The Wheel Goes Round and Round…
For many individuals involved in self-care and insight-oriented work, sometimes life feels like they’re on a hamster wheel, running as fast as they can only to land right back where they started. You reach a point in the therapy process where you’ve had significant amounts of “AHA!” moments (those exciting truths that hit you at your core and zap your heart) and you feel like “Okay! With this new knowledge, I can venture off in the world, never to make the same mistakes again!” Lovely.
Truth be told, even if you process how your past impacts your propensities towards certain worldviews, your present moment is always colored by it. The difference lies in your level of awareness of its impact. When we feel trapped in a hamster wheel, it is an important sign to us to stop, cooperate, and listen. What are you stressing over? What are you working so hard for that doesn’t seem to be panning out? And on the flip side, what are you simultaneously avoiding or substituting these over-functioning, rushing, stressing-out behaviors? Deep questions that can only be broached when you pause.
Losing it, rushing, yelling, micromanaging others, criticizing- the dark side of perfectionism. When does it rear its ugly head? Yes, yes, the easy obvious answer, (if you’ve been following along a bit), is when you lack self-care. What is self-care? Boundaries you’ll say. Time to focus on the whole mind-body connection! What if I said yes and no? In order for self-care to enter the picture, there MUST be a deep and expansive credo that you are enough as you are. That you matter with or without the extra bells and whistles and you do not need to prove it or convince anyone of your worth. Without this, anything related to self-care in the quotidian sense can seem like spokes of the same wheel keeping you stuck. You’re moving faster and doing more, but you’re not getting anywhere because deep down you don’t believe you are worth it and you don’t trust yourself worthy of a life with purpose and enrichment. None of this is easy, but it is possible. The first few years of our life design the blueprint. But, we decide if we choose to keep old plans or construct new ones.