Every day for 29 years, I led my mind to believe that perfection was possible. I just needed to work a little harder and push myself just a little more. As I continued to move the finish line of what I thought was realistically attainable, I found myself growing weary as I awoke each day.
In those weary moments, I would tell myself that lazy people found comfort in complacency. I would remind myself to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I would tell myself that successful people don’t get tired. They shut up, get results, and get things done!
I was balancing the emotional baggage of family & friends (I was always the “strong friend”), a business, my military career, 1 household in two locations, a child with a diagnosis, my weight, my natural hair, and the needs of my husband all by myself with no help. As I gave myself these daily pep talks “OF YES YOU CAN!”, with only 3 hours of sleep, my mind & body started to check out on me. The 5 a.m. cardio sessions that once brought me joy, felt like a burden. My ability to execute multiple actions with laser-sharp precision wasn’t as keen as usual. I began to get irritated when people would call because I knew their purpose of self-serving.
One day, my body said no more and I literally passed out from exhaustion. When I came to, I literally laughed and said to myself, “I feel a little bit closer to Beyoncé” Exhaustion didn’t feel like a real diagnosis to me the “average” everyday woman. I was prescribed rest and a few meds to treat the migraines and cough that wouldn’t leave due to the lack of rest.
For a moment, I mentally beat myself up for not at least getting a beautician, or a maid to help with cleaning. The real problem was me believing I could do it all without help. The thought of me not doing one of the things on my long list of things to do gave me anxiety on steroids.
I had to come to terms with mourning my expectations.
I had to mentally have a funeral for my expectations in order to walk in the fullness of the present. Just getting to the mental place of having a funeral was hard work! I had to eliminate the things that I didn’t love (which is hard when you are a creative person you love everything) and keep the things that gave me purpose. Still to this day I cringe at the thought of doing less or feeling like I’m not doing enough to meet my goals. Just like the memories of a loved one triggers daydreams; the thoughts of what could have been, still linger from time to time.
Before those thoughts run rapid, I remind myself that anything that costs me my peace isn’t worth it. Its ok to not feel ok and tired, just focus on the things I can realistically manage. Pray and pace yourself.
Pray and pace yourself!
As 2018 comes to a close, I have never been so happy and fulfilled. And I plan to keep it that way!
Have you ever had this experience? What expectations do you need to mourn?