Freedom

Final Hurdles

 

Written by Classmate

“Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

I just felt in the humour to write about some stuff I’m working on or realising at the moment.

The simplicity of looking after myself. If someone makes me a suggestion based on their personal experience of it working, then sure give I may as well give it a whirl. What have I got to lose? Try it. Assess. Then continue, or don’t. It’s my life… It’s funny how long it’s taken me to simplify this nugget…

Procrastinating. I used to feel very negatively about this, and the guilt would set in while I was faffing away time. But I listened to a fab TedTalk on the bus to group yesterday that basically said that MEDIUM procrastinators are the most creative folk. And actually, it could be renamed ‘creative waiting’. I honestly come up with my best ideas when I am putting off starting a project. It’s worth noting that either extreme isn’t helpful.

Sunday is not named ALMOST MONDAY for a reason. I really need to catch myself with this one, as I tend to have a dread-filled Sunday as I find myself hurtling towards work. I’ve been trying to pull myself into Sunday, and put a bubble around it. Ya know, give it the attention and fuss it deserves.

Self honesty. I’m a great one for the diaries and Filofax sort of organisers. I buy them, and don’t fill them out. I forget them. I get excited decorating them, and then someone will ask me if I’m free on Thursday in 3 weeks, and I wonder if I filled out my organiser completely because I have a niggly feeling I am not free. What I DO FIND HELPFUL is to use google calendar. I can access it from any device. I colour code events- sessions are cute in purple lol. I was in TKMaxx the other day, and found the most divine Filofax. Reduced from 90e to 35e. I got so excited. And then I took myself aside and reminded myself I won’t use it, no matter how pretty it is. No matter how much I’m ‘saving’. Google calendar isn’t pretty, but it’s simple and it works for me. So I removed myself from the stationery aisle.

Other people’s opinions of me. I don’t know if it’s my age, or if it’s a testament to the amount of work I have done on myself. But my ability to care about what other people think of me is diminishing by the day. So what if they don’t like me? So what if they don’t think I said something intelligent or knowledgeable? So what if they don’t find me funny/fun/a freaking joy to be around? Maybe I don’t NEED that external validation in my life. Maybe I am content in my own opinion of me. I remember a group recently where J was sitting in the centre of the room and was speaking about how liberating it is to not care what other people think of her (obviously within reason). And I just decided that day that I want that. I’m going to make that a priority. And that’s that.

Remind myself to check in with my values. Is this important to me? Do I want to use (precious) energy doing this thing/thinking about this thing? If the answer is yes, then proceed. Otherwise, NEXXXXXT.

Clarify. Clarify. Clarify. The amountttt of assumptions I have made in my life. I think it’s been my most preferred style of unhelpful thinking lol. But my new thing is to check in with myself to ensure I’m not making up my own version of what someone said or meant. If I’m not sure, I’m asking. What are the actual facts here?

I like to think I have understanding of why other people behave the way they do. We all have stuff going on for us. We all have little unhelpful quirks. But there comes a point when I decide that the other person just isn’t very nice. They don’t value honesty or kindness to other people. And instead of losing sleep or wasting energy bitching about them, talking at length with other people about all the mean things they’re doing or saying, or generally just keeping a metaphorical record of their crap behaviour, I am choosing to let it wash over me. I am choosing to look the other way, and hope they work on things. It’s much more liberating than either trying to change the person, or spend my life trying to find their good points out of guilt. I’m not a bad person for not liking someone, or not appreciating how they treat others. So I’m just getting on with my own life. Girl don’t have time…

I value preparedness. It’s high up their on my list of values. But I have this ‘fun’ little habit of finding myself unprepared for nourishment at times. “It wasn’t my fault because… *insert BS*”. Someone said to me a while ago to take responsibility and have the stuff purchased and ready to go. And it was so simple. Yes- I will actually take responsibility for this. I will actually be ready. And now I feel so much better physically. All I needed to do was cop on to myself a bit, and take ownership again.

