I was in my hot yoga class on Sunday and there is something my favourite (and awesome) instructor said something that just stuck. Stuck like I can’t-get-it-out-of-my-head, stuck. Its been ruminating within me…and making me feel a bit vulnerable.
While lying in corpse pose mid-practice, Eliza mentioned that moving your body in yoga allows you to learn how to love yourself (side note: I am paraphrasing). Loving yourself is not in a vain way – it is more accepting yourself wholly for who you are, what you are, what you look like, what you believe in.
And thats a big thing for me.
All my life, for as long as I can remember, I have been hating myself… for not being enough – not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not confident enough. I take things too personally and am too sensitive, I trust too much and place too much emphasis on what people say about me. I am a people pleaser.
Society has placed a lot of expectations on the world and in this digital age we are bombarded by images and an influx of advertising imprinting on us what we should look like, how we should act, what we can do. I am also a millennial – a member of the instant gratification generation…we want things our way, and we want it now. Not a good combination.
So, why did the phrase “love yourself” stick out to me THIS class. Especially when the same two words are everywhere – from social media to local magazines… It is the theme du jour, so to speak. I’ve heard and read the phrase many times before. What changed in that moment, in that yoga class?
Perhaps it was the “right time”. I was too exhausted to over-think and analyse and question. I was sweaty and vulnerable and my mind was “still” (well, as still as an ADD mind can get!). It was the first time I actually heard the words. I “felt” the words. And it scares me (not just because I feel very un-scientific saying that I “felt” words).
Just the day before I heard news that threw me… and made me sink into the depths of self-pity. Not the most attractive trait, I know. It made me question the world and the unfairness of life. Why do “good” things happen to “bad” people? “Good” as in lucky, getting everything handed to them, not struggling. “Bad” as in superficial, arrogant, treats people as consumables. The whole nature of it all makes me question and over-analyse life….is life really that unfair? Or is it a perception? What do I really feel about “everything happens for a reason” and “all in good time”?
To add insult to injury, I’ve been feeling forgotten… I seem to attract emotionally unavailable people to my life and then berate myself for giving 150% of myself to a one-sided relationship. I care too much. I love too much. Almost to the extent of losing myself in the process. While they only know me when they want something. It sucks.
I get that each person has their own journey in life. Their own obstacles, trials. But why is it that those who suffer the most are the most humble, genuine, compassionate people? I’m not saying I am any of those qualities but I feel as though I am respectful and caring. Why have things been such a struggle for me these past ten years? Why have their been so many bricks along the path which caused me to stumble at every single step? These questions have been haunting me for the longest time.
As I was in the corpse pose during that class, my heart physically felt as though it was being squeezed, constricted….remnants of muscle breaking away and falling into the deep abyss (so to speak). I’ve felt this way before – I know it well. It is my not-good-enough feeling – I remember it from early 2015, when I had my heart broken. When Eliza said the words “love yourself” it was as if it was a “lightbulb” moment. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling is still there…but my thoughts have “shifted” slightly.
I know I need to persevere, keep at it, take it all in my stride. Intellectually, I know this. I need to move forward. “Embrace” the lessons and learn from them. Grow as a human being – and get stronger, more adaptable, resilient, disciplined (shout out to my 2017 theme)! However, emotionally I am “stuck”… It is so much easier to feel sorry for myself and stay in the same metaphorical place while lamenting my fate, blaming the world – hell anything and everyone – for my situations. I have so much to be grateful for and when I reflect on this it makes me feel worse for even feeling sorry for myself. Vicious cycle all leading to “hate-me” avenue.
It is much, much harder to be an active participant in my life and love myself – flaws and all. The perception requires me to take 100% responsibility for my life, my actions, my decisions. Which is scary because there is no-one or nothing I can blame but myself. When I am in the middle of a hot yoga class and sweating profusely, thinking I am going to fall flat on my face, my mind screaming at me (you’re going to die!)…the heat, the instructions and pure instinct kick in and my body surprises me. I can do it and make it through the class. So perhaps I need to trust my instinct and intuition more in everyday life…and learn to accept myself – flaws and all. Easier said than done.
What do I need to accept in life?
- I will never have supermodel looks or a supermodel body or look like anyone else.
- But I can be the healthiest, fittest person I can be.
- I will never be the smartest person in my field.
- But I can work hard, be disciplined and focused on where I would like to be.
- Some people will only know me when they need something.
- But I can set boundaries to protect myself.
- People I love and care about will not feel the same about me.
- But I can hold a place in my heart for them, wishing them well, without expectations.
- Some people will not have the same values in life as well.
- But I can know my own values, morals, ethics and not be pressured into saying or doing things that does not feel authentic to me.
All these things require diligent action – especially when I’m having a bad day and my default is to feel sorry for myself. Its damn hard work. Today, is a particularly hard day. I deep in wallowing mode and trying to pull myself out of it. My discipline and habits for the day have fallen to the wayside and I’m harder on myself because of it. Talk about a catch-22. Again, vicious cycle. But my crappy feeling is somehow different this time around… I’m fully aware of it… not just feeling “bleh” for no real reason.
I’d like to think my hot yoga practice and my facilitation sessions with Eliza have opened the gates to a new perception of myself and my world. The combination seems to have pushed my boundaries – in and out of class. I only started hot yoga in October 2016, at least once a week so I am still a newbie! My first and second facilitation sessions were in December 2016. Those are the only new things I’ve incorporated in my life and since then I found I’ve been bubbling with the urge to write more. I’ve somewhat started to accept my body (the moments are few and FAR between but there have been glimpses of acceptance). I’m still working on being disciplined, learning to set boundaries and say no… hopefully it will come with time! And I am definitely a work in progress when it comes to comparing myself to others.
Hopefully putting my words down here will allow me to “let go” of some of the thoughts occupying space in my mind and let me get on with my priorities and goals. And, I think, most importantly figure out my vision and passion in this world… so I can see the bigger picture and accept myself more…
Am I the only one who struggles with this? What do you do to get yourself out of a slump? Do you find accepting yourself hard? Please let me know below 🙂