Has someone ever told you “you’re doing it wrong?”
Then proceeded to show you “their way” of doing whatever it was you were doing so “wrong” in their eyes?
Leaving you feeling unworthy, misunderstood, or just downright dumb?
Well screw those people, and screw that voice in your head that continues to repeat that statement making you question your every move. Making you question your thoughts, your ideas, your creativity, your very being.
Maybe you haven’t been outright told “you’re doing it wrong” but have been corrected over and over again leading to this same negative self-belief that you are wrong.
I am here to tell you, YOUR NOT.
I woke up this morning, freezing my toes off during this cold front Thailand is currently experiencing.
I refused to get out of bed for the 4th time this week to ride my scooter to the gym.
I hit snooze and curled up and went back to sleep.
Normally –whatever that means– I am incredibly motivated to work out. To get up and go, get my day started right.
Regardless of the weather. Back home I would run in the rain, sleet or snow, I never missed a workout at the gym either.
I also had all the gear to keep me warm, a car to drive to protect me and heat me up as I headed out before the sun rose.
It’s a bit different here.
When I awoke, I had this voice in my head repeating itself. “You’re doing it wrong.”
“Hey, shut up” I thought. “Give yourself a break, there is no wrong way.”
That’s when it hit me.
Seriously? There is no wrong way to do anything.
We all have “our” ways that are unique to each individual, but as it stands today, I do not believe in wrong ways.
Besides the word “wrong” is a negative term so if trying to correct a behavior or habit, determining it wrong makes it “bad” which results in guilt and shame. Leading to denial, resistance and for me rebellion.
One of my greatest lessons while traveling has been opening my mind to new and different ways of life.
I have also begun to practice self-forgiveness and not to be so hard on myself in my faults. Embrace my assets while becoming aware of my faults. Deciding what I want to change and what I want to keep.
There is a positive affirmation that I absolutely love and have begun telling myself every morning in the mirror.
“I love and accept myself, exactly as I am, right now.”
It reminds me that I AM good enough, right now. Not 10lbs from now, not after my acne goes away, after I earn a degree, make more money, have more friends, god forbid get a boyfriend. NO. I am good enough today, right now.
I have been abroad for 7 months now. That’s 7 months away from everything I know and feel comfortable with. Contrary to most glamorous travel blogs you read, in that time I have gained some weight, my hair has thinned and my acne has gotten worse than it ever has. I have become increasingly aware of the “wrong” coping skills I have that have led to some of these issues. I am more aware of myself today than I ever have been. My addiction is sometimes more prevalent than it ever was back home.
I am changing.
I am growing.
I am learning.
I am doing it all at the pace of my creators will for me.
If I choose to stay in bed because it is 30 degrees colder than it usually is here, ITS OKAY!
Even if I do it 4 mornings in a row.
Sometimes, I even choose to lay in bed all day and read. BECAUSE I CAN.
If I was home, and I chose not to leave my bed all day, it would be criminal.
Someone would tell me I am isolating, maybe even lazy, someone else would think I was sick, someone would think I was depressed and so forth.
If I skipped the gym 4 days in a row I would tell myself I am lazy, fat, useless, weak. Today I know I am none of those things.
I hope you know that you are none of those things.
If you are behaving in ways you no longer want, being aware is the first step to change, when your ready. When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, you might find yourself ready to do the work. It doesn’t always have to be this way. But know, your process is your process.
You see it took me 21 years of life to determine, accept, and surrender to the fact that I am an addict. That I cannot use drugs, no matter what. The deceit, manipulation, destruction, dereliction of my disease overpowered the illusion of joy I got while high. Using any mind or mood altering substance from the age of 13 until 21- that’s 8 years of addiction. 8 years of chaos and insanity. I was completely unaware that I would ever have to stop using. At 25 years old and 4 years clean I am beginning to become aware of other life long habits that I no longer want to carry with me.
I have to remind myself- and I will remind you too- it took time to build those habits, and now it is going to take time change them.
It took 7 months for me to slowly- but quickly- gain this unwanted weight. 4 days away from the gym is not going to ruin me. I am not getting “fit” “wrong.”
Because I stay in bed and read all day does not mean I am traveling “wrong” nor does it mean I am living abroad “wrong.”
In fact, it is the very reason why living abroad is so magical. It is so freeing.
Not because there is so much stuff to explore and discover in a foreign country.
I am completely in control of what I chose to do.
I have the freedom of alone time, away from the distraction of friends and family ( I mean that in the most loving way).
Besides work, I have the luxury of filling my free time with whatever makes me happy.
I have the opportunity to discover myself. The self within that has been preoccupied for so long by the influence of comfort.
So for you, on your journey, whatever it consists of. You are doing it so right.
Only your heart of hearts will tell you, you’re not and your only job on this planet is to listen to that heart of hearts.
Follow that heart.
Allow it to love you.
Let yourself be you, even if you don’t exactly know who “you” are.
I am here to tell you its okay.
Treat yourself with love.
Treat yourself with compassion.
Never let anyone’s opinion conform you.
You are love, light, inspiration, and life, right here. Right now. You are oh so right.