I don’t even remember what it was I heard this morning that made me realize that a huge part of overcoming my own challenges is simply (haha…like it’s simple) getting out of my own way. I think it was a song, and the woman was singing beautifully about getting out of her own way to spread joy around the world.
When I am in my own way, I spread no joy. I head down a very predictable spiral of negativity in my head, I think thoughts like:
- “I can’t live like this” Usually when I think this I am overwhelmed by the kids and the house and the sheer amount of doing.
- “I am going to fail” The biggest thing I fear failing in is my family, and it is crystal clear to me why. It is the young kid in me who saw her own family fall apart, and starting my own has brought up (yay!) so many of those issues. In the thick of it though, it is hard for me to see that and I often blame it on my current circumstances or even on John or my kids.
- “I am never going to amount to anything” This one is powerful. I usually start by comparing myself to my friends (most of them are in grad school, I stay home with my kids) and I think that my professional self is going to disappear, or even worse, that she will never emerge.
- “I have done it all wrong” Again, usually borne of unrealistic and unnecessary comparisons. Happens a lot when I feel stuck, or judged.
These are just a few but some of the most powerful ways that I get in my own way. I get in my own way by not taking care of myself (simple ways, like forgetting to eat lunch, or neglecting to do yoga or have just a few minutes to myself), and I get in my own way when I am tired.
But, when I can get out of my own way? That, my friend, is where the magic is. Letting life move. Small, important interactions. Creating. Enjoying the babies. Reaching out to people. Laughing! When I can do this, I start to see a future full of amazing possibilities. A present full of joy. A past that is what it is. Nothing written in stone.
In fact, if I could write just one word in stone…It’d probably be gratitude. I’ve been thinking that we’ll start the tradition of a family gratitude journal, writing down one or more things apiece that happened (apparently writing why they happened can also be very helpful) that we are grateful for. Maybe it will help!
Am I alone in this? I always love to hear feedback! How do you get in (or out of) your own way?