Who Do You Think You Are?
As I walked reluctantly from the parking lot, through the cold and rain, and into Planet Fitness on Monday morning, that voice inside my head seemed louder than ever. Ooh y'all, I know I sat in my car for what seemed like forty days and forty nights contemplating whether or not I should even brave the treacherous weather to go inside.
I don't know where my umbrella is and I don't have my rain jacket, so going out in the rain would be irresponsible of me. I could get wet and catch a cold or the flu!
I'm tired. I should just go home and rest.
I had a busy weekend and didn't have a chance to meal plan or grocery shop. I should do that or my little family with STARVE!
I didn't stretch very well after my workout last week, so if I workout today, I might strain something and injure myself.
I need to deep condition my hair.
It's not like I know what I'm doing anyways. I look ridiculous in there next to all the really fit people who know how to use all those machines.
I have 3,570 unread emails in my inbox (that have been there for months, to be honest) that desperately need to be checked.
There's about 7 mountains of clean laundry at home that need to be folded and put away.
Y'all, the excuses. The "reasons." The inner critic questioning my capabilities, criticizing the way I look in workout clothes, challenging my dedication to holistic wellness this year, and ultimately, questioning the level of commitment I've pledged to myself, my family, my community, and the incredible tribe I've created with Fleur de Lis Speaks.
The counselor in me sat in my car, sipping my coffee, processing these thoughts and feelings, and ultimately decided to take the plunge, a metaphorical leap of Faith (pun totally intended.) #wink I gathered my essentials- phone, earbuds, water bottle, fresh stick of peppermint chewing gum, keys- and sprinted from my car to the building, where the automatic sliding doors directly across from the front desk made it impossible for me to change my mind and run away without the workers seeing me. I was stuck. Might as well go in now. "Zach" and "Rachel" with their big smiles and flat stomachs have already spotted me. Argh!
Needless to say, my workout wasn't bad at all.I even pushed myself above and beyond the normal cardio that I usually do and ventured into using some weights and ab machines. #sendhelp I may need to remember to bring an oxygen tank with me when I go back today, but I survived. Of course, I did. I always do.
And you wanna know why??
Because I've found that the tallest obstacle between me and the things that are best for me is ME. I have to be intentional about leaning into love and making space for self- compassion so that messages of kindness will drown out the inner voices of criticism and condemnation.
I have to fill my mind, spirit, and soul with the truth- who God says I am and what God says I can be. I have to immerse myself in the Word, in teachings, in literature that affirm my strength and power. I have to surround myself with people who lift me up rather than weigh me down. People who see the best in me even when I'm struggling to see the best in myself.
I have to disconnect from social media periodically and make sure that the accounts I follow are ones that add value, optimism, and motivation to my life. I don't need to know about the latest celebrity break-up or who just bought a new house or how an influencer keeps her skin glowing with a nightly 10- step skincare routine. I still use St. Ives Apricot Scrub and I'm lucky if I remember to do it twice a week. I'm over here trying to drink my water, mind my business, feed my kid, write my blog, shower, create content, wear clean clothes, take my meds, respond to emails, watch "our" shows with my husband, order my groceries online, and trick myself into going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Das it. Das all I got.
Every single day, I must make the conscious decision to get out of my own way.
Every day, I must choose to trust in the power of my voice, the purity of my intentions, the kindness of my actions, the potential of my efforts, and the authenticity of my impact. I must choose to believe that I can take care of myself and serve others well. I must choose to believe that my words will reach the people who are meant to hear and receive them. I must choose to believe that I am enough, that I am making a difference, and that I am exceptional at what I do. I must choose to believe that my best is enough.
And I must choose to define who I am. Because if I don't, the world will do it for me.
I'm the author of my narrative. I hold the pen.
You're the author of your narrative. You hold the pen.
What story will your narrative tell? The story of your inner critic and the naysayers? Or the story of your love and compassion, grace and mercy, and failures and triumphs?
Who Do You Think You Are?
I pray, sweet friends, that your answer is love. Just be the love. That is enough.
I love y'all. So, so, sooooo much.