It’s all smoke and mirrors

Today I had an a-ha moment where I realized that I have been caught up in a big comparison game, I hadn’t even realized I was playing.

Lately a few social media sites had been showing some old friends looking fantastic and leading this amazing and very prosperous life.  I was jealous. Every picture posted was perfect. Their children looked amazing and well adjusted and they showered them with amazing material possessions too. They themselves were going on countless trips and money certainly flowed very freely to them.

I was really jealous.

I wanted the material possession, the endless activities and vacations and I wanted to provide all of that to my children as well. 

Then I met my old friend out in the world per chance and as I was describing my sons dislike for a particular school subject and she said hers does as well –  I started to object because I had clearly just seen a picture of him doing this subject with captions that did not suggest even a hint of dislike by her son and then the lightbulb hit;  I just saw a picture, I don’t know the whole story and I am comparing my whole story with a picture that’s not even an accurate portrayal.

It’s all smoke and mirrors.

Then I got thinking that in all honesty I know down in my heart that I have been comparing too much lately and that has been leading to jealousy, hate and frustration.  I only have my complete story and that’s all I need to focus on. The way I live my life, my family, how I look – it only matters to me and I just need to focus on that and truly ignore the rest because the only full story I have is my own. 

Never happy

I feel like I am standing on the edge of a clif about to jump off into a place where I am actually comfortable with who I am but there is a little something holding me back and that is fear of change. It’s weird because in my mind I know that I would love nothing more than to change: be present and just accept things as they are in this very moment; but I am afraid of changing deep down inside.  Change means things will be different, I may lose friends, lose all kinds of things but I could also gain the world, I will never know unless I take that first step.  

I am always wanting more, like so many people : I want a fit body, more money, more things but all they do is take the want away temporarily, soon after I achieve or receive, the want comes back and I don’t really want the want. I don’t like wanting things, and the only time I am able to not want something is when I have it, but that’s temporary and eventually something else comes along igniting my want again.  My mind thinks if I obtain these things I’ll be happy, but it’s rarely I achieve these things and find that everlasting happiness. My mind is simply looking for a way to justify some unhappiness inside myself.  It’s like a distraction from what I know to be true, simply exist in the present moment and love yourself.  

It’s hard to accept yourself as you are in this moment, but it’s also really easy. If I lose ten pounds, if I made an extra $500 per month, everything would work out so much better, but then you get there and it may work for a little bit but eventually it’s not bringing you the happiness that you are truly after. For me, a big part of accepting myself and my life is not comparing to any one else. It’s really hard. I have had to take a temporary (maybe permanent) step back from some social media sites like Facebook, in an effort to step back from a world of comparison.  Right now I need to focus on myself, and really fall deeply in love with myself exactly as I am right now.  The idea of self love and acceptance is one that is new to me and takes a bit of practice –  I don’t have much of a foundation built and therefore temptation to compare to others is too much right now.  I feel as I connect deeper and deeper with myself I will get to a place where I am not even interested in comparison or any external validation or happiness, and can just be me. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these things take time, but I am going to help myself as best as I can get that foundation to move forward happily in peace. 

Accept

I have been struggling lately, struggling with a toddler who has a real spark for life, struggling with new skills for him and teaching new things like potty training. I have been struggling with myself, my anger and a feeling of being alone. I have been struggling with finances.  This past week has been intense with energy that’s been hard for me because I know that I have lessons imbedded in these struggles but I am finding them so difficult to navigate through alone.

Often when I feel overwhelmed like I have been the past few weeks I want to retreat. I head back and get cranky, I want to be alone and I want it all resolved without me having to do much, if anything.  

I find the moon cycles do affect my moods and myself, and admitting that had taken a long time. It’s no secret when a full moon happens I am filled with extra emotions and things often get tense. It happens every month and I have been afraid to admit this in the past because I am afraid others will think I am crazy but I am breaking through and this breakthrough means speaking my truth regardless of what others may think.  The moon affects the earth with the ocean tides, it affects all of us in some shape or form and admitting that means admitting that we are indeed all connected, everyone, everything.

Now that I am in this period of intense energy, it’s a time for breakthroughs and breakthroughs happen in amongst the chaos.  Right now I can see that my issues of learning patience, not caring what others think, and just going with the flow are all important issues to learn but before I do I must accept things as they are right now. These things take time and right now what I need is to slow down and realize I can’t breakthrough everything at once but I can accept things as they are –  this feels like the first and most important step. 

I have talked about this before but instead of saying it and quickly trying to move on I need to live there for a while and feel like I really am accepting it. I’ll be guided to the next place when I need it.

What I need to accept:

– relationships as they are right now, as they are, this means no comparison to others

-finances as they are right now, again no comparison to others

– my children, as they are, spunk and all, it’s who they are, no comparison to others

– myself as I am, and stand with strength in my voice, even if others may find it silly or don’t agree with it

– my body as it is, love all the bumps and lumps and know that I am doing what it needs and again no comparing to others

Right now acceptance is key, accepting everyone and everything in my life is the only thing I need to do, and I need to do that in love.

My hidden lessons 

I’m starting to really see how different people in our lives are there challenging us so that we can learn an important lesson.  My two-year-old son is there teaching me about patience, tapping into that angry part of myself that I hate, so that I can make peace with it .  Those mother figures in my life are there to get me to believe in myself and to not care what anyone else thinks, to really let go. 

