Daily Archives: 01.09.2012

Being Gentle To Myself

As per my post on Healthy Living Resolutions, last week I really tried to focus on #3, Be Gentle To Myself.

That might sound really hokey.  But what is The Blog for if not exposing my most broken bits and pieces?

Backstory: During Reverb, Sarah discussed Self-Compassion during Prompt 18 and pointed her readers towards a quiz on it.  Y’all know I’m A Joiner and I was curious as hell to find out if data would confirm what I thought I knew about myself.  So it was zero percent surprising to me when my results came back stating that I was generally self-compassionate, I ranked EXTREMELY high in the area of self-judgement.

Self-judgement.  I do it best.

While I was preparing for job interviews senior year, I had a hell of a time trying to figure out the answer to the classic question, What’s your biggest strength and what is your biggest weakness? 

But my mother had the answer almost immediately.  I am a painful perfectionist.

Perfectionism, gets stuff done.

And self-judgement, when not abused, can be used constructively.  The slave-driver in my head pushes me through long runs and compels me to do things that don’t necessarily come naturally, like cleaning the house the things that like to re-circulate at the bottom of my to-do list.

A lot of self-judgement and unyielding perfectionism means that the girl you see when you look in the mirror isn’t the girl who other people see.

So every day this week, I’ve been taking an extra minute in the mirror.  The dazzling piece of glass where, from my shoulders-down, the only thing I ever see are flaws.  Imperfections.  Shortcomings.

No, this is not the enlightened-sort of nonsense where I look at the pouch of fat on my stomach and muse that someday this is the fat that will help me to develop a healthy baby.

I’m sorry.  I just…can’t.  It’s too much.

But I have been taking in these personally proclaimed flaws of mine and consciously engaging in the act of replacing loathing with acceptance.

What I want need to do is cultivate the mentality that Good Enough is right now.  There is no later.

Once upon a time, there was a later.  But now?  We’re kind of, mostly, here.

This is the show.  The curtain has already lifted.

On Sunday morning, as Emily and I ran around Lake of the Isles, I found a profound amount of clarity.  I remembered something that Brady shared with me when we sat down for coffee in November.

Compete to complete.

Yes, we were discussing it in the context of racing, but I think that the heart of the idea behind it reaches out to touch a lot of things.

The only person worried about my performance is me.

The only person out to tally every single one of my imperfections and shortcomings is me.

The only person who can put that kind of pressure on me is, well, me.

So if something is going to change, it has to start right here.  Inside of me.

How self-compassionate are you?

p.s. It’s not too late to register for the 5k Running Clinic at the Uptown Running Room!  If there was ever a winter to start running, this one is really it.