If you’re the woman who’s smiling on the outside but dying on the inside – even a little – this post is for you. If you live every day in complete authenticity, you get to sit this one out. But, if you could do a sister a favor first, please just stop reading, skip to the comments, and let us know how you did it.
For everyone else, read on.
I’m in the first group, so I’ll read it with you.
It’s all your parent’s fault.
Ha! Gotcha, read on.
But it kinda sorta is. Here’s why:
The Lesson of Delayed Gratification
When you are growing up, it’s really, really really important that you learn the skill of delayed gratification. So we teach you that. Your parents, your teachers, your other adult role models all work together to teach you how to put off the things you want TODAY in service of longer term stuff – like education, jobs, mortgages, the illusion of security, and the like.
Our society needs you to do that. And so do our kids. And your boss. Lots of people would prefer it if you stopped what you were doing for yourself so you could help them get the stuff they need.
And you need to do that too, so you’ll have a paycheck, and a place to live, and blah and blah and blah and blah.
We in agreement here?
Anyway, unfortunately, what happens to so many women, is that they don’t keep one eye on themselves while they’re also practicing that delayed gratification thing. We’re gonna take a turn. We swear we’re gonna take a turn. But we never quite get to that part. In other words, we’re good at delay but not so good at enjoying (and insisting) on the “gratification” part.
Over the years, we keep delaying our turn. And then, we get completely tuckered out. And then, maybe we get pissed. Or maybe we get depressed. We get really really angry at the “takers” in our lives. But there’s a problem with that, too. Because, if we’re really really honest with ourselves, we have to own that we were the ones who showed up for all that volunteering.
In other words, we were volunteers, not victims.
And guess what!!! That’s the really really good news. Cause we’re gonna volunteer for something else now!
For the next little bit, one day at a time, let’s make a conscious effort to direct some of that loving discipline that we’ve been giving out (the “delay” in “delayed gratification”) back to ourselves.
We need to do this next list of stuff instead. Every day. (There’s nothing flashy about this list, you already know them):
Nourish your body – eat well and move your body
Nourish your mind – challenge your brain daily
Nourish your heart — RECEIVE love, don’t just give it (click to tweet)
Nourish your art – create something regularly
Nourish your spirit – meditate, pray, connect with your Divine core
Caution: Trap Ahead!
So, we get grooving on taking our own turn. But then we start to make THIS mistake: Ever so slowly we yield time and space for these activities because other stuff “flares up temporarily.”
So, we help out in those emergency situations. We tell ourselves we’re gonna get back to the gym, or our healthy food plan, or the art studio, but then we just completely wear ourselves out doing the stuff we think we have to do first.
That works for a bit. And there are crunch times when that may even be really, really “necessary.” But, if we’re honest about it, we have to admit that the season of difficulty has long since passed and we are justifying donuts for breakfast and lunch at the desk and all sorts of other things that, over time, make us sick in body, mind, and spirit.
The thing is, love, only YOU can decide to make things different. Only you can stop on the way home and pick up some real and nourishing food for yourself. Only YOU can lace up those sneakers and get out for some fresh air today. Only YOU can sign up for that jewelry-making class you’ve been talking about for ages.
I get it. I’ve been there, too. But, a couple of years back I completely committed myself to taking action on my own behalf TODAY. And, one day at a time, every day I wake up, if it is TODAY, I simply show up for myself again.
And guess, what, love? No one around me has been injured in the process. In fact, my marriage is better than ever, my guys are thriving at school, my finances are solid, my dreams for myself and my future feel ELECTRIFIED. I’m strong and fit and happy!
And you can get there, too. It’s not as big as a deal as you think to get going. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
All that is essential is to:
with baby steps
allow the smallest possible improvement each day
but, stick with it. Consistency is what matters.
And I’ve got a plan. It’s coming your way soon.
In the meantime, let me know what you need in the comments below — OR, share with us the last time you had a fake emotional response. And WHY? I’m going to tell on myself in the comments today, so go take a look.
And here’s what I ask, if you are the woman who NEVER makes a comment, you have to go FIRST. That’s right. Get over your bad self and reach out. Just this once. Because that’s the kind of itty bitty risk you need to take to get out of the rut you’re in.
P.S. Here at Life After Tampons, we begin with the Breakthrough. So get your free copy (of my book) here. After that, though, you’re going to need a strong strategic plan for your comeback. I’ve created a Comeback QuickStart Guide for you. Let me know where to send your copy (and other tips) below.
Photo: Flickr, Lambatofa