I’ve spent the last two years tackling most of these to at least a moderate win. To be sure, my health. Which by last summer was well enough once again to coach tennis in 90 plus degree temps. All day. I’ve had some setbacks to staying on track lately. But when I look at those setbacks closer, they weren’t necessarily matters of physical health. If at all. It was a matter of all these pieces not quite coming together. Because of me. And things I’ve been overlooking.
Forgiveness and gratitude give me no pause. They never have. They’ve saved me many a time and I never set them aside. And, in my home we are well versed in practicing both along with a mantra of Baby Steps. Small victories carry far more motivation and sense of accomplishment than sitting in the shadow of one seemingly unattainable goal. These three make up a great deal of this mental health picture. They lend to positivity. They make life easier to carry. They lend to physical health and taking care of your body by taking care of your mind.
In seeing this a few days back, I started assessing all these components. Together. My first instinct was to read it and say, “okay…so what the hell is the problem?” To which I quickly answered, “…Oh yeah. *That*…and *that*“.
I am not anyone who speaks about boundaries. Ever. Because I pride myself on being receptive. Welcoming. But I’m realizing this is not what boundaries truly are. It’s not what’s meant by creating your space. While I do acknowledge that “no” is a complete sentence, it’s something I felt I had better control over than that. An adage I didn’t need to keep at the ready. Because Yes and No didn’t figure into me forging my own boundaries. Surely, I had more control of my space than that. But looking closer at it has made me realize I was viewing it in the verbal sense. The simplistic sense. But it’s far more complicated than words. And it’s allowed me to see that it is actually, and not so simply, a matter of what we will and will not allow of ourselves. It’s about limiting our accessibility to others. And if I’m being real, this was not an ideal that I was at all familiar with. At all. A matter of a nonverbal Yes or No, creates a new space of what I will and will not allow of myself. While still, very much, being as receptive as ever. Something I absolutely don’t plan on changing. Accessibility is another story entirely. Now.
Last. The big one. Value. I’m not blind or small enough to place more importance on myself than is realistic. Where we may be the living end to one, we may be a shake of dust to another. We can not matter equally to everyone. There is always someone more sparkly that will roll through. Some other distraction to take our place. Some other ‘friend’. If we fit, and are convenient, it’s apt to go off without a hitch. If we’re worth more than that? Attachment and true worth. To be more clear, Need. If we happen to be so lucky. That would be the goal. For me anyway. So, importance is one thing. But Value is so much more loaded a word. And more complex. Importance can figure in in those convenient times. Fair weather, in a sense. Actual value insinuates something worth keeping. Worth trying. Regardless. Something you wouldn’t want to lose. Worth.
So, for these two years, I’ve been rebuilding. Working towards being valued again. Worth a damn again. And, the kicker, valuing myself and believing it myself again. It’s been difficult to say the least. And part of that, I realize, is working on giving what I, too, would love and appreciate. To be what I would value. In another…and in myself. To not just preach about what I purport to deserve, but to actually earn it from those around me. And reflect on myself when I have, in fact, dropped the ball. And the rebuild continues. Maybe two more years. Maybe ten. Re-learning that, at the very least, I do have worth outside of those convenient times. Useful only when I’m useful. Rebuilding from only having importance and being sought out in times of sheer desperation or boredom. I am rebuilding, again and again, from being a Distraction and a Novelty. And that, my friends, is a hard ass pill to swallow at 40. It’s going to take me some time.
With my physical health forever on the gradual upswing, forgiveness and gratitude in tact, and acknowledgment of Baby Steps, I look forward to strengthening my value where I have failed, and implementing some new boundaries…as pliable as they may end up being. Necessary. In hopes of bringing this picture together in full and being what I want to be for myself and others. And being able to stand proudly behind it. Not just preaching it. But working towards being more than anyone’s damn painkiller. I’ve got pain of my own to think about.
And with that…Have a great weekend, Friends. I’ll be here.