December 4th: Wrestling

You know, I often catch myself doing the most useless thing- I wrestle with myself over my very nature. This evening, for instance. I had hoped, once I was off work, to go to this thing the next town over. It became very apparent to me, however, as the day wore on, that this would be unlikely. It’s ten after five here, and it’s already dark out. I’ve been feeling worn out and exhausted since one or two.

Yet…still, I want to wrestle with myself about going. Even though I know I’m too tired tonight to bother making dinner, let alone go traipsing through the dark and cold to do this thing. If I did go, all I’d be thinking about would be getting home, to a hot bath and a warm bed.

So…why in the world would I contemplate going? Sigh. I do not know. And there’s another thing to wrestle with myself about- why am I like this? Again, don’t know.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that there will never be a time in my life where I am any less ME than I am today. There will always be the good with the bad, the light with the dark. There will be days when I am too tired to participate, and times when I excel at everything I touch. This is just who I am. Courtney, for better or for worse, always, always, me.

So, it seems prudent to me that I get back to what I am always telling everyone else to do- accept the truth, and just love my little self exactly as I am each day. I certainly deserve my own affection. As you deserve yours.

Today- stop wrestling with yourself. Just give yourself a break. Love yourself exactly as you are, give yourself a little grace, a little tenderness, a little kindness. Who cares why you are the way you are? You just are. And we’re both gonna be just fine.


November 2nd: Slack

Do you ever have days where just everything goes wrong?

Of course, you do! what am I saying? You’re human, after all.

Well, today has been kind of like that for me… I mean, not everything has gone wrong, but it is still early. I’m neck deep in what I have now coined the “volatile cocktail” phase of my monthly cycle. It’s anyone’s guess what will set me off, make me cry, or throw me into a panic attack, so…that’s pretty exciting.

I dragged out my morning procrastinating, kicked a cat dish across the room (by accident) and really hurt my toe. I accidentally hit my dog in the nose with a spoon. I yelled at the same dog because she wouldn’t stop staring at me. I ran out of hot water for my bath. All relatively minor things on their own, but when you add it all up…it’s still minor, I guess. But I’m not feeling particularly centered or spiritual or helpful today.

So, guess what? I’m not going to fight it. I’m not going to fight with myself or try to force myself to feel anything different. Remember that post about acceptance? Well, that includes accepting myself on days like today, when I’m the Medusa version of me, too. I love myself, even today. Even when I’m a lump of flesh laying in bed at two in the afternoon.

Sometimes you just have to let go of your plans for the day, let go of expectations, let go of the to-do list, and cut yourself a little slack. And not give yourself a hard time over it, either.

Today, if you happen to feel a little hormonal, perhaps, or just can’t seem to get things to go your way, I hope you can cut yourself some slack, too. I hope you can love your Medusa self, even when she (or he) is not very lovable. I think we should both just take a nap, what do you think? A little nap, some comfort food, maybe a cup of tea…I bet we’ll feel better by evening.


October 26th: Acceptance

One of the concepts I have struggled with more than almost anything else is the idea of loving myself, as I am, right here and now, no matter the circumstance.

I mean, how could I love myself knowing the shitty, awful things I’ve done in this lifetime? How could I love this moody, foul-mouthed, selfish mess in this chubby body, in this dirty house? Really, how? Everywhere you look, you see quotes about how you must love yourself before you can truly love anyone else, but no one tells you how the hell to get there, do they?

Well, let’s break it down over the next couple of days, shall we? I’m going to start where it began for me, with acceptance.

Acceptance is a word they throw around a lot in recovery, but as with most things, I had to get there on my own. One day, when I was tired of beating myself up and tired of rehashing all the bullshit I’d pulled over the past however many years, and, most importantly, I stopped adding new shit to the pile, I just came around to accepting it.

That was who I had been. Those were things I had done.

This is who I am now.

Imperfect as can be, I am still better than I was, and improving all the time. Sure, sometimes it’s one step forward, two (or three, or four) steps back…but most of the time, it’s not.

Sure, I’m still moody, and foul-mouthed, and chubby and messy…but so what? One of the things that hit me, when I was working on self-acceptance, was that I was trying to look at myself from the outside, as if I could judge myself by the way I assumed other people were judging me. This is impossible, of course, because A) I have absolutely no idea what anyone really thinks of me, I am not that powerful. And B) Most of the time, people are far too busy worrying about themselves to think about me at all.

Of even greater importance though, is this: WHO CARES? Who cares what anyone else thinks about you or your life or your past transgressions? It LITERALLY does not matter. It just doesn’t. If you go around trying to be someone pleasing to everyone you run across, you are going to be very tired and very confused.

I accepted that I am who I am. I accepted that not everyone would love me. I accepted that as a fact, and let it be okay. Sure, sometimes I do find myself longing to change someone’s mind about me, wishing they could know me now, that I could impress them with the person I’ve become…but the people who matter, who love me and who are in my life- and this includes myself, these days- they stuck around and they know. And so, I get right back into accepting what is.

Today, I want you to try accepting yourself exactly as you are, without exception. No beating yourself up, no putting yourself down, no wishing you were any other way than how you are. I know, I know…it feels awful and unnatural, doesn’t it? But it’s the only way to get to the next step, forgiveness, which is what we will talk about tomorrow.