Just smile…and shut my mouth

I saw my therapist yesterday. I really like her. She is very practical and her advice has helped me a lot this year.
I am finding myself again struggling with the need for external validation. It was easy to say other peoples opinion is none of your business when it came to drinking. Deep down I knew that if my friends or acquaintances took exception to me being sober it was not about me. And it was not a good reason to drink.

But now I am finding that I want to justify my other life choices.
Example:
I practice yoga daily. I LOVE it. It is a spiritual and physical experience for me. I don’t care if it is hard, hot astanga yoga or slow, gentle easy yoga. Focusing on my body and breathing fills me with a sense of joy.

But I see other people going to bootcamp. I used to go to bootcamp. I could bootcamp for hours. I would have, at one time, just to prove I could. And some days I feel the pull to go to show I am just as tough, extreme, whatever, as I used to be.

BUT I DONT WANT TO GO TO BOOTCAMP. I don’t want to be that person any more. Because I was doing it to punish myself. It was part of my self loathing and self destructive cycle.
I am happy with yoga. It nourishes me. It is the underlying perception that I am not doing enough that makes me waver. Or argue with other people that yoga is “enough”. To find external validation that I am “right”. It’s tough to quiet the side of me that wants to be right. Sigh.

There is a lot of pressure for society, media, advertising. The message is if you are content, you have given up. You aren’t being the best you could be. You could be thinner, fitter, stronger or faster. If you aren’t winning you are losing. Don’t just keep up with the Joneses, BE the Joneses.

I know I bought into this for a long time. I needed to do “the most”. Part of this is protecting myself from criticism. Part of it is feeling less than others and needing external validation of my competence. Wanting to justify my life is not helping me live it.

Part of self acceptance is feeling internally confident in my choices. Confident enough that I say nothing. I smile. And inside I know that I am doing the right things for me. They might not be the right things for everyone else, but I am happy. My mind is still.

Today I will practice being quiet. And sober!

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14 thoughts on “Just smile…and shut my mouth

  1. From the way that you talk about yoga, it is so clear that this is a practice that works for you… you are totally clear in your own mind about what is good for you, and that is a massive start. Totally get the wanting external validation thing – I do this all the time, and really have only just accepted / noticed / understood that this is a problem for me, so have no helpful words whatsoever. When you work it out, let me know 😉 Just finished reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and thought it was just brilliant. She talks a lot about our culture of “scarcity” – that is, there is never enough – never enough time, money, success etc, that we are never enough, not thin enough, rich enough, cool enough, fit enough etc etc. She says that the opposite of scarcity is not an excess, it is to have enough, to be enough. It is clear that yoga is enough for you, and you have nothing prove. I think that is fab 🙂 xx

    1. Brene brown is my hero. I will have to read that one again. I constantly go back to the gifts of imperfection as it is my personal favourite. I carry copies around with me and give them to people.

      I think these are things we need to be conscious of and that then they will fall away.

      Thanks for the nice comment.

  2. Exercised myself to back surgery last year and knee surgery this year– all in the quest of being thinner and also to “prove” that I couldn’t possibly have a problem with alcohol–look at me! I do triathlons and hot yoga….the self loathing is our biggest downfall
    I am experiencing the self loathing a bit today as I caved and drank last night (19 days sober)Just got back from an AA meeting. Giving it another shot

  3. Aah yes, human DOINGS not human BEINGS! We need to be compassionate to ourselves, we are enough and fabulous as we are and it doesnt matter what others think. …hard but true. You sound like a very very cool person!!! You go girl.
    Xxx

  4. Love his post and love your blog. It’s hard to be happy with just me sometimes! But I don’t have the time to chase the Jones either! Lol! And my life only has to be perfect to me, after all I am the one living it, right?

    Ps. Congrats on your 10 months and hubby’s 9! Very awesome! Sober is better! Hugs.

  5. Sobriety is a lot like going through all the clutter crap in your basement. You end up pitching a lot of things and donating some things and every once in a while, you find something and think: Wow, I forgot all about this! And you bring it back into your life and treasure it all over again. Those negative voices are things you can pitch without any guilt whatsoever! I know, easier said than done. But still, we need to give ourselves permission to take care of ourselves, nourish ourselves and not have to answer to anyone about that. When I go out for my morning walks, often times I pass people who are running by me and I think: I should really be running. But then, I realize that if i did that, I would miss out on the best parts of my walk. The walk is 3 miles long, so that’s PLENTY of exercise, but darn that negative self talk! I also pass by people who are driving to work and I think: Boy, I look like hell. I’ve been canceling that out lately, realizing that I’m not special, people don’t care and any thought that keeps me from enjoying my walk and staying present is not worth keeping around. 🙂

  6. Hi. I’ve been reading through your blog, and this post really struck me. I also practice yoga daily, and it has done more for me physically than all the years of running, weightlifting, aerobics, etc. And the mental benefits! But like you, I often feel I should be going to crossfit, or running in addition to yoga, or whatever. And then I think, why? I feel good, I’m happy, I’m feeling less inclined to “de-stress” with wine . . . so what I’m doing must be OK. And I know that pushing myself to be and do more has had a lot to do with my drinking. So I’ve decided yoga is enough!

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