A recent journal entry:
On the way home today I thought: Let’s take myself off the hook. No “catching up” – Just getting back into the present and moving forward.
Yes, yoga. But not the yoga that I have missed: the yoga today. Not the journaling that I missed: the journaling today. Not the water I haven’t been drinking: this water.
I have since danced several rounds with this idea. Easing into new movement with the freedom the idea brings, then casting it to the side when guilt or fear or worry (or all three) ask to cut in.
I’ve thought of many other things to apply this idea to:
Not all the breathing I haven’t done: this breath.
Not all the texts/emails/letters that I haven’t sent: this effort for connection.
Not all of the tears I’ve held inside: these tears.
Not all of the times I didn’t speak up: this time.
Not all of the needs I didn’t respond to: this generosity.
Not all of the dates I have missed with my husband: this date.
Not the other unfinished projects: this project, in this moment.
I believe this approach is worth a try for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we deserve far more ease and grace for all these undone things than the piddly amount we typically allow ourselves. If you’re like me, about 37% of you believes that statement while you stand there with a fierce grip on the heavy bag of undone or unfinished or unsaid things in your life.
But take just a moment and ask yourself: Does hanging these undone things over your head provide the encouragement, strength, and vision to get to work on the things you value? Or, far more likely – does this heavy bag slow you down, feed self-criticism and doubt, and distract you from this very moment in which you could be doing something life giving…if only your hands and heart were freed up to do so.
Far too often I get to the end of a day or week and my mind and heart are chock full of all of the things that I didn’t do. All the self-care, chores, and relationship building things that I didn’t manage to complete. This critical check-list is a misguided effort to keep myself on track. But why hold onto these shadows of life, when I’m in a brand new moment of life in which I have the opportunity to choose action guided by my values and responsibilities? Each moment is a new opportunity.
So let’s try going with the flow of life, rather than getting stuck on all that we haven’t done. You don’t need that undone, guilt ridden checklist to keep you on track. I know you may not believe that you deserve the freedom and grace that I’m suggesting…but I am pretty sure the alternative hasn’t been working for you.
It’s not too good to be true that you get a fresh slate every morning. Even with each breath.
What undone thing is it time to acknowledge and then let go of? With the burden lifted, I can’t wait to see what you can do.