You know how, when you wake in the morning, your brain kicks into high gear, and the 'balancing' game begins?
Before your feet hit the floor, you already have your day's food and activity mapped out in your head. All planned. Even. One balances the other out. Safety....right?
The phone rings. You are asked to help out with your nephew while your sister goes to the doctor...oh no. That means you can't eat 'your' food for lunch. You will probably have to eat something 'unknown' in front of others, unless you can avoid it all together. Just to be sure, safe, all balanced out.....you do 5 extra miles on the treadmill or you do 200 extra crunches. Ahh.....safe again.
What about that doctor's appointment? The nurse is going to weigh you. Can you ask her not to tell you? But she will know, and what will she think? Better not eat breakfast, or drink anything. Maybe an extra hour of exercise or 10 more laxatives will balance it all out. Or......you know you have lost weight since your last visit. What to say? You will have to drink 3 glasses of water and try to get by with leaving your shoes on while they weigh you....they are clueless anyway, right?
Yet, maybe they should know you lost weight. Maybe they will think it's a good thing. They certainly don't know how much you are struggling, or that it's a 'real' problem. Maybe you don't really need to see the doctor....you cancel the appointment until you can figure out how to balance it all out.
It's Wednesday. You know the weekend is full of activity and meals out with others. You know you will be unable to exercise and you will be 'forced' to eat foods that you don't want, and more of it. For the three days prior, you do twice the amount of exercise and take twice the number of laxatives to be sure that the weekend balances things out. You will be 'caught up' before it even starts. In the end, you end up eating less than you would have on your own plan and you exercise those days anyway.
It's never enough. It never balances out. The fear is always there that you won't be 'prepared', and then what?
Is any of this familiar to you? How much time do you spend calculating and balancing your life, your food, your activity, etc., in order to feel 'safe'? What are you missing during that time? The laughter of your child? Watching a hummingbird in your yard? An opportunity to laugh, to feel the sun on your face, or to smile into your elderly Mother's eyes?
I did this for many years...for over 3 decades. I can't even imagine the emotional energy I wasted on trying to make it all 'balance' out. But I can see what I missed. I now know I was running from, or avoiding FEELING the true pain and joy of life. Either end of the spectrum frightened me.
I attempted to meet up to others' expectations, yet I was sacrificing my own identity in the process. I believed that by keeping others happy I would be safe, when in fact, it nearly killed me several times.
Today is Easter Sunday, 2011. I was thinking this morning about how free I am. I began to remember some of the scenarios that I described above, and how imprisoned I was by my own mindset. I cannot remember any day that was not a complicated balancing act in my mind.
Of course I didn't realize at the time just how narrow my life had become.
What changed it for me? It was another kind of fear, at a much greater level.
My 'aha' moment was many combined moments, of pain and fear and grief. When my17yo son was killed, my life was changed forever. These changes led me to search for answers, and in the process I found my life.
What has been, or will be your 'aha' moment?
Think about your 'balancing' act, and is it working for you? What are you sacrificing in the process?
Carry out your experience, and ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that will happen if I don't 'balance' today out?" And....where is my current plan leading?