This post was first published on 7 July 2015 on The Humble Pilgrim WordPress blog I created back then (doesn’t exist anymore). It was an anonymous blog page I started when I was going through a journey of self-exploration.
I watched a recent video of Elliott Hulse (here) where he talks about how our culture lacks the “Warrior” attitude, that most of us are “Addicted Lovers”, getting frivolously passionate about certain things, then get addicted to the next best thing, never really sticking to our goals, lacking discipline, devotion and decisiveness.
As I watched, I felt Elliott was telling my story. I have been struggling to stick to my fitness, diet, lifestyle and 5am start goals, mainly because “I don’t feel like it”. It’s so true that I lack discipline and devotion to myself. My discipline magically appears when it’s for other people. Heaven forbid I should miss a date with a friend or a social duty or even putting in the effort to look good in public. All this is easy, who would want to face the wrath of society? When when it really comes down to taking care of myself, structuring my life to support my success, I fail miserably. I start projects and never finish them, start new habits and never stick to them, I have ideas I never develop and I have a wealth of knowledge about heath and fitness that I seldom apply.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I torture my body the way I do, keep it in an unshapely state, fail to give it the movement and exercise it deserves and the healthful food it deserves for optimal function?
It turns out I’m addicted to being a loser. I am addicted to the feelings that confirm the illusion of who I think I am. When once through childhood trauma I learned that I’m second best, that I’m not the apple I thought I was in my mother & fathers’ eyes, that I’m not pretty, smart, loving, successful, feminine, [fill the blank] enough; turns out these thought patterns stay with me until they have me fall in the same trap.
By making myself smaller, invisible and a failure, I got my emotional needs met by getting undivided attention from my family. I had to be a failure so they could spend their time paying attention on me, even at the cost of being criticised or pitied. Some attention was better than nothing; my survival was at stake, I had to learn a way of getting attention, and this was one of them. What do we know as little children? Could you blame me for tending to my emotional needs? I didn’t know any better, and in a dysfunctional family set-up, this was the only way. So I developed the belief and the comforting feelings that the only way to function and operate in this world, is be lesser, smaller, less successful, less pretty, less fit, less healthy so I can survive and have my emotional needs met. While it once helped me, I’m starting to realise how destructive my addiction is.
I’m now grateful for the trauma I had, because it it the cause of all this growth I’m going through, it has a light and shadow, just like anything in life. The light is that it once helped me survive in a rather traumatic environment, and today it can be useful in some tricky relationships, and the shadow is that it holds me back from seeing my own success. It is my hope that by working through it on this public outlet, I can work on healing this trauma, giving it important purpose, and start tapping into my potential.
I’m taking easy steps. My first goal is to become a morning person. I’m setting a goal to start my day at 5am at least twice a week for a month. I’ve written Elliott’s words, I’ll be framing them so I can read them first thing in the morning at 5am so I can remember why I should stick to my discipline and devotion to my goal. If anything, it’s to consciously start to shake these beliefs one morning at a time. I deserve to be productive, I deserve to have time to eat a healthy breakfast and have time to exercise each morning. This is my body, and if I don’t look after it, nobody will.
Here’s what my bedside reminder will look like:
“Be Devoted, Decisive & Disciplined
Be the WARRIOR
Do it REGARDLESS of whether you feel like it or not
If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got
Break the addiction to who you think you are; you do not have to be less successful, less fit, less healthy, less beautiful to get your emotional needs met. You deserve to let your gifts pour through
You are not a loser, give yourself power to be productive, be great”
Love & Light
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