Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All Fired Up

A few days back I was going on a long drive and I brought along an old favorite, Pat Benatar's "Best Shots" album - her greatest hits.  I hadn't listened to the album in years.  I thought it might be good for a hoot.  I did NOT expect to be completely inspired and brought to tears numerous times. 

Of course there are the awesome, well-known hits - "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Invincible," "We Belong".... the radio songs.  But I had forgotten the amazing "Promises In the Dark," "Hell Is For Children," and my personal all-time favorite, "All Fired Up."  These songs are total gems, and if you are an 80's kid, you might want to go back and listen again, my friend. 

I was most blown away by "All Fired Up," and how the lyrics seemed to fit my life right this second.  I feel just like Pat did, as if I've been asleep for 20 years and now, I'm wide awake and "moving like a meteorite."  But the best part is the background chorus:

"Now I believe there comes a time
When everything just falls in line
We live and learn from our mistakes
The deepest cuts are healed by faith."

The deepest cuts truly are healed by faith - Faith that things will turn out the way they are supposed to.  Faith that we are right where we are supposed to be in life.  And faith that we do not need to control everything and everyone around us.  My deepest cuts are healing every day because I believe that God is in charge and that all I need is the power to carry out His will.  I know that it is up to me to take action but the outcomes are His alone. 

Letting go of outcomes is probably one of the most important parts of my own healing.  As long as I show up and do my best in all areas of my life, I can trust that the right thing will happen.  Worry does take me down sometimes, of course.  But when I find myself doubting or wringing my hands in distress, I just try to relax, breathe deeply, and ask for guidance.  I focus my prayer on seeking God's will and receiving the power to carry it out (yes, very A.A.).  I don't need to ask for all kinds of specific things because God's will for me is perfect already.  He doesn't require my assistance in determining what I need in life.  I can just see God now, slapping his knee and guffawing as He reviews my list of "necessities."

Anyway, just wanted to pay a little tribute to Pat B. and her awesome song.  I, too, am lighting up the darkness, all fired up for life in a way that I have never been before. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Repeat After Me: I Am Fucking Awesome

  I know.  The title is a bit vulgar.  My mother-in-law and Aunt Patsey would roll their eyes and tut-tut, wondering how an educated, articulate woman (a MOTHER, no less) could use such words - IF they actually read my blog!  I know it's not the most appropriate way to get my point across.  But I use the term "fucking awesome" because, well - I like it.  It fits me.  And it works. 

You see, I am tired of feeling the whole "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not worth it" thing.  Recently, I was considering entering a writing contest and the theme was "the decision you most regret."  Now, there are plenty of bad decisions for me to choose from in my life.  Taking out student loans, getting fake boobs, moving to Los Angeles, flashing said fake boobs at coworkers (uh, YEAH, I was drunk) - I think we all have done stuff that we regret terribly and they all involved a bad decision (or many, in rapid succession).  But after thinking about this topic for over two weeks, I came to the realization that the decision I regret the most was the decision I made, at some point in my life, to BELIEVE the outright lie of "I'm not good enough."   And to continue believing it, for years and years and years. 

I'm done with that crap (see, I said 'crap' instead of 'shit' - isn't that growth?)  I AM good enough.  I AM worth it.  Why? Because I am fucking awesome.  I am a creation of God.  I have been put on this Earth to do something, and I am certain that it's NOT to lay on the couch eating macaroni and cheese, and lamenting about what a shitty hand life has dealt me.  No, I'm here to make a difference.  And I have an amazing tool bag to do it with - talents, skills, gifts galore.  But you can't see any of that when you are bogged down in self-pity.  I have stopped saying "why me?" and am now asking "why NOT me?"  Instead of looking at others and enviously wishing for their life or circumstances, I am changing my own life and circumstances by making one healthy choice at a time.  Some see it as "depriving" myself or being "extreme" or "obsessive" - I call it taking care of myself as if my life depends on it.  Because hey - it DOES. 

