Today I decided I am done.
Just last night, I thought of how far I’ve come, and I thought of the things that I am still doing that aren’t worth doing anymore. I thought, “I can’t go on like this. I just can’t do this anymore.” What is this, you ask?
This is the way I am treating myself.
This is the way that I am constantly in the ring with myself.
This is the way I silence myself so that others can be pleased.
This is the way I bully, abuse, and neglect myself.
And, as Leeana Tankersley wisely and wonderfully said, “Life is too hard for us to stand in the ring with ourselves.” I believe it to be true, and I also need to practice it.
The truth is, I stand in the ring with myself a lot. I stand in the ring with myself way more than I ever do with others. In fact, a lot of times, I stand in the ring with myself precisely because of others.
I don’t want them to get hurt by my bad feelings, so I have to fight myself until they go away.
I feel guilt because of a minor snap at a friend or family member, so I stand in the ring and bully myself into a corner.
I can’t act as though everything is not okay even if I have a right to, so I belittle myself by pushing myself to the ground in the ring and telling myself that it is my job to get up and stand no matter if I have the strength to or not.
By the time a day is done, I’ve done enough damage to myself to be put in jail, and I’ve caused a lot of stress where there doesn’t need to be any.
The truth: It just isn’t worth it anymore.
I’ve spent too much of my life in the ring, and now I am retiring.
I’m hanging up my boxing gloves. I’m taking my ‘trophies’ off their shelves. I’m closing the door. I’m exiting the arena.
And I am going to meet myself at the nearest coffee shop. I am grabbing a both and a steaming hot cup of tea. I’m reaching out my hands, and I am taking hold of myself. I am sitting, and I am staying right there with myself. I am calling a truce. A permanent ceasefire on my soul.
I am practicing the holy art of being done.
Done with hurting myself.
Done with people-pleasing at the expense of my soul.
Done with bashing myself for not being perfect.
Done with acting as though I should be anybody but myself.
I am starting afresh. Beginning again with myself, and this time it is going to be the right way, the way it should have been from the very beginning.
This time, I will pursue myself.
I will honor myself.
I will take care of myself.
I will be true to myself.
I will be real and authentic.
I will take off the mask and I will begin again.
Because I do not deserve to keep hurting myself. The more I begin to welcome who I am, the more I begin to sit with myself, the better a person I will be to other people.
I’ve started reading Emotions Anonymous. Through this book, I’ve begun to realize how often I hurt myself, how often I ridicule and judge myself, and how that affects the person I am on the outside. They say in another EA literature book:
We judge others because we are so harsh with ourselves. The more we can accept our own failures and weaknesses, the more likely we will cease to judge others. May I realize that if I am judging another, it is only a sign of my own self-rejection.
-From “Today“, a collection of EA daily meditations.
This week, I’ve noticed I have been very judgmental. I have judged others harshly this week and thought that they were worse than I was. I have thought that they were stupid or idiotic when I really have no right to judge and do not know where they’ve been, where they are, or where they are going. It is not fair for me to decide their worth or intelligence based on a small interaction that I had with them when I am not in their situation. But now, as I understand, this was because of how hard I was being with myself.
This principle applies to so much more than being judgmental. It applies to hurt, anger, and many other things as well. After all, hurting people hurt people. What I’ve learned through Emotions Anonymous is that my outward life is a reflection of my inward life.
For so long, I have been in the ring with myself. And if for no other reason than for the people around me, I’ve got to stop. I just can’t go on being in the ring like this. It will kill me, but it will also kill my relationships. I will be better able to serve others and treat others the way Christ would treat them if I treat myself the same way. But a lot of times I don’t. So that needs to change.
Because if I cannot be loving, gentle, kind, considerate, and respectful of myself, how will I ever be kind, loving, gentle, considerate, and respectful to others?
So in order to do that, I’ve made a few vows to myself. They are these:
- I vow to love you
- I vow to honor your existence
- I vow to treat you like a human being
- I vow to respect you
- I vow to sit and hold your hands and be with you
- I vow to speak good words to you, not ones of hate
- I vow to take care of you
That, my friends, all came about because of God’s wonderful gift to me: the holy art of being done. The holiness of deciding to be done with the old and bring in the new is hard to put into words. It is a new chapter. It is a song being written on the palm of my soul. It is freedom springing up and out of my heart.
And it is the courage to fully be known, to take on the practice of beginning again and to remind myself that I am not perfect.
How about you? Do you feel you have a holy movement in your life? Are you learning to let go for the first time or are you long down the road after that first awakening? Let me know in the comments and see you soon!