It all starts with word vomit.
This morning, while commenting on Susan’s post on her monthly March goals, I started throwing up words. They began tumbling out in chaotic strings, and it wasn’t until I was finished typing did I realize what had sub-consciously slipped out from the deep caverns of my brain…
“goals are such a funny thing. i like making them but then get totally lazy about completing them. i don’t know if i am scared of success – i mean is that even possible? maybe i don’t think i deserve it? this comment just got really deep and fast, but i think this is something a lot of people struggle with. sometimes i don’t think people think they deserve success – which is why, like me, we make goals only to not finish them. i mean, the blog helps keep me accountable, btu i don’t know.”
And it got me thinking. Shocker, I know.
After some personal reflection and psycho-analysis by Mama Everythingtarian these past couple days, I know there are many facets of who I am that I want to work on. I don’t think I’m a bad person by any means. On the contrary, I actually think I am a good person. However, if your neighborhood Healthy Everythingtarian is going to be honest with herself, I know I still don’t quite believe I deserve it.
Deserve what, you say? Happiness, success, contentment, love, friendship, pride…all those feel good things that, quite frankly, make life worth living.
When I get a lovely comment, what is my first response to it? Usually to joke or somehow negate the nice things that were said. When a lawyer guy goes out on a date with me, what do I do? Make fun of him the whole time (hello defense mechanism!). When I have a list of goals and things I want to accomplish, do I start checking things off? No, I start making excuses for why they will never happen.
Why do we do this?
Why do we respond in this way?
First, being the word nerd I am, I went straight to my friend Merriam Webster. I find looking at the definition and meaning of words helps to synthesize things in my brain. Or at least, that is what I tell myself.
deserve (di-zerv), noun: to be worthy of
Hmmm…but what does worthy mean?
worthy (wer-the), adjective: to have worth or value
If I read these definitions right, I can safely assume that somewhere along life’s path, I lost my sense of personal worth. Whatever thing or person it was (perhaps my sister making me dance to George Michael’s “I Want to Sex You Up”?), I stopped believing in myself. With it, I also stopped believing I deserved all the good things in life.
What did I do instead?
I tried, just not very hard.
I ate lots, disregarding the effects it was having on my body.
I ignored what I was feeling, hoping it would just go away.
I built up a lovely wall, keeping people out.
For years I did this, and things were fine. Not great, not bad, just fine.
Over the past couple years, I’ve been working on reversing this mindset. We all go through phases of low and high self-esteem. That is only natural. However, this goes deeper. When you start thinking that you aren’t worthy, it becomes wired into your brain. Quite frankly, it has become a natural thought process I am not consciously even aware of. But I’m trying. I’m trying to change that.
I think I’ve got the food thing down – healthifying my diet and taking care of myself was the first step.
Then, I started tackling that wall. Although it still partially stands, I’m making progress.
I’ve been better about vocalizing how I feel. Again, not perfect, but getting there.
Lastly however, I still struggle to give things my all. I have lots of goals, dreams and hopes and yet, I find excuses not to achieve them, which Mama Everythingtarian can vouch for. I gave her about a zillion excuses last night. She did not like that. This last piece of the puzzle has turned out to be harder than I thought.
I firmly believe we all deserve everything we want in life – but somehow, I still forget to include myself in that ‘we.’ Why I am my own worst critic is beyond me, but I need to get over it. I have to believe that I am worth it. I have to stop making excuses, stop lamenting about all the things I ‘could’ do and stop letting fear get in the way.
This post is definitely more for me than it is anyone else. Sometime a gal has got to write things down, and what better than to publish it for the world wide web to see, right?
So, in conclusion, yes, you deserve it.
And, despite my past bad fashion…
…perverted sense of humor…
…love for the dramatic…
…obnoxious amount of hideous faces…
…and all-around ‘specialness’…
…so do I.