Little breath, breathe me gently, for I am a river I am trying to cross. - W.S. Merwin
I think thoughts and behavior patterns are fueled by deeply held beliefs (like my therapist taught me). When I'm having a difficult time with some of my own thoughts or behaviors, I try to get at what the belief is that's keeping those thoughts going. My overachieving perfectionism relies in part on the belief that if I stopped driving myself so hard, I'd just sit around and be mediocre. Or worse. Without my inner perfectionist tyrant, I'd be a giant underachiever. And of course, it relies on the belief that to be mediocre or to underachieve is Not Okay - not even for a little while.
When I wrote recently about letting go of my perfectionist voice and having a bit more compassion for myself around this blog, I hoped that I would prove my perfectionist self wrong. I hoped I would find that once I gave myself permission to just breathe and let go of the crazy to-do lists, I would find a joyful do-er just under the surface waiting to launch into fabulous projects. That's the reverse psychology that the perfectionist soul tries to maneuver with itself: I'll let you off the hook if you promise that you'll do everything that I wanted you to do anyway.
I feared that instead, I would learn that my perfectionist beliefs were right, that without the perfectionist voice, I'm not a go-getter. I'm lazy. I underachieve.
As you can see from the time between posts, the reverse psychology trick didn't work. And while my perfectionist voice is pretty disappointed and demoralized, there's a tiny little sane voice that thinks it's 100% okay - I gave myself permission to let go, and that's exactly what I did. I didn't do it perfectly or with gusto, but I took a few tentative steps back and breathed.
Here's the thing. I'm Going Through Some Stuff right now. There are things happening in our lives over here that I can't really blog about just yet. Ultimately, I'll be able to share some wonderful changes, but for now, I'm in the hard part - the part where you trudge through the mud and keep your eyes on the dry land ahead. It's a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other sort of affair. And though this would be challenging for most anyone, I know that as a perfectionist people-pleaser (say that three times fast), what's holding me in the mud more than anything else is myself, my ideas of who and what I'm supposed to be. And of course, who and what I'm not supposed to be.
All of that to say, I'm still here. I'm still trudging. I'll be bopping in and out as I have time and energy over the next few months. I'm slowly but surely working on projects, and I'm still completely in love with my new camera and will continue to share photos.
As always, thanks for reading!