I have abandoned myself for long enough.  It is time to take care of ME, not because someone else will be happy but because I will be healthy and happier.  I deserve to feel and be healthy - physically, mentally, spiritually - in all ways.  I am worth the effort.  So when I say I am fucking awesome, I'm not saying how great I am, look at me.  I'm saying hey, I am a pretty wonderful individual with a lot to offer and I need to take care of myself.  When I struggle with this idea, I think about myself as a little girl.  I even look at pictures of myself - Would I choose to hurt that little girl?  Isn't she worth taking care of?  Isn't she fucking awesome?  The answer is yes, and I try to never forget that I am still that same little girl - I'm still that same person, just older.  A child should be cherished, and so we should cherish ourselves, even as adults who have made some bad choices in life.  Look at me - Should this little girl be punished because she hasn't been absolutely perfect as an adult? 

I saw something the other day on Pinterest (if I hear one more person call it "Pin-interest" I'm going to kill someone) and it said "It's never too late to become what you might have been."  I agree wholeheartedly.  Just because I've spent the last 20 years or so trying to destroy myself does not mean I have to stay on that path.  I can stop any time and in fact, I have.  I am building a better me, for me, so that I can be of service to others and help others realize that they, too, are fucking awesome. 

So repeat after me:  I am fucking awesome.  Repeat daily, whenever self-doubt creeps in or you hear that little voice saying, "you should eat that giant piece of cake / not exercise / sleep with that guy / get drunk / because you deserve a break."  If you are fucking awesome, don't you actually deserve something better than that?  Like self-love?  Self-respect? Choices that make you more healthy, not less healthy?  Today, I believe that I do. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Never Sacrifice Form

So, yeah - "never sacrifice form" was some advice I heard this morning as I was sweating and gasping my way through one of Shaun T's Insanity workouts.  And it got me thinking...

I get frustrated sometimes because I tend to be a bit....s-l-o-w when I work out.  It is especially frustrating for me when I am exercising with others who just seem to breeze right through everything, double whatever I've done, no problem.  I give myself a slight break when it comes to the professional videos because, uh, after all, they have hired people who are in totally amazing shape to make their workout videos seem easy.  But the in person stuff, like fitness classes, has always made me feel a little stupid, a little fat, a little out of shape - and a lot "not good enough."  Like I'm the fat loser that everybody secretly feels sorry for and superior to.  You get my drift.  And I AM slow - no doubt about it.  But it is not just because I am in worse shape than everyone else....

Part of my slowness has to do with my fanatical ideas about "good form."  I am a stickler for form.  If I think I am not using proper form, I ask for input from the instructor or check a mirror.  I want to perform the exercise with the best possible form I can muster.  Mostly I do this because I do not want to hurt myself - I'm not 18 anymore and doing bad squats could leave me sore or even injured for days.  But I also do it because I do not see the point in doing something half-assed.  I could probably go much faster on certain exercises if I sacrificed some form but I just can't do it.  I've tried.  I feel like a cheater.  I'd rather feel slow than guilty, I guess. 

So this morning when Shaun T said "never sacrifice form," I was reminded of this slight obsession I have and my slowness.  And I felt validated, as if Shaun T had reached out and patted me on the back and said, "Girl, you may be slow, but you're doing it right, and that's what matters most.  Now get out there and give us your nastiest Smack Dat !"  (Wait, that's "Hip Hop Abs" Shaun T, not "Insanity" Shaun T....)  I began thinking about how sometimes "doing it right" does not translate into glory or accolades or even recognition - and I extended that right into my professional life. 

There are times when I could gain an advantage by being underhanded, untruthful, or downright unethical.  I could do things in a way that would garner praise or, at the very least, put my opponent down and pump myself up, trying to "look good" in the eyes of the fact-finder.  But at the end of the day, I have to live with myself - I need to sleep at night, you know?  So I try to "do things right."  And that may mean that I appear "slow," inexperienced, ignorant, or weak by opposing counsel or parties.  Like the "form" discussed above, however, I am willing to give up the flashiness, the glitz and the high drama in the interest of safety.  Because I don't want to hurt myself - being an ugly, dishonest person is damaging, and God knows, I am done with damaging myself. 

So that is my latest epiphany.  I don't need to feel bad about being "slow," because it is healthy for me.  It means I care about the right things and I care about myself.  That's new for me, really.  And I'm kinda digging on it.