I remember how my first counsellor tried to gently show me how so much of my life had been dedicated to pushing myself really hard to be perfect. To work hard, get the best grades, grab all the opportunities that came along, push to be better and better. She implied that I was pushing so hard to feel worthy because there was a deeper part of me that felt completely unworthy. That somehow I felt that I needed to work really hard to deserve a place wherever I stood. I see now what my counsellor saw then.
I am not advocating being lazy or leaving one’s potential unfulfilled, but there is a line that can be drawn between working hard and doing your best which is a positive and admirable quality and on the other end of the spectrum pushing oneself to the limit. Challenges are good but there exists an unhealthy mindset of wanting to be better all the time because you feel that you are not enough as you are. Maybe you recognise yourself in this? I didn’t until now.
Right now I feel like I have nothing to prove, in my work and studies or to people. I am me and that’s enough. I have so enjoyed these blissful days of not working and have entertained the delicious possibility of more days that belong to me. Taking my son to school and picking him up, doing everything at my own pace and having the time to write, meditate and pray more. Doing more of what I love and just quitting work for now.
The past year and last has been filled with manic days of full time work, caring for my son and studying an incredibly demanding course. I succeeded at it because I thrive under pressure and am good at pushing myself to the brink to always do more and achieve more. But for whom and to what end? My mental health has suffered and I am tired of being impatient and snappy and anxious. I want this, I want this peace of non-achievement.
My worth does not come from excelling at degrees, being the best teacher, the most accomplished person, the number of cities I travel to, the number of friends I have, my social life at the weekends or the family I have around me. No! My worth comes from just existing and being me. It was there when I was born, that permanent essence of love, compassion, intelligence, adventure and beauty. It is there now with wisdom and inner resources added to it. It is fixed and unchangeable. I have nothing to prove.
Healing is a life-long journey and I am still walking that path but that former insatiable need to prove my worth is fading. Maybe I’m healing 🙂
I went to Toronto and Montreal recently and fell in love with the street art. I was enthralled by the vibrance and power of the images, here are some for you….