Let go of “have to”

The goal of my business is primarily to help improve women’s physical health through nutrition, movement, and weight loss.  I happen to believe that improving health means changing your mindset, too.  And, it seems that when I get the notion to write a blog post I end up on the emotional stuff far more than discussing nutrition or moving.  I’m not certain why that is, but I find I am more pleased with my content and get a better reaction to my posts when I go with whatever content and ideas flow freely from me.  So today I find myself coming at health from the emotional and mental side of things again–and I trust it’s for a reason and that someone needed to hear this particular message.  Onto the heart of it….

I’m an introvert and I tend to “feel” things strongly.  My emotions shift quickly and I feel them intensely and I also sense other people’s emotions.  I am that person that can tell who has been fighting or is sad in a room without a word ever being said.  I am also a rule follower.  If I am told you have to do A, B and C, then I will do A, B, and C in exactly the way you tell me to.  Finally, I am a perfectionist.  I feel good when I do things “right,” which to me means without error.  In a nutshell I am a deeply emotional yet regimented personality and I am only now understanding that and coming to terms with it.  Why do I tell you all this?

Because the layers of HOW I am and HOW I behave are impacted heavily by my environment and the information around me.   I want to know how to do things “right” so I read.  I read about how to parent, how to do home improvement, how to run a business, how to be an effective trainer, how to eat, how to move, how to manage money, how to be happy, how to improve myself, and on and on and on.  Because of my want to do everything the “right” way I take all my reading to heart.  I begin to tell myself what I should be doing in all these areas of my life.  Not only do I feel bombarded (and yes, I know this is my own doing….I shall get to that) with too many “you should do this” messages, I also feel bombarded with positivity messages.

Our society values “busy” and “lots” and “more” and “do it all independently.”  Oh, AND, be happy and grateful and positive and enjoy all the moments of your life and most certainly don’t dwell on any negative thing.  Alllllrighty, then!  Cuz that’s realistic!

So here’s the thing…

There was a time in my life not many years ago when I was intensely unhappy.  I dwelled on the negative much too much.  I’ve learned the traps in my mindset and am working to keep myself out of that negative cycle.  On the flip side, through this weight loss journey I have learned that I am a “stuffer.”  I stuff down my true emotions and reactions cuz I’ve got shit to get done–no time to be sad or angry or tired or frustrated or doubtful or whatever.  Especially when I “should” be focusing on all the positive, wonderful things in my life and be grateful for them.

I gotta say I’m kinda sick of all this “happy happy joy joy” stuff I read most of the time.  Blogs, magazines, newsletters, articles, FB statuses, self-help gurus, etc.  Absolutely, without a doubt, leading a negative life is not a great way to live.  However, I don’t think living as if everything is perfectly hunky-dory is a great way to live either.  I’m no researcher or scientist, but I wonder to myself why humans have all these emotions when the mainstream would have us believe we need to always be positive and grateful and happy.

Part of what got me into my weight mess was stuffing my emotions away and constantly believing I should be happy and should be this or that rather than just being/feeling what I was!  Here’s my view on the world and take it for what it’s worth:

Feel how you feel and be honest about it!!  If you are feeling sad, take time to cry and work through it.  If you are pissed, be pissed and work through it.  If you are feeling unsure of yourself, why not talk about it and be honest about it instead of all the false bravado.  When you’re scared, admit it.  When you’re happy, revel in it!

Every person out there is experiencing challenges to some degree.  I happen to believe if we could just feel compelled to be and feel what we are instead of constant pressure to feel and be what we are told we should be, then life would be so much more enjoyable.

Finally, I want to end with the words from one of my most favorite books I read to my girls.  The name of it is “The Blue Ribbon Day”  by Katie Couric.

Her mom said, “Don’t worry, I know you are sad,

but you couldn’t feel good if you never felt bad.”

She hugged [her] and said, “Honey, give it some time.

We’re all good at something, you’ll have your chance to shine.

Everybody’s a star, a brilliant creation,

the trouble is finding the right constellation!”

It’s okay to feel anything you feel.  In fact, I think it’s better if you let the emotions run their course rather than immediately work to get around them with positivity.  Feel sad (or whatever!) so can feel glad…and know you will find your place and where you are meant to be.  🙂


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