I once cried my eyes out to my ex because I didn’t want to brush my teeth
I was 24. Had just turned 25, maybe.
I hated everything to do with routine.
Or at least that was how I framed it to myself.
I hated having to do anything that was the same each day.
Really it was that I hated that my body needed any type of care and I did not want to take care of myself.
It would be easy to shame this and I have done that many times.
In my own head.
Demetra, why can’t you do these basic things.
Why are you such a failure at being a person.
I got over the brushing teeth the more I did it, morning and night, but the pattern was still there.
It was there with food.
Hence my whole food journey.
Why could I not just eat.
Anything that was an act of love rather than a punishment to my body was difficult for me to do.
Going to the gym in the way I did was easy because I wasn’t really listening to my body. I was making it do things so I could feel good about myself. There was force in it.
This year I have really begun to separate myself from the pattern I have of making myself wrong. Of thinking everyone else is making me wrong. Of being mean to myself, saying why are you so bad at this, why can’t you do these things.
It feels like separating two pieces of paper that have been glued together, when the glue hasn’t yet dried.
For most of my life I couldn’t see that the other paper was there at all. It was just me.
And then for the past few years I could see it was there but I couldn’t really do anything about it. It still felt like me. I could consider that it wasn’t me. And it got quieter.
And this year it has felt like the papers are being pulled apart.
Strings of glue still in between
But for the first time I can really feel myself without it.
As in, I can see the way this has been my entire reality and I actually think I can choose something else.
Like maybe this pattern of resisting basic life things…. can drop away.
Before it felt helpless. Like what do I do about this massive thing.
Now it feels like, I’m going to choose to live without you, pattern that’s kept me safe my whole life.
When I was a child I was constantly made wrong.
I was made fun of and criticized by my family. And then by others.
The most innate parts of my essence were teased and laughed about.
I was taught to not have an emotional response to any of it.
Besides laughing along.
Making myself wrong became a protective mechanism to keep this from happening.
If I told myself I was disgusting and irresponsible and lazy and selfish and was having all the wrong feelings then I was prepared when someone else did the same thing to me.
No one could ever do it worse than I did it to myself.
I got very good at creating a wall and putting my emotions behind that wall, locked away even from my own sight.
The last two weeks I have been doing something I’ve never been able to do as an adult.
I’ve been going to bed and waking up at the same time.
In the morning I get up and I go outside with a warm drink and I stand with my bare feet in the earth and I sing to the sun.
I thank the sun for things. I sing good morning to the creek and say hi to the birds.
And then I go back inside and make breakfast.
A very simple routine like this is something I have never been able to get myself to do.
I could not for the life of me get myself to go to bed at the same time.
To wake up at the same time.
Let alone have a little morning routine that is the same each day.
And something that’s dropped in that wasn’t there before is this compassion and understanding for all the ways I couldn’t do this before.
Because this feels so tender and loving.
A touchpoint for the whole day.
Of course I could not give it to myself.
Taking care of myself with love is something I never learned to do.
Doing household tasks and basic body tasks with love.
How could I parent myself in a loving way when I was being so mean to myself all the time?
It feels all very connected to allowing life to be this good.
What if things can be good, what if I can be nice to myself, what if I can take care of myself.
What if everything about me is right.
If you liked this piece, you might also enjoy:
– Freedom comes from not being a victim
– The way you have been taught to feel is wrong
– Why having a funeral for yourself is the ritual you need in your life right now
– When I was younger I used to go into the ocean and ask the ocean to take me away