Looking ahead to the New Year starting this weekend, I realize after some self reflection, that I'd like to continue to work on at least three issues I have clearly identified about myself in therapy these past couple of years.
- caring less about what people think of me – as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, sister, teacher educator, etc.
- continuing to strengthen the healthy way I have been trying to eat this past year
- feeling more entitled – more deserving
These are things I dream about accomplishing. Caring less about what people think of me means changing a way of being that I learned from my earliest childhood. For, in order to survive, as a young child, it was crucial for me to please the significant adults in my life, so that they would love and be nice to me. Strengthening the healthy way I eat means no longer needing to fill the hole in my soul with child-like foods that bring me temporary comfort or numb any uncomfortable feelings I might be experiencing – like anger, for example.
And, all of the goals in my list are mostly dependent on the last one – feeling more entitled, more deserving. This is probably the most challenging issue of all, and the one my therapist helps me with the most. Each session, we chisel away at one small piece of this wall that blocks my progress toward self actualization. More than that, though. It is an obstacle that I stumble over time and again when I want to do anything, including things as simple as making a choice about which restaurant I want to eat at, or more complex issues that occur in my relationships with life partner, family members or friends. For example, I have discovered that I am superb at making a stand for anyone I care about. However, when it comes to making a stand for myself, I become afraid, back down, giving in quickly, and while feeling like a really bad person within, I regret deeply any step I tried to take in the first place.
Making resolutions is complicated. For, I have dragged all these ways of being like an old sack of bricks on my back for the past fifty to sixty years or so. Putting down the bag and just walking away is not so easy.
Instead, as I become more and more aware of the weight I am carrying – the load that I really do not need to schlep around any longer, now that I am a mature … ahem … senior adult – perhaps I could just try and work at tossing out one brick at a time as I journey through 2012.