Monday, April 9, 2012

Breaking the cycle of self-punishment

Yesterday my mom asked me if I wanted to go see The Hunger Games with her. She had just finished reading the first book of the trilogy and I could tell that she was really excited to see the movie. I could also tell that she really wanted me to go.

I had told her earlier in the week that I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie because I didn't want the movie to ruin anything. So initially, I sighed and told her I would think about it when she asked me to come.

Less than five minutes after seriously considering turning down her offer, I realized that I actually DID want to go with her. I had already planned to get out of the house anyway and I needed a good excuse to do that. Plus, I rarely get to spend quality time with my mom because she works so much.

It made me think back to a Tiny Buddha post I read awhile back, titled "Do You Talk Yourself Out of Doing Things You Want to Do?" by Lori Deschene.

Here is an excerpt from that post:

"I believe the little things are the big things. 

It's the tiny choices we make about how we spend our hours that dictate how we spend our lives---whether we get out and enjoy what's in front of us, or make excuses to do what we always do or what we planned to do.

And this type of thinking can obviously impact the things we traditionally consider big---the choices we make and the risks we take in our personal and professional lives. 

If we're not self-aware, we can end up making all kinds of excuses to not do what we want....And we can convince ourselves it doesn't really matter.

Except it does. Whether it's a tiny choice or a big decision, if it's something we want to do, it matters."

I honestly feel like this was written just for me. I talk myself out of things, convince myself that those things don't matter, and then beat myself up when I realize that they actually DID matter, but that it's too late. This has been a rather repetitive cycle in my life. I have a habit of punishing myself. I can't really explain it and I don't really know why I do it.

It's like standing in the middle of the road while cars hit you, yet you continue to stand there instead of saying, "Gee, maybe I should get my ass out of the road so these cars can't hit me anymore." That's the best way I know how to explain it.

Maybe I lack self-awareness. Maybe the whole "being nice to myself" thing hasn't completely registered yet. Maybe I subconsciously enjoy flinging myself into destructive cycles because I'm so used to doing it.

I don't know. But it needs to stop.

So yes, I went to the movies with my mom (and my little brother!!) yesterday. I knew that I would just be miserable, bored, and lonely if I stayed home by myself while everyone else went out to do something fun. I knew that seeing the movie with my mom was more important to me than reading the book first. I knew that seeing Josh Hutcherson's face was totally worth making the trip. So I went. And I feel like that was a little step towards breaking the cycle of punishing myself.

And I actually really enjoyed the movie too. (It was a little disturbing and I'm pretty sure I had nightmares last night, but it was still good.)

I'm glad I went. Just for me.

Do something just for you today. You deserve it.

<3 Madison

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