I sat journaling this morning, hemming and hawing, going back and forth, over and over and over.
Am I being too hard on myself, or am I being lazy?
Should I be pushing myself more, or is now a season of rest?
I've talked before about how the line between these two is very fine, and it is. And I know that. Yet I still sat here, struggling to decide where I land and what to do. It's a common occurrence for me. I get stuck in the decision, and therefore stuck in my head, and therefore going nowhere except sitting, more perplexed than when I started. It's a thing I do. (LOL!)
Well, then I went to yoga, and wouldn't ya know it, she was talking about my very conundrum. She came at it, however, from a slightly different angle.
It's one I've heard before, I've talked about it, I've even practiced it. But it's like sometimes you talk about something so much or you hear other people talk about it so much that you kind of tune it out, like, "yeah, yeah, I know that already..." when in reality, you don't know it at all. Yup... that was me in this situation.
She proceeded to talk about not pushing beyond just because you can, but instead, listening and trusting your body to tell you what is needed. My body is incapable of lying. If my legs shake too much in plank, my knees will drop. If my shoulders start to burnout, my arms will drop. The body just has this way of letting us know exactly what is going on. That's not to say we can't (or don't!) override it or ignore it's signals... it takes practice to listen... but the body is always there, ready to share the truth.
My head, on the other hand, is tricky, and may or may not share the truth. It can make up all kinds of stories and lies and replay scenarios and leave me in a tailspin. The body just won't do that to me. It works with me, supports me, and asks me to listen so it can do it's job.
The conclusion I came to this morning was there was a common theme in all of hemmed and hawed about: I was being unkind to myself. I was getting upset because I wasn't doing enough or trying harder or I had to modify that piece of the workout or I was in last place all week. (even though, amidst all that, I also hit some epic personal lifting bests! Funny how our minds tend to only see that one negative thing: see what I mean about trusting our minds? lol)
I was looking at everything from performance, and not from care, healthy balance, and love. I looked at me modifying pieces of the workout as ways I failed or could have tried harder, vs knowing in the moment if I didn't modify, I might not finish what I was doing, or at least it would be very, very hard. Rather than saying, "Good job, Amy, way to listen and do what you needed to do," I went the opposite way. I berated myself for doing anything less than perfection.
So today, in yoga, when my teacher spoke those words, I felt the tears well up in my eyes. Yup. Just like I told myself this morning. I've been listening to my body, but instead of thanking it, I've been unkind instead. What a way to treat this amazing vessel that does so much for me!
I think it's human nature, to second guess, to look for what's missing, to try to be better (or maybe that's just me). It can be helpful in a lot of ways, to help us see our blindspots and to improve as people. But at what point does it become a game of searching for perfection that just leaves me feeling empty?
I don't know that the drive for perfection for me, will ever go away. What I do know is that the more I'm in my body and honoring it and the less I'm in my head, the less the perfectionist rears it's ugly head.
My body is innate and wise and has my best interests at heart. Yours does, too. I'm going to take some time this week, to thank my body for what I'm learning, and how it's helping me be not the perfect version of myself, but the best version of myself.