– Abraham Joshua Heschel
Today was a really rough day emotionally. I have spent most of the day questioning myself, my ability to change, my discipline. Ah discipline, my old foe. I am not what I consider to be disciplined person. I often find myself full of good intentions to change how I eat, to workout more, to take courses, volunteer, and on and on at infinitum. What usually ends up happening is that I start off ok, but things get hard or I get busy and all discipline goes out the window.
It is funny though, I had a conversation about this with a friend last week. She reminded me that I do have discipline. When it comes to work, I am very disciplined. I will work 10 hours at the office, come home, eat and get right back on the computer and work until 1-2 in the morning. Then I will get up at 6 am, and continue working. That takes a lot of discipline.
Yet, when it comes to me, to doing things that are good for me, I seem to lose all sense of that drive, that discipline. I can’t seem to find the will power to do what I know needs to be done. Actually will power is not the right word. The more accurate word would be self-love. Oh how I loathe that word…but really it is the best description for it.
All of this self-doubt led to a serious case of fear setting in. Fear, my other evil foe. All I kept thinking about was “What if I can’t do it?“. All that failure means. Not doing this means the possibility of diabetes, of heart disease, of cervical or uteran cancer. All really scary conditions. I am already showing symptoms of several of these conditions. If I can’t cut the sugar and wheat out, get my hormones under control, manage my insulin levels, and start moving more then my situation can get so much worse. That is scary. It is very overwhelming.
In addition to my health fears, I am developing fears around money. All of these prescriptions, supplements and alternatives remedies don’t come cheap. While I do have some health coverage at work, it isn’t nearly enough to cover the cost of everything. Am I going to be able to pay my bills? I have a lot of debt, am I going to be able to make those payments? What if I get worse? Will I have to quit my job?
AAAAAAARRRRRRGH!! I need my brain to shut the heck up!!
I have often heard of people talking about fear as a motivator. That is not my experience. Fear paralyzes me. It stops me from doing the things I want to do, the things I need to do. It has been a big reason why I haven’t done many of things in my life that I wanted to. Fear of failure, of success, of looking like a fool, of embarrassing my family, of disappointing others, of disappointing myself. I really could go on and on. It is something that I have been working very hard at overcoming, but I still struggle with it every single day.
I have been told that I need to live in the now. I need to stop worrying about tomorrow because it isn’t here yet. That is easier said then done, let me tell you. The board of directors in my brain is staging a coup. They are taking control and locking me out of the decision making process right now. I even joked to someone last week, that I should outsource my brain to India. That’s the Mecca for yoga and meditation, right? Because I know that meditation is the key right now. And yet, I can’t find the DISCIPLINE to do it!
It’s a vicious circle that I have been stuck in for a long time. Today is just the day that it has all decided to bubble to the surface. I know, that this all boils down to self-love and self-care. I need to find ways to help me believe that I deserve this. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to live the life I dream of. And yet, somewhere deep in my core I don’t believe these things. My ego tells me that I am unworthy. I am unworthy of love, of health, of happiness. Somewhere in my life this is the message I received. I don’t know why or how, I just know that I did.
I need to change my inner dialogue. I need to be mindful of the messages that I am giving myself that give me permission to give up on myself. The quote that I started this post says exactly what I need to do. I need to find that self-respect. That is what will help the discipline to grow and flourish. I need to have faith. Faith in my doctors, faith in the process. But most of all, faith in myself.