Updated: Mar 25, 2018
You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it - Charles Bruxton
OMG...I'm out of breath, sweaty, anxious and by the middle of the class I am crying! Yes crying in front of a room of strangers! My first fitness class in almost 5 years.
I have spent much time blaming and justifying that the sacrifices I have made over the past years were essential for my family. That somehow if I gave up taking care of myself and taking time for myself that Ashton would progress more, Ryan would be able to achieve his goals, my family and friends needed my help, I didn't have time, the house wasn't clean, the groceries needed to be done, the paper work needed to be completed....blah blah.
This might be true in some sense but what I have realized of late is that what I thought it meant to be "ALL IN" in life was completely unbalanced. The expectations I had set for myself as a mum, wife, friend, daughter were not sustainable and limited the joy and fulfillment of a life well lived.
I guess I thought that being strong enough to be me, to stick to who I was, to make time for myself somehow made me weak and selfish. I took on the responsibility of the world and now when I look back I could have better served in many ways had I not have been so ready to give up who I was.
I measured my worth on our circumstances. I retreated inside myself and put on my brave face and went about life like a robot. To work, to therapy, to Dr appoint, to Psychologist, to Pediatrician all on autopilot. Heaven help if anyone ever caught sight of the cracks in my armor.
Self reflection is a wonderful thing. Self awareness is key to managing the seasons of life and staying true to your core.
Instead of using the challenges we face in life as experiences to move forward, I used them as boundaries to create walls of self doubt, anxiety, self pity etc. I realize now that all my life experiences and our family journey has prepared me to help others.
Anytime we are afraid, we are being selfish. This really puts a different spin on your perspective.
So back to my red face, puffing and crying...
In the past 5 years I have put on 15kg. I stopped going to the gym, stopped running, stopped eating clean, started to self sooth in junk food, wine and over eating. It felt good at the time...felt amazing as I enjoyed that chocolate or glass of wine. Slowly and quietly this self soothing and sacrifice creeped into all parts of my life. I was tired all the time, anxiety was hard to control, confidence was at an all time low, I doubted my husband and families love for me, wanted to curl into ball and stay in bed.
Last week I walked into the gym, completely panicking and worrying what everyone thought. Crazy talk in my head, just rubbish. How was I going to do this? I cant!
GUESS WHAT? I did it! I smashed it and felt more like my self in years.
Mid way through the class I was overwhelmed with emotion. Lucky we were all sweaty so my tears were not out of place or obvious. Why did I cry?
I cried for the realization that it wasn't my family circumstances or Ashton's needs, our business commitments, the lack of time or money that had caused me to give up so much of myself. I REALIZED THAT I ALONE HAD CHOSEN TO PLAY SMALL. It was me and me alone that had failed myself.
I had let the pain in my life dictate the way I lived. Instead of choosing growth in the moment and to live wholeheartedly I had let the seasons of my life take control.
I cried for the grief I had been holding onto since Ashton was diagnosed with ASD, I cried for the pain I had experienced throughout my journey as a mum, wife, daughter, friend. Most of all I cried in relief for the realization I had made, for the heaviness of life to lift, for the excitement of becoming my best self again.
Our lives rise to the level of the voices we choose to believe and the energy we surround ourselves with. If we believe certain voices and energy in our life, that's how our life ultimately rises or falls. What surrounds you gets inside you.
My reflection is this - Trusting in what you love, what feels healthy and whole and continuing to make it a priority in your life will ultimately take you where you need to go. Through thick or thin when you trust yourself you will continue to step forward into growth. Making time for the things you love allows you to feed your soul and fill your cup. It is important to be self aware enough that you can recognize the challenges in life, acknowledge them but continue to step forward into your power instead of retreating. This isn't always the easy choice but on reflection it is far better in the long run. It allows you to serve yourself and most importantly..... serve others in the best way possible - from a place of love, peace and joy...the best version of you.