Instead of Just Living

by justine

I’ll be honest, Monday holidays are tough for me. Today was exactly like other weekdays, except the relief that I didn’t need to check email. It comes with an alone-ness though. Most everyone else is working and I have absolutely no money to spend on a *fun* day. Instead I had a normal day – gym, write, eat, errand, petsit. Every day is a “normal” day – what changes is my level of panic. What’s interesting about today though is how I was able to combat the anxiety.

Panic came when I was told I had to convince someone else of my accomplishments. Panic came when I wasn’t sure I could fit it all in. Panic came when I wasn’t sure I purchased the right gift for my sister. Panic came when I worried I wasn’t doing enough.

But then…

Happiness came when my little brother called to say hi. Happiness came when I noticed my ring sparkle-sparkle. Happiness came when I was paid. Happiness came when I walked in the breezy morning darkness. Happiness came when I journaled.

By questioning my panicking thoughts and letting go of my need to impress, I was able to balance the two out.

“Full time approval seeking means that instead of just living your life, you have to act it out” ~Byron Katie

The lists above prove that quote true today. All of the panicking comes from a deep-set worry that somehow I am not living my life right, I am screwing something up, and I am a waste of human potential. (Sound harsh? You should hear my inner thoughts… but then you probably have your own battle field).

But I’m not. Or, who’s to say really? Byron Katie writes that when you want the approval of someone, to write what you’d want them to say down. Then question it and turn it around. Do I want my family to approve of my life or do I not approve of my life? Do I want someone to be proud of my skills or am I lacking pride in myself?

“When you’re constantly trying to be likeable, you leave no gaps in your life in which you can just breathe and notice what you already have, no change to experience the unlimited options those gaps are filled with.” ~Byron Katie

I’m realizing more and more the exhaustion caused by my everyday thoughts. Not only that, but no wonder I never feel fully immersed in my days – I’m not! I know being present is a practice. I know that it takes a lot of effort to be grateful for the missteps, the imperfections, the mess. What’s important is what I think about myself and my life, not what I think other people think.

Again, this is just a chapter marker – a gathering of thoughts that are not fully articulate, but worthy enough to be put out there now. I’m tired of putting on the show. My own “hustle for worthiness” started when I was so young, I don’t remember just being.

Tis time to make a change.