Trading Struggle for Ease
The biggest and longest lasting fights I have ever had have been with me, myself, and I. Most of those fights had to do with trying to whip myself into a version of me that was based on someone else’s opinion of what I should be, do, or have.
There was a long list of shoulds for me: be smarter, thinner, more successful, quieter, selfless; make more money, do everything for others – I won’t go on - maybe you have a similar list.
Position of Lack
This whole quest to improve myself came from a position of lack – a feeling of not measuring up accompanied by an overwhelming desire for attention and approval. “If I could just….then they will like/love/approve of me.” I saw myself as the ugly duckling who was trying so hard to be a better duck, when really I was a swan – I just couldn’t see it. I had made assumptions about who I was that weren’t true.
For example, because I did not inherit my mother’s tall and willowy figure (I take after the Wards who are short and sturdy), I always felt dumpy and fat in relation to her. I fretted as a teenager - remember panty girdles? I wore one even though I only weighed 115 lb.
An eye opener arrived many years later in the form of an old photo of me at 17. I had to look twice because staring back at me was this slim young woman! My self-perception had been so skewed, I didn’t even see the real me.
Work-wise, I always felt less than beside brothers who made big bucks in the oil patch. For years I denied my artistic talents and yearnings because I couldn’t see how to make money doing something I loved. It was a struggle to travel down a path that others disapproved of.
Eventually I got tired of “shoulding” on myself (the other word is also appropriate!) and tucked the whips away.
Facing death and embracing self love helped me surrender the battle with myself so I could move from my self-imposed misery to a more peaceful and joyful life.
While I still question the length of time it’s taken to make peace with myself (years and years) I feel grateful that I’m coming to a lovely peace inside my own skin. As I do this, dormant creative juices are flowing in directions I never would have imagined experiencing in this lifetime. Magnificently alive and alert to new possibilities, I look forward to the next chapter of my life as it fills with love, ease, and grace.
Sue Paulson inspires others to love their magnificence. Her third book, “Magnificent Misery – From Adversity to Ecstasy” is now available at Audrey’s and Ascendant Books in Edmonton or through Amazon. www.suepaulson.com