One of my goals is to change from being the kind of person who is externally motivated to being one who is motivated from the inside. I have always been one to respond, to act responsibly, to over-achieve. If your motivation comes from outside yourself, then you’re pretty much a puppet of every single person and circumstance in your life. And if you’re trying to please others all the time then you are doomed to failure. Many people have very, very high standards when it is someone else who is doing whatever it is that needs doing. What an excellent way to burn yourself out.
My life is much quieter now than it ever was before. I have cut out a lot of people, activities, and obligations. I had to get my life down to some very basic activities and relearn to honor my very basic needs. Am I rested? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I warm? Am I cold? Stuff like that.
I’ve been working on this relearning for over two years now and more and more often am seeing some good and real changes.
This week I was pleasantly surprised for three days in a row. Thursday, Friday and Saturday I got up at my usual late hour and noticed that I felt good. I felt strong. I wanted to get dressed for the day, eat and drink a bit and then get some exercise. Exercise!!!! That is huge. I never feel like exercising. I have always instead found an activity that I needed to do anyway and made it extra physical and counted that as exercise. Again with that external motivation. Doing something because I “had” to.
Nope, on these three days I drove myself to a newish park in town that has a quarter mile paved track. I just wanted to go there and do some steady walking. I wasn’t sure how many laps or miles I wanted to do. I’ve walked there before and knew what to expect as far as the facility and how many people might be around. But to actually want to just go and move my body was very cool.
As it turned out, I decided that nine laps would be reasonable. Two and a quarter miles felt good and like a work-out at the same time. I was very impressed with myself that first day. Then the second day, I almost couldn’t wait to get out of the house and do it again. And the third day I felt the same way.
Today, I didn’t feel like going and I know it is because my depression was triggered last night and that led to me having a great deal of trouble getting enough rest. So, instead of forcing myself to go, and probably kind of ruining it for myself, I decided that I need to make sure I get enough rest today and tonight so that I will be ready for exercise come Monday morning. And just typing that out and thinking about it that way has brought back my excitement, and I am once again looking forward to walking my nine laps again tomorrow.
All this time I had been hoping that my healing method would lead to something like this–real growth from the inside out. This feels so different from anything in my life before. I have really gotten lost along the way and been lost for a very long time. Learning to really listen to myself, and respect the answers I am finding, seems to be the ticket.