The difference between being in immediate survival mode and a more sustainable survival mode, and the grief we need to allow ourselves to experience to move from one to the other.
For me, there are two important elements related to these daily gratitudes that help me with the way my brain seems to be wired, and to help me feel less like I’m passively drifting through my life rather than being IN my life fully.
Striving for better has been a characteristic that’s brought me a lot of success and reward. But I tend to see those rewards as obligatory, not as something to celebrate. Because they’re rewards for things I “should” be doing anyway.
What if she’s the one who can see the authentic me, and I cannot? What if I can be vulnerable and open and real and all those things and still be seen as having my shit together? Like those aren’t diametrically opposed views? That being vulnerable doesn’t have to equal “hot mess.” That perhaps it’s _my_ definition of “put together” that needs to change, not hers.
If the bars I set for myself turn into expectations, then no wonder I can’t celebrate clearing them. And even if I set the bar really high for myself (which I know I do), then anything less becomes a failure. It means I define failure as anything less than the absolute best. It means I define success as doing what is expected of me. There is no room for celebration in that equation.
“Maybe I have an expectation that if only I do things right, then things will be easier… and the converse therefore is true, if things are hard then I’m not doing something right.”
As time passes, we can either hold onto what’s comfortable and avoid changing, or we can let it shape and change us. Sometimes, it happens so subtly, that it takes a milestone of twenty years to force us to look back in amazement at how far we’ve come in that time.
The thing about self-trust that feels difficult, is as soon as I start to think about it, self-doubt creeps in and I second-guess myself - should I even trust myself in this? Who do I think I am, what am I even doing, being creative, speaking my truth?
Is it selfish to turn national tragedies into self-reflection? I struggle with this. It seems both futile and self-aggrandizing.
A lesson in balance: creating the conditions for success but then detaching from the outcome.