To preface this post, I fully see the irony of my last blog post being on minimizing public exposure and then deciding to bare my soul, but humor me.
I have been going to therapy on and off for 8 years. That’s right, with today being my blog-iversary, that is the same 8 years that I have blogging on http://www.clearingpreppysname.com for, yet I don’t think therapy has ever come up before. There are probably several people in your life who utilize the support of a counselor or therapist to help them fight through the struggles they face everyday and you may not even realize it. For me, talk therapy has been extremely important when I reflect on the successes in my life; both big and small. I suffer from generalized anxiety and have been an obsessive compulsive perfectionist for my entire life… so admitting the imperfection that is needing help from someone else goes completely against my nature. But the time feels right to share, because although the prior 6 months that I wrote about in January were very challenging, the 6 weeks that have followed them have been utterly transformative.
Once I stopped throwing myself a pity party and started taking responsibility wherever I could for the disappointing realities that I have faced, trying to view the negative circumstances as life lessons rather than a death sentence, I felt a major shift. Some of this was therapy, a lot of this was self-help books, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training program at work and motivational pinterest quotes. It feels incredible! I am not bettering myself out of spite, but rather bettering myself because I just remembered that I am responsible for my own happiness and nobody else is. Why do so many of us walk around as if that is not true? Any power that I gave away to anyone else in the past was a choice that I was making and sometimes it’s so much easier to play the victim so that is the deep dark hole that we, as a society, fall into. One of my favorite t-shirts that’s over a decade old has a faded quote from Eleanor Roosevelt on it, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Damn straight.
In one of my recent therapy sessions my counselor asked about a goal I have and how I would know if I was living my life as a 10 out of 10 as opposed to a 6 out of 10, etc. I had to describe how I would feel, what I would be doing, what I would be wearing and who I would be with. This isn’t the first time he asked me to visualize my best self and to describe everything about that dream, but it was the first time I understood why he was doing this and allowed myself to see the possibility of being that dream girl. With bills and stress to blame, I have spent a lot of my most recent adult years in survival mode and forgot what dreaming felt like. Once I verbalized the things I could be doing in my life to better myself, I also realized that I was making a conscious decision each day to do them or not. If I say I want to be my most authentic faith filled, caring and loving self, surrounded by like minded friends and family, then what is binge watching the Cheer documentary on Netflix* while eating Ben and Jerry’s alone doing to get me there? Why keep people in my life that aren’t moving me towards that goal? If I don’t like the way my body looks then why keep eating so much pasta?
6 out of 10 Allison is not the person that God wants me to be and so she’s not who I want to be. I have been immersing myself in audiobooks (I highly recommend Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb and Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan), following a better morning routine that includes reading my bible and making smoothies and increasing my practice time for line dancing in a conscious effort to do better. I have been smiling at people and waving first, because I feel that people are innately good and almost always respond similarly if only more people would initiate this behavior! I am seeking to understand when other people talk to me, rather than just seeking to be understood. I am listening.
The facts from 6 weeks ago are still the same: I’m still working at the bank. I’m still single. I’m still not a multi-millionaire.
But my outlook is different, because I’m dreaming again and I’m taking small steps towards my goal of being 10 out of 10 Allison. It’s so exciting!! What does your best self look like? I am visualizing my highest self and starting to show up as her.
*side note, it’s super entertaining and I totally recommend it.