It’s ok to struggle. I do at least some part of every day. But here’s an important thing to remember: feeling that struggle does not mean we are incapable. It means we are working at something we have not already mastered, whatever that might be. Sometimes we brush this truth aside, because we think we should already know how to do the thing – even if we don’t know what the thing is. Sometimes we don’t even realise we are working hard at something, because our mind is filled with fog and everything looks confusing. On days where this happens, try to hold onto the the truth: you are enough.
That last statement is really hard for me to believe about myself. Most days I go to sleep thinking I haven’t accomplished everything or part of what I meant to. Even if I do, I feel no sense of achievement, or even an acknowledgement that I’ve done some things I set out to.
I spent some time thinking about it this past evening, and I honestly can’t remember a day where I went to sleep content with how that day went for more than two days in a row. I can tell you this makes it extremely difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If you try and fit more in, you reduce the number of hours you sleep, which in turn increases the chances of feeling groggy and incapable the next day. If you try to sleep, often the mind is troubled and sleep doesn’t come until far later than is useful. Worse still, if you sleep in the next day, even for a bit by choice, there’s the chance you’ll wake up feeling like you’re already behind the eight ball.
I’m sorry to say I haven’t found a solution to making the right choice at the right time when it comes to this conundrum – I still greatly struggle with mindset when it comes to sleep. Feeling like I’ve done enough, potentially even “earned” the chance to sleep, seldom happens. This in itself is not a helpful thought. One doesn’t have to “earn” sleep. To live healthily we require it. Schedules may be different, and different people require amounts, but we all need sleep.
Here’s a novel set of thoughts for any given day, which are as much for you as they are for me.
You’ve eaten at some point today? Well done. Really. Some days in my life this is the hardest thing to do. You’ve had a drink of water at some point today? Well done, hydration helps more than we realise. You got out of bed at some point today? Ka pai (well done). You’ve put your feet on the floor and lifted yourself. Literally.
Now, if you did anything else in addition to these things like, for example, going to work, reading blogs, writing a poem, going for a walk, engaging in conversation, watching television with friends, doing a crossword, intentionally using your brain for creative thought, then you have done more than you might think. Own that because YOU did that.
My learned mindset which gives rise to the inability to embrace contentment is not going to magically disappear because I noticed it. Years of self-imposed expectations have to be released from my heart and mind to allow me to also let go of the thoughts that I am not doing enough. In my mind this manifests as feelings of always being behind where I am supposed to be.
Where am I supposed to be? Right where I am, where God has placed me at this very moment. It is painful to say this, even though this has and will always be more truthful than the multitude of lies which seem to reside permanently in my mind.
I’m at what still seems like the very beginning of this journey, and feel like I’ve been here most of my adult life. It’s tough, there’s a lot of pain to work through, and I often don’t see the next step. But I’ve started, and for all that I feel like I’m running in place, I will try and tell past me, present me, and future me one thing: Thank you.
Keep on keeping on being awesome. PEACE.