Friday, November 5, 2010

The sweet isn't as sweet without the bitter.....

So I'm coming to the end of my 4 days of self-induced 'me' time. There are so many things that I've learned and have going on in my head after the past few weeks. Its amazing what some time and space can do. A week ago I hit one of the lowest lows I've had in a long, long time. Now I can say that I am out of that space (thank God). Taking time out has been the thing that saved me. I gave myself the space to be able to get clear on what was going on in my head and to be able to see where I need to make changes. Its time to treat myself as I would suggest anyone else treat themselves ie with care, compassion, love and forgiveness. I was expecting myself to be the greatest me I can be, but that was never going to happen because I wasn't giving myself what I needed. It was like expecting a car to run without putting in any fuel. I didn't give myself the space, time or permission to feel all the emotions that I need to feel as I go through a separation from my husband, as I figure out how to be a single mother, as I go through massive changes in every area of my life. I confused being 'by myself' and being 'with myself', and those two things are very, very different. Being with yourself involves letting everything else drop away, all the distractions and the doings that fill our lives, so that all thats left is you and your thoughts and feelings. It is an extremely confronting thing, particularly when you are coming up against strong and sometimes painful emotions. But it is an essential part of being able to work through things, learn what you need to learn about yourself and life and to ultimately move on to the next part of life's journey.

What I am also giving myself is clarity in regards to assessing and identifying exactly what I need to do for myself to fill my own tank - from ensuring I am eating well, exercising, meditating to stay in touch with myself, seeking help from health professionals when I need it and the list goes on. I had gotten myself to a point where my head was so full and the pressure I was placing on myself was so great that I didn't even have a clue what would really fill my tank-which ensured that I was never going to be able to fill it. Being able to fill my own tank is one of the most important things to me. I don't say that in the sense that you shouldn't ask others for help or draw strength from others when you need it - because you definitely should and I would never be where I am now in life if I hadn't. But I believe that ultimately true fulfillment and happiness stem from your ability to fill your own tank; to truly feel as though you are enough; to truly know yourself, love yourself and to be able to give yourself what you need. Then you really do know that you can face anything life throws at you and live to your full potential.

I am getting better and better at not making myself wrong for experiencing any of the things that I experience. I am human, just as everyone else is. We all have our days, weeks or months where we fall down and are not operating at our best. What I can do now is acknowledge it, own it, share it with others and learn from it. I dust myself off, pick myself up and keep on going. My experiences over the past few years have taught me that these breakdowns truly are a gift. When you are in the middle of the breakdown it can be very difficult and sometimes even impossible to see that any good could come from it and all you want to do is escape from the terrible feelings or situation. But the gift comes in the form of the breakthrough that you experience when you get to the other side. When the darkness clears and you are able to see things and feel things in a new way, when you discover you have a greater respect for yourself and what you are capable of doing, when you have greater empathy and compassion for those around you and a renewed commitment to living the most amazing life possible. That is the gift - the gift that can only be achieved by going through the breakdown in the first place.

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