtured for this role…and I have perfected it.  I’m exhausted.  Chasing love is a lot like running, and I really don’t like running.  Why do relationships have to be so hard??  Well, he says, good healthy relationships AREN’T hard.  The one’s I try so desperately to hold on to are.  Shit, I don’t want to do hard anymore.

HOW do I snap out of it??? How the hell do I stop myself from doing it with the next schmuck??  If I keep chasing every idiot who will not ever love me…I will never have room for someone who will.

The answer is to just stop and ask.  Am I chasing or am I allowing???  If the answer is chasing…get the fuck out, shut the damn door…turn your ass around and high tail it out of there.  You don’t have time for this crap anymore.

So all you handsome narcissistic assholes, charming emotionally unavailable and/or emotionally immature men….This chick is OFF the market.  For YOU that is…off the market for anyone who needs someone to chase them.  Off the market for anyone who triggers that part of me.  I’m not chasing anymore….Done.

Things are never going to be the same.  There are going to be a few Universal tests coming I just know it.  I laugh cause I know it’s not going to be easy, but maybe a little easier than it would have been a year ago.  I’m going to be unpredictable to those who know my type…and I’m sure that, again, I’ll piss a few people off in the process.  I’ve had some experience at how changing affects the people who desperately need you to remain the same.

Ok, I’m all fired up and ready let go of the role of Chaser.  Now I just need to have a little faith that no matter what my past has been like, there is someone for me out there.  Someone who does not need me to chase them, who will not withhold their affections as a weapon, who will love and accept me completely.

Here I go…

 Different Wolf…Same Sheep’s clothing

Counselor “He is thinking only of himself and his needs, right?”
Me “Um…well.”
End scene

Daily I let things settle in with my situation with the Hunky Stallion. I have little Ah-ha moments that strengthen my resolve that this is and always will be a dead end relationship. Even though my intellectual brain KNOWS this…my emotional brain needs to understand and analyze it or I know I will continue to make the same mistakes.

One day I was thinking about our last (and not only) conversation about what I wanted from a relationship…then all of the sudden it hit me.  “Why does this sound so fucking familiar???”  I realized that it is the same exact conversation I have had with my ex husband year after year of our marriage.

It was always the same…Me doing my best to be ok with not getting what I need from the relationship until one of us explodes.  Sometimes it was him. Sometimes it was me.  However it started, it was always ALWAYS the same damn conversation.

Me: I need this!
Him: Yes I know. OR Yes you deserve that. OR I can’t do that.
End scene

Nothing changed. NOTHING.

You would think I would have learned. I guess there are some things you have to learn again and again and a-fucking-gain to get it through your head.

I’m seduced by sweet words of intention….I want so much to believe that the other person really wants to give me what I want, what I deserve.  Somewhere in my crazy fucked up brain I honestly believe that when someone says they understand that withholding their affection from you hurts you that they are going to stop withholding…stop hurting you.  Experience has taught me otherwise…and it seems I still need to repeat the lesson.

Now…I get, it is ME who needs to do the “changing”.  Why do I let myself get stuck thinking that if I just give him more time he’ll get on board?  That’s a great question, and I think if my counselor were to answer that, he would tell you that I was raised to be giving…and giving…and giving….Yes, folks, we can blame my fucked up relationship behaviors on my mother.  Come on! Give me a WHAT WHAT!!!  It’s not my fault…she fucked me up good.

Except for one little thing…I am an adult.  I’m now responsible for my own actions…even if those actions are breed into the very fibers of my existence.  I am responsible for whether or not I continue to play the part I was raised to play, or stand up for my own well being and say FUCK that shit.

Yes the wolf is different…but it’s the same dynamic every single time.  I am catching on.  Thankfully I’m becoming wiser faster…I was married to my ex husband way longer than I should have been.  I’m not going to say I regret it because in all those years I was blessed with two beautiful children and grew as a person in ways I probably wouldn’t have had I been in a different relationship.  The thing is that at my age…45 this year (fuck)…I don’t have another 20 years to wonder if he is going to love me enough to change.  Now I have to be the one to love me enough to say goodbye and move on.

Now…if some handsome, confident, strong yet sensitive, fun, passionate, adventurous and loving man would just ask me out on a damn date.

I guess I got time.

Be open to the lesson. Haven’t I said that before?

So, I’m going to sound a little like a broken record here…but please bare with me.  If there is anything I hope that you can take away from my crazy life lessons it is this…

If you want help then ask.  If you are seeking a sign or a message or something that helps move you in the right direction ask for it.  Then let go of any idea about where you think it should come from and just be open to receiving the answer that you need.

This time it came by way of trying to manage my financial affairs.

There isn’t one single area of my life that doesn’t need some work.  I need to get into better shape, I need to manage my money better, I need to find a better job, I need to work on my relationships, I need to be a better parent….and so on.  Most often I find myself trying to tackle everything at once thinking I can chip away at each area and make some progress.  Problem is…it’s exhausting and ultimately I find myself overwhelmed and not really any better off at all.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was read more.  So I set an intention to read at least one book a month.  Not overwhelming myself but just pick one.  The first book I chose was Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.  I could use a little guidance in the area of finances and I thought I’d take a chance and see what I could learn.  What I got was a little more than I bargained for.