By challenging me, it’s really pushing me to get in touch with these lessons.  It’s not always easy, in fact it’s pretty freaking hard at times but I do believe it’s supposed to be hard otherwise I would pay no attention to it. 

So when my toddler is really pushing my buttons I have to tell myself to stop and realize this is about me learning patience this about me learning how to make peace with my anger in this is about me connecting to my true self and let that go. Bit by bit it will get easier and become second nature.

Strength 

I was talking to a friend of mine about New Years resolutions and she introduced me to an idea of a one word resolution.  She spoke of this idea where instead of having a list of different things you want to accomplish, you choose a word that’s important to you and just fills you up.  Throughout the year everything you do should tie into that word, it’s a way to keep yourself in check – to make sure your following your heart and soul.

This isn’t her idea nor mine and I am not sure where it originates  – I am certainly not claiming it to be mine at all but I really like the idea. For a few weeks after she told me about it, I decided to let it be and see what word stands out and speaks to me. It’s taken a few weeks but the word that keeps coming to me is strength. 

This year for me is about strength. I really like this word. For me it represents my souls strength in all that I do – tapping into my inner strength in all aspects of life.  It’s not just wanting to be physically strong, but more a deeper connection to a strong source. This strength for me means having confidence in myself, believing in myself and standing strong in my power. It’s the strength to be in my power and it all resides in myself depending on no one else but me; it feels liberating, exciting and powerful. 

Strength. 

Toddler steps

I had hopes for a post today about international women’s day; it was going to be a beautiful celebration to all women everywhere but instead I am sitting in my chair lightly sobbing as I have beaten down  by a toddler.

I feel exhausted and frankly sad because he is two and a half and a giant pain in my bum!  He knows how to push all the buttons and he doesn’t push them gently.  If I discipline him he laughs at me, time outs don’t even stick because no matter how many times he goes in he always finds a way out, my authority means nothing to him. I tell myself as an adult he will make a great leader pushing the boundaries, not backing down and making himself heard.

But right now it’s hard. 

Everything I do or say is challenged because that’s what he does, that’s what his age is about : testing waters – learning, and all of this I know and understand but as a person who just spent an hour and a half walking him back to his room for sleep I have to wonder what the price for that spark of his will cost.

Because right now I feel broken.

I am tired and I don’t know what I am doing.  My older son is completely the opposite, I have no wisdom to guide me, and the wisdom I seek out from others has left me here in this chair wishing I could curl up in bed with a massive amount of junk food and binge watch my way through the entire Netflix library.

I feel like I am missing some major lesson here: go with the flow,  be present, don’t worry if he ever sleeps again. I don’t know what it is but I am tired and angry and sad all wrapped into one big toddler mama package. I know this is temporary but when you’re in the thick of it, well it can really drag you down.

Baby steps…

Or should I say toddler steps.

Seeing myself 

I love my day to day life: I love what I do, I love the flexibility in it and I really love that after all these years, I eat well for my body and excercise when and whatever I feel like doing. My life has become about enjoyment instead of having to do a certain thing, eat a certain way or exercise a certain amount.  Can you feel the but coming?

But….

I hate my body, and going deeper myself to an extent.

I am on a journey of self love, to really connect to myself and love myself.  Some days I feel like I have made oodles of self love improvements and other days I feel like I am at square one.  This journey of self love is getting hijacked every morning when I pass by the mirror and get dressed. I stop and look at myself and find the thing that is wrong: my belly, my cellulite, whatever I choose to focus on, I then tell myself work harder, eat better and maybe this will go away.

But it never goes away. 

There is always something to improve upon.  I am always looking for something physically I can make better.

If I am working out regularly, eating well and have good amounts of energy then why can’t I accept my body as it is?  I have had two children, things are a little less tight, I have had my ab muscles split both times carrying my children resulting in a slight protruding belly, these things I cannot control but I obsess about them daily –  as if that helps me in any way. I look in the mirror and see imperfection yet I just admitted to being really happy in my day to day life, I have found the right balance that doesn’t make me feel deprived or bad, yet I can’t accept what I look like. 

Once upon a time I had gone down a rather dangerous path that lead to a world where everything had a number, I counted calories and disciplined myself to a point where I was incredibly unhappy, but I looked good. At the time, I excercised two hours a day and was obsessed with all things nutritious. I had a very nice body and I didn’t even care, it could be nicer, I could work even harder. It didn’t abuse too much but I was starting to have obsessive thoughts about body image and it lead me to a very unhappy place where I was incredibly deprived and extremely unhappy. 

Sometimes I think I want that body back, but that body came with a price and it’s one I am not willing to pay anymore.

I do love my life and I really want to love me completely and unconditionally but I look for flaws, a lifetime of doing it can be hard to break. The truth is I am looking for external validation again, I want to look fantastic so you will tell me I look fantastic because I need that from you. But I don’t really. I am comparing myself to you and all I need to do is love myself.

At the very basic level, I need to love this body, completely as it is in this very moment because that’s the foundation I need to build upon my self love.  How do I do it? I tell myself each morning that I look amazing, that I am amazing, and I love everything in the present moment. I don’t look for the flaws in the morning, I just look at myself with love, no comparing to anyone else,  not even myself.  It’s not fair to compare, even to myself because I am very different person then I was back then when I had a body like that, so many different sitatuions are different, I need to simple be in the present moment and just love the hell out of my body. As I start telling myself, it may even feel like i am lying, but I had learned in the past that after time I will come to believe it, I just need to retain my mind into being positive, and that takes time but it’s not impossible.