This feels like rocky terrain – a path I’m still trying to navigate and discover a clearer way through. But one thing I know is that I’ve been stifled by certain beliefs in my life.
An early memory is from when I was 3 or 4 years old, running freely and wildly and joyfully barefoot in the soft grass behind my home, then I couldn’t run anymore, I wanted to, I had so much more pent up glee to express but my lungs wouldn’t keep up and I couldn’t breath, so I collapsed on the grass and looked up at the sky. And that’s where the first stifling belief creeped in – somehow I had internalized at that early age that people who lie around are l-a-z-y. And at that tender age, I judged my breathlessness as laziness and I felt guilty for resting.
Fast forward to grade school. I have, what I now know is a highly sensitive and introverted personality. School was draining and I was lucky to be smart. I ended up learning despite an environment that was not the ideal learning environment for people who are like me. But there was a cost to being smart and applying myself to learn in school – I came home exhausted from holding it together all day, I had nothing more to give, I was emotionally, physically, and mentally spent. I was surly and went into self soothing – a dark cool basement with a cuddly blanket, laying on the couch eating and watching TV and I felt guilty for resting.
I grew up in a blue collar family, where you worked long hours for an income. Work was a necessary evil to provide for the family. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I worked in a hospital as an occupational therapist. I actually loved my work and found it fun and I felt guilty for that because I had internalized the belief that work was suppose to be drudgery.
With age, comes wisdom, and I just turned a half a century old, so I’m coming to acceptance for who I am …
– Lazy? No. I am a unique person with some physical limitations who needs to rest now and again and that’s ok, I’m ok.
– Surly? No. I have a unique personality that is extra sensitive to the world around me and I allow myself quiet space to revive my energy and that’s ok, I’m ok.
– Work is not work unless it’s drudgery? No. I find peace and joy in living out my passion and purpose by offering others the gifts I have been given, and I graciously accept compensation from those I share my time and talents with and that’s ok, I’m ok.
Yes, I’ve been stifled by certain beliefs in my life but I’m questioning them, reframing them, and finding self-acceptance and peace in the process and that’s ok, because I’m ok.