For starters…I did learn what I need to do to get the money thing under control.  So, I’m on a temporary spending freeze, with a budget in place, a small emergency fund open and I’m chipping away at my debt.  The lesson was to start with one thing, the emergency fund and do whatever it takes to get a foundation.  I’m lucky enough to have been given a nice check for Christmas and decided a part of it needs to be set aside inaccessible unless necessary.  Done.

After step one, then you move to step two.  Establishing a budget, and start chipping away at your debt.  Start with the smallest and work your way up.  Makes sense.  Work on one piece of the problem until it has been eliminated and then you move on to the next.  Since this is going to take me some time…I’ve decided to stop there and work on this till it’s done.  Thanks to the public library, the book will be there when I’m ready to move on to the next step.

Um…didn’t you mention something about a lesson??

Well yes I did.  In that book Dave emphasized the importance of working on one step at a time.  Yes we all want to save for retirement, pay off our debt, take care of this need at that need…but ultimately you need to stay focused on one single goal before you can move on to the next.  If I’m putting money away AND trying to pay off my debt, it’s going to take longer to pay off the debt, and I’m not really going to be saving a lot of money in the process.  So, pay off the debt FIRST.

One step at a time.  One project at a time.  Stop spreading yourself so thin that you take longer getting to the finish line on any one of them.  If you’re like me…you end up giving up on all of them cause you feel like you’re never going to get to the end.  Right? So thanks Dave! Financial lesson = life lesson.  Work on one step till you reach the end.

I’m not going to give up on all my endeavours.  I’m still working on getting healthier, being a better parent, and cleaning up my finances.  I am going to give up on the dating thing though.  Not because I’m still holding out hope for any particular situation to suddenly change…but because I have a lot of work to do for me, and right now Me needs to be at the top of the list.

I cannot change any area of my life if I’m just putting minimal effort into all of them.  Nothing will really change for the better…and I’ll be tired and bitter.  So for now the main focus is my finances…which actually kind of spreads its self to other areas of my life.  Keeping on budget means being creative with dinner ideas and teaching my kids how to use what we have and be less wasteful.  Spending freeze means no eating out and no poor food choices making the progress on getting into better shape easier.

So I took out a book to help me with my finances and I learned how to manage my life as well.  This time I’m not going to get overwhelmed and give up on everything.  This time I’m going to stay focused on one small goal till it’s met before moving on.

 

 

 

I’m not broken…just bent.

I finally reached out for professional help.  I love my friends…but there comes a point where you need to hear advise that isn’t wrapped up in someone else’s emotions.

After just one visit I’m already feeling much more relaxed and hopeful.  There’s nothing like opening up, telling your story, and having someone tell you that you aren’t broken.

My mother: His response was that if I completely and fully accepted her that her resistance and anger would fade…We’re going to have to work on that some more simply because I feel that I have done that too often.  I don’t have time or energy to give her what she needs to heal…and honestly, I’m not sure I really want to.  I’m working on me…do your own damn work.

The Job: He get’s it.  Hang on, don’t give up, keep looking for something better.  We laughed at how similar my boss is to my mother.  I think this is more of an exercise on self empowerment.  Finding the line between stroking his ego without losing myself completely.

My Ex: Yep, he’s met him.  Thankfully I’m not just seeing this through the eyes of and ex wife, I’m seeing him as he really is.  We’re going to have to work on my own way to deal with it.  He’s the same man he was.

The Hunky Stallion: It’s an all too familiar road.  He told me that I really do give too much, I take it all on myself.  Then he told me that is not a character flaw…it’s just time I put that into a relationship that is worth it.

I listen.  I process.  I don’t always make the right decisions.  I’m not ready to give up on myself just yet.  As I was doing the same thing I always do….throwing myself in to try to make him see what a mistake it would be not to give me a chance, I snapped.  Oh you…you’re so cute, doing the same damn thing over and over expecting a different response.  That’s cute, wake the fuck up, it doesn’t work.

I’ve always been the kid of women men desire, but I have never inspired one to be a better man or take the relationship to the next level….I’m not the kind of woman men fall in love with.  For this, I can’t blame them…it’s completely my own fault.  I make it too easy for them to be lazy and that does not feed into their own desire.  They like the chase.  I’m an easy catch.  One thing I love about the hunky stallion is that has been  honest with me.  He let’s me in…and sometimes it takes awhile to see what I’m doing is in complete opposition to what he is telling me.

“I like it when I have to chase you.”

As I was planning out my next seductive move…that statement shot to the front of my brain.  I stopped and realized that I was given a beautiful gift…a look inside of his own desire, and there I was ignoring it completely.  That’s when I started to really wrap my brain about my own familiar patterns…I was/am in the process of destroying an opportunity to actually get what it is I really wanted.

I told him I hear you…”could” “should” never “want” or “will”.  Time to step away, give him time to decide if there is room in his life for me.  Time for me to come to terms with the fact that I cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and not expect to to have the same damn relationship.

So I stepped back.