I have a confession to make – to me and to you.
I am really hard on myself. Like, really hard! The specifics of my confession found hereafter are raw and necessary in hopes of moving past this point in my year.
I feel a draw to call myself out, to lay it all on the table, look it all over and take stock, and hopefully then be able to hold the garbage can at the edge and dump it all with one heavy sweep of an arm.
It seems this time of the year is the worst for me. It’s not due to the consideration of New Year’s resolutions, as for many, but because of the seasons: the shortest days of the year, cold and snow, barren of plants, all having a negative impact on my psyche. I also think it’s just the time of year things are felt more cumulatively – it all piles up and topples over, burying me where I stand.
I want to note that I’m well aware of a completely opposite post I made just last week, of overwhelming love and gratitude, of peace. Feelings of blessing in one moment and failure in another are real – true – honest – and not mutually exclusive of one another. I honor both as best I can.
So, here goes; I feel like I’m failing. Not a failure, but failing. A good friend of mine once told me the difference between guilt and shame; guilt is feeling you’ve DONE something bad, shame is feeling you ARE something bad. Although Shame used to be my regular companion, I‘m grateful to say we no longer spend much time together. Instead, Guilt travels with me from time to time. I prefer his company to that of Shame’s, but it’s best when they leave me to travel without them entirely. Right now, Guilt and I are closer than we’ve been in a while.
Alright, let’s just lay it all out there for the world to see. My resume of guilt ---
I don’t have enough self-discipline to:
o Eat the best to keep my body healthy or stay at a healthy weight
o Exercise/Stay active
o Be more productive
o Lay off so much TV
o Stop bad habits
o Keep my house as clean as I should
o Get to sleep at a decent time
o Drink enough water
o Change my sheets as often as I should
o Get off my ass
o Get out of bed on time/to work on time
I don’t have enough motivation/energy to:
o Go horseback riding more often
o Play with my kids more often
o Play with my dog more often
o Spend more time in the sunshine
o Do more book marketing
o Always provide nourishing food for my family
o Go on more adventures with my family/friends
o Free-Write more often
o Blog post more often
o Submit writings to other publishers
o Do more in my favorite spaces: kayaking, rafting, hiking, swimming
o Take better care of myself physically – showering, lotion, vitamins…
I don’t offer my heart in the following ways as much as I should:
o By talking kindly/compassionately to my family
o Reaching out to my family that lives elsewhere
o Loving my family the way they would best recognize it as love
o Setting a good example for my boys
o Going on regular dates with my hubby
o Spending enough time alone – just sitting with myself
o Laughing enough with my family
o Finding things to do with my husband that we both enjoy
o Treating my husband like a friend as often as I should
There they are, all my heartbreaking confessions… laid out there for me to take stock of.
I do know, logically, that I’m not failing in all realms of my world. Logically I truly believe I’m a good person, wife, mother, friend, provider, protector, and employee. Somehow, though, there’s often a disconnect between what I know logically to be true and what my emotions lead me to believe. Even if there is only a 3% truth to any of these in all actuality, the disparity between this and the weight the failures have on my emotions can be exponential.
My goal today is two-fold. One is to offer myself some possible respite by releasing these confessions into the world and in turn hopefully being able to move past them. The second is to speak my truth to all of you, in case you are feeling similarly. Common humanity can add to a communal understanding and healing.
So, I conclude today by making two promises to myself and to you. I will hold these confessions and allow them time to be seen. They are, after all, true feelings and therefore need to be recognized and acknowledged – ignoring and dismissing them seems only to give them more power. I will sit with them, have conversations, share empathy. And then, as my second promise, I will move beyond them. With understanding and compassion, I will leave Guilt to his own travels and move forward into my own feeling more hopeful, motivated, and whole.
Thank you, friends, for allowing me the space to share these things and in turn connect with you, and myself, at a time I dearly value connection. And, if you feel anyone else in your life might benefit from this post, please share it!