It’s amazing what you can discover from a clinical supervision session, a glass of wine and a chat with your mum.
Mum and I are both terribly hard on ourselves. She is, indeed who I learned this skill from. The ability to criticise yourself for criticising yourself about criticising yourself is surely worth an Olympic medal or something?
The message that resounds so loudly in my life at the moment is “acknowledge, consider, and forgive/accept”.
What am I talking about? Ok… Well… In my clinical supervision session, as usual, I was made aware of several blind spots in my future practice. Goodbyes, boundaries and availablity.
- Goodbyes: a fellow student and I expressed that goodbyes are not challenging or awkward for us. We both see farewells as quite fluid, and are unperturbed by the idea of not seeing someone again because we believe that if we are meant to see one another again- we will. And if not, then we won’t. We believe in the Reason, Season, Lifetime concept of human relationships and do not attach excessively to other humans. The thing about that is that not everyone will be like that. And we need to understand that our clients, and indeed our friends and loved ones, may need more formal closure and may struggle more than we would. Awareness is a beautiful thing.
- Boundaries and availability: I’m gonna put these together. Because for me, they go together: just how much am I saying yes, when I need to be saying no? Now, I don’t work a lot. And I don’t have a huge physical workload at uni currently, but the emotional and mental toll it takes on me is significant. And I need to acknowledge that and be ok with it and not make excuses or try to power on when I’m really, actually exhausted… How much am I giving to friends and family and colleagues and to what extent am I ensuring I have a reserve of emotional energy for myself and my romantic relationship. Well I can tell you right now; too much and not enough. The balance needs to shift. I need to prioritise me (I’m getting better, I promise) and my partner. Not everyone else and everything else.
In a moment of vulnerable insecurity this evening, I asked Mum a question that has been playing on my mind for the last few weeks. I said “mum, what if I don’t lose weight?” What if I put in all this effort to be mindful and aware of what I fuel my body with and aim for health and vitality after 2 years of intensive focus on education and literally no attention paid to what I consumed in a day, and see NO change? And why do I still place so much importance on what the scales say after so much work to disregard everything they claim?
And she said the most incredible thing.
My mum. The ex PE teacher, the advocate of an active lifestyle, the creative cook to cater for any diet, the woman struggling with her own journey of self-acceptance.
She said “you gotta be kind to yourself, Cherie. Balancing study and work and life; it’s hard. And there’s no point pretending it’s not. You’re more sedentary than you’ve ever been, but you’re more focused than you’ve ever been. And you have be ok with not having the energy to be as active because what your doing is TOUGH!”
She’s right. Short term loss for long term gain. Not only am I getting my degree, I’m KILLING my degree. For someone aiming for passes, there are a heck of a lot of high distinctions going on in my academic record. She’s right. I’ve never sat this much or moved this little in my life.
And so, I was re-energised. Re-inspired. Realising that I wasn’t alone in my functioning and acceptance of farewells; realising that any positive changes I make before the end of my degree of bonus. Realising that this really is the short term loss for long term gain.
Sometimes you’re gonna find yourself in a situation in life where you might not look like you hoped, or be as fit as you’d hoped, or as energetic as you’d hoped; but keep your eyes on the prize.
This isn’t the destination. In fact, who cares about the destination anyway!? It’s more important that you’re learning about yourself and the world during the journey! We are fluid beings. We’re not going to get to a weight and stay there forever. We won’t reach a level of knowledge and never add any more. We don’t meet one person and assume we have met them all.
Why do we put so much pressure on where we’re at right now rather than accept it as a crucial piece of our journey!? Live in the now, but don’t put PRESSURE on the now. Allow the now to be. Whatever it will be.