From the outside looking in, my life probably looks perfect. Indeed, I know deep down that I have every reason to feel stupidly, blissfully happy at how blessed by good fortune I am. And yet, somehow I still found myself not even five years into my career, crying in the bathroom stall at work for what was now the sixth time in 18 months, wondering where it had all gone wrong. I felt crushed by the weight of life’s responsibilities and expectations.
Imagine my surprise to learn after much introspection and therapy that most all of my unhappiness actually comes from me. I am my own worst enemy. I expect—no, demand—perfection of myself. Anything less than just won’t suffice.
Now I find myself struggling with anxiety and negative self-perceptions fueled by my own unreasonable expectations for myself and my life. So, in an effort to cut myself some slack and find inner peace, I am embarking on a semi-ambitious undertaking. Every day for the next year, I will reflect on a passage from the book “Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much” by Anne Wilson Schaef and document my thoughts here.
The motivations behind this little experiment are twofold: I want to document the shared experience of being a woman through a woman’s own eyes, and also create distance between myself and my emotions to allow space to observe them from a neutral perspective. To find inner peace and calm through a practice of mindfulness.
“There are many of us who do too much, keep too busy, spend all our time taking care of others and, in general do not take care of ourselves. Many of us have crossed over the line to compulsive, addictive, self-defeating behavior and need to make some major changes in our lives.” —Anne Wilson Schaef
If this sounds like you, welcome. You are not alone. Please join me on this journey toward self-compassion and self-love.