I have been writing recently about how I’m learning to be kind to myself. This is really a big deal. Despite the personal growth I have undergone for many years now, it seems only now I’m really getting the hang of this.
It’s one thing to do it when “times are good.” Looking back on my first 365 Day Blogging Project, I can see that I was in a really good place. I had gone through a challenging, stressful period prior and essentially let myself off the hook for the next few years, during which I explored, expressed, and expanded effortlessly without putting pressure on myself. So I wrote my daily blog posts, I ran, I tried comedy, I wrote some music.
Basically, I enjoyed myself 🙂
Overall, this worked out beautifully. When the Pandemic began, I was in the midst of this Renaissance of personal well-being. Very little changed for me in 2020, except that I leaned even more into my positive personal routines. The positive momentum led me powerfully into 2021, when I ran two marathons. In some ways, this was the culmination of an incredible period.
As they say, for everything there is a season. Apparently, after all this ease and joy, I needed–or could benefit–from a few bumps in the road to help bring me greater clarity and mastery. Last Fall I decided to record and release a new piano album. This is a very good thing, however, in taking this on, I inadvertently activated a bunch of the old negative thinking that stressed me out so much before. The resurfacing of old self-judgments and worries messed with my mind going into 2022. It took awhile to clear my mind and get back to a positive state. This involved a lot of making peace with myself and letting go of unreasonable expectations.*
Happily, I am feeling the benefits now of relentlessly pursuing a positive mindset. I am happy to see that, while it wasn’t pleasant re-living the states of “self-torture” I spent the past few years happily ignoring, I feel I am wiser now about maintaining my happiness no matter what. I feel I am learning to love myself unconditionally and say to myself, “I am loved, I am deserving, I am okay NO MATTER WHAT.”
Or to quote the old Saturday Night Live skit, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and goshdarnit, people like me!”
*I won’t bore with details, but basically I tormented myself for a long time when it came to my music career, trying to fit square-peg me into a round hole of who I thought I needed to become in order to be successful.