Adventures in measuring my standards with my own ruler

   The other day someone told me that I was too hard on myself. In fact he reiterated this point. I seriously had no idea that he ever even noticed this about me. I know this about myself but something about the fact that he noticed this and felt the need to make sure that I understood this brought about some new awareness. How hard am I on myself? Really? I think this is something that goes so deep that it will take me a while to really understand all the levels in which I am too hard on myself. Possibly for the rest of my life.

   Somewhere along the line I got the idea that I don’t work hard enough, that I’m not passionate enough or that I’m doing something wrong because I’m not living the life that I’ve dreamed about for so long. I also believe sometimes that I’m not good enough (for whatever…you name it) or that I screwed it up. I don’t know where this idea came from but the fact that I entertain the idea that I’m not enough, that I need to be more, do more, figure it out and continue to nourish this idea, is my responsibility. I am why this idea still exists in my life.
Or maybe it’s the gnomes telling me I’m not enough..

   It just occurred to me that I’ve been measuring my personal standard and give-all ability against other people and their standard of give-all ability. It also just occurred to me that I could ask myself, “What is my standard of give-all ability? At what level can I give my all and not lose my mind or my health?” I’m not sure what the answer is yet but I know that if I compare it to those standards of anyone else, I am using an inaccurate ruler for which to measure myself with. This goes for anything with life really, but today I am addressing an area in my life that has yet to be exposed.

   I’ve been struggling with depression and exhaustion lately. This has been really hard for me because I don’t feel like myself. I’m a pretty energetic, go-get-it kind of person. Always on the go, in the middle of several projects. But lately I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by even the smallest tasks, even the things I love to do the most and I cannot bring myself to do them. I have no physical, mental or emotional energy for any of them. I am currently operating at bare bones. Ask anyone who knows me, this is highly unusual.
   Normally I would see this as a weakness, or a major setback causing me to fall months behind on anything and everything…my life is crumbling away and there is nothing I can do! Causing me to feel sad and defeated.

   Something different is happening this time. I don’t seem to mind too much that I don’t have the energy right now. I am welcoming this opportunity to rearrange my life. Because I am operating at bare bones, I only have energy for that which is most important, everything else has to wait and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that. In fact I wish I could just stop everything in my life for a week or two and reassess everything…all of it. Take what I want and leave the rest but it doesn’t quite work that way. I can do that if I clean out a room in the house but I cant do that with my mind.

Down time. Period.

   With my mind it’s more of a process. You see, I am also plagued with thinking too much, feelings of obligation and apparently measuring my abilities against the abilities of others. But then again, maybe I want to use the excuse of excessive thought and all my obligations as an excuse for lack of action. (Am I being too hard on myself again?)

   It seems that it really is just that simple…find that which is serving my greater purpose and nourish it, the rest of it doesn’t need my energy, mental, physical, emotional or otherwise.

   I don’t know much right now except that I’m in great need of down time and personal reassessment. What I do know is that the amount of energy that I put into my goals can only be the amount of energy that I can put into them and not that of anyone else. If someone one else can achieve those same goals in less time or even more time for that matter, good for them. I live my life the way that I choose and if I continue to believe that I need to be keeping up with or slowing down to anyone else’s pace, I wouldn’t be true to myself and my personal needs. I wouldn’t be honoring me.

   Right now I feel as though I am in a cocoon, brewing, reassessing, resting, changing. (Actually I think I’m still in the process of building the cocoon). The caterpillar doesn’t know why it’s in the cocoon, only that this is what it needs to do. It literally has no other choice. It will only emerge when the time is right. And when it does, it is beautiful. It actually sprouted wings. It has different capabilities and different needs, yet its caterpillar past is still very much a huge part of what it is. It’s past life and the down time in the cocoon is what made it the butterfly that it is today.

   A pretty cliche metaphor I know, but I don’t care, it’s completely accurate for me and that’s what matters. Whatever becomes of all this will be beautiful. I will grow my wings and I will fly. That I can guarantee! In the mean time I will be doing a lot less.

2 responses to “Adventures in measuring my standards with my own ruler

  1. Funny.. I've been thinking for days about the thing you said to me: “Maybe you're right where you need to be.” That thought is freeing.. when I allow it. That's the trick — really believing it. That's what you're doing: honoring where you are. Thank you for your ongoing inspiration. I love your journey, carrie corvid 🙂

  2. Pingback: I am a badass with equal parts soft, squishy and vulnerable | the corvid drifter·

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