Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

The other day, The Reader posted a blog entry about New Years Resolutions. Last year, I re-posted Beautiful You's blogs on New Years Dieting (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)Part 3 was my favorite. She talked about balance. Finding balance in ALL areas of our lives.

In the past, I was one of those that made HUGE lists of resolutions, and I actually stuck to a lot of them, but still felt miserable. (Something about how no accomplishment was ever enough to make me feel good about myself.)

Around January - February of this year, there were two things that seemed really important for me to do:
1. I was going to stop forcing myself to do anything that I didn't want to do. This wasn't easy. We live in a world where we are SUPPOSED to put our wants and needs aside and do what everyone else wants. I was raised in a church that almost had me believing that wanting anything was wrong. And if I just did what I wanted, I was absolutely positive the sun would explode and everyone would die. I was so afraid that if I only did what I wanted, I would be a really horrible, selfish, mean, awful person. That lead me to the second thought:

2. I wasn't going to let fear and guilt run my life. I had no idea what that would look like, but I was absolutely sure I wanted to change my life. If doing what I wanted meant the sun would explode, I decided that would have to be okay. I was not going to be afraid anymore. I wasn't going to let the guilt rule me. And whatever happened, would happen.

And now, here I am. Some might say that was a bad choice. If I was still letting fear and guilt rule me, and if I was forcing myself to do things I didn't want to do, I'd be at church every week. I would still be married to Dann. I would have been to every family party and get together. I would have done a lot more service this year. I would have worked a lot more hours than I did. I wouldn't live where I live. I wouldn't have spent the time to get to know me.

I wouldn't love who I am. I would still be thinking about how to kill myself without hurting anyone. I would still be distant and miserable, but not know why. I would be even more distant from my family. I would not have had the conversations with any of my siblings or parents that I have had. I would not have come to terms with my body. I'd still be broken in a million different pieces, but pretending like I was whole. I would feel trapped. I would still be letting fear and guilt rule me. How can that be a bad choice?

As I think about the coming year, I plan to relax and enjoy my life.
Thus far it has been one helluva ride, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.


  1. I think you've made some awesome strides this year. I agree, you becoming the real you is a good thing.

    And the best news: The sun hasn't exploded.

  2. Those sound like some goals I should adopt myself.

    More and more I am realizing how faulty (or at least subjective) the things I was taught by my religion were. I too was taught basically to give up my own will and my own wants and to submit to the wants and will of God (well, they said "God," but they meant "what the Church teaches").

    So I want to stop seeing my life's goals as defined by what the Church (or my family members) says will make me happy, and do what I say will make me happy. And stop thinking that it's selfish to want to make myself happy. That's a big one. I used to have this gag-worthy notion of the nobility of suffering, but ... it's a load of crap. Alleviating suffering is a worthy endeavor, especially if it's my own.

    Your #2 was a huge one for me too. I used to be absolutely racked with guilt, especially about the fact that I'd slept with my husband before we were married, and other sexuality things (contraception, etc). And not going to church, even though I had no desire to go. I'm sick of the guilt. Since I've been married, I've given up much of the guilt, and I've become my own person (I think).

    I find your goals here completely admirable, and thanks for the plug too. haha :D

  3. Carla, where did we get the idea that suffering was noble?? Its silly. And yet I have believed it for a long time.

    (My therapist's favorite phrase to use with me, and he uses it at least ten times a session is: "indiscriminate self-sacrifice" and it turns out "indiscriminate self-sacrifice" isn't a good thing...)