I have entitlements too. I booked a day off work ages ago because I’m getting my hair done for my wedding (WOOP) and also doing a carework. And now it seems we won’t have the staff in work we thought we’d have. Usually I’m the first to sacrifice my leave or change my plans. But instead I stayed quiet. My wedding is important to me. My carework sessions are important to me. I booked it off. Let someone else change their plans for once. Ok, it must be noted that I can’t do this all the time, as that is not the nature of being a team player, but on this occasion I stood my ground. This also means that I take my snack breaks, even if we are all under pressure. If anyone hasn’t already noticed, there is ALWAYS more work to be done… lol. I take my lunch breaks. I take my bathroom breaks. Maslow’s bottom step is getting looked after, end of story.

Some people don’t want to change. You can plead, beg, threaten, or… lead by example. And they might still rather stay they way they are. That’s called CHOICE. I need to keep working on accepting that other people have a right to mess up their lives if they want. They may not like the consequences eventually, but it’ll be their mess to tidy up then also.

I remember a group where we were speaking about friendships. I used to find myself judging a friendship or a person, and if they weren’t potentially going to be a ‘lifer’ or a ‘close friend’ then I didn’t give them as much of my time. Which is H.A.R.S.H. Anyways a few weeks ago I got a text from an old colleague who I worked with. She was like ‘hey girl wanna meet up for a dinner and catch up, with me and X?’. I was so shocked. I didn’t even think this girl liked me (eye roll). Anyways I’m under a bit of pressure with time, but sure that’s just life. So I said yes. I went on Thursday last and had such a lovely time. One of the girls is heavily pregnant and she let me feel him kick a lot which was amazing. And we chatted and caught up. Our lives are going in different directions and I’m not sure that we will meet up again, but it was just so lovely. Such a simple evening of human connection. AND more importantly, I wasn’t making a drama in my head about the nourishment. Thank you sessions, thank you me!

Focus on intentions. I learned this in group a zillion years ago. But every now and then I need to put it in big red lights in my head. Sometimes people have lovely intentions, but their delivery is awful. So instead of getting upset with people, I focus on the intention behind their action. If they thought they were helping, thought they were being kind etc, then grand, it’s good enough for me.

I’ve been getting an earlier bus to work. It means my commute is so much more pleasant. I now usually get a a seat. The bus isn’t as packed, and the traffic isn’t as bad. I don’t arrive in a fluster of almost-lateness. I saunter in with a lovely cup of coffee, and my music blaring in my ears, ready for a day of not being a flustered, urgent sort of person. (This needs a lotttt more practice, I know.) But there is enough time, there is enough time, there is enough time.

I am so much more motivated for Freedom the last couple of weeks. I just don’t want to waste another second of my life with self limiting beliefs, or unkind actions and thoughts. I want to just choose to fully support myself in whatever I decide I want to do. I am just feeling SOOOOO OVER THE CONDITION. It gets us nowhere. Life doesn’t have to be hard work, or something to endure. Life can be an adventure, punctuated by challenges that are risen to with grace- instead of dysfunction and self abuse. I have experienced recovery and a life without behaviours. I have experienced freedom. I can be FULLY free.

A few weeks ago in a session I was giving out about how some people were ridding themselves of the condition so fast, and here I was, poooooor me, years later, still bringing the same stuff into sessions, and still not ‘there’. I was like HOW ARE THEY DOING THIS, and J said that some people decide to put the blinkers on, and focus 100% on freedom. They literally make it their main focus. They knuckle down, and choose it. (So simple and obvious really…) And I said fine, I will learn from this. I will do that too. So thank you to those of you in earlier stages who are making great strides, because you have inspired me to demand my freedom.

Life doesn’t victimise us, we do that to ourselves. 

Well anyways, I’m not missing out on what life has to offer anymore. That’s that. Freedom is my number 1 focus now. Blinkers on. An awful lot is clicking into place the last few weeks, so without putting undue pressure on myself, I’m even entertaining the notion that I could be free by our wedding… And if not, I know it’ll happen soon because I’m pretty stubborn and determined, so since I’ve decided, I won’t stop until I get what I want. The End.

Classmate xxx