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.
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!