Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I’m Doing Better about Doing Worse

By Mary Pellicer, MD
photo by John Pellicer

My life has always had up times and down times, as long as I can remember. Sometimes I’m on top of the world and everything just flows with amazing ease. Other times, I get “triggered” because of one of my unhealed issues and everything comes to a grinding halt. Nothing flows and when it is really bad, it feels as if I’m slogging through mud if I try to move forward.
In my long ago past, these times would be times of spiraling downward and beating myself up. But, slowly over the years, I’ve learned more and more how to love myself—even during these tough times, or I should say, especially during these tough times.
So now, when I am triggered, and am feeling terrible I take the following steps:

1) I declare, like Judith Viorst’s Alexander, that this is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!!!!!

2) I love myself anyway (after all, this is when I need love the most), the best I can, even if it’s just a tiny bit, (this is a key practice at Renaissance of the Heart and it does get easier with practice).

3) I decide not to beat myself up (I have tapes and tapes on how to do that but don’t stick them in the tape player in my head) and I decide to be okay with doing worse.

4) I mope, sulk, read or watch movies or whatever escape mechanism I feel drawn too. Remember, I’m not beating myself up so I just let myself do this little escape from the reality of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I don’t pretend I’m not doing these things, or try to hide them. I just decide to engage in this behavior for as long as I need to, knowing full well it’s not moving me forward and do my best to love myself the whole time. I am brilliant at these escape mechanisms so what’s not to love?

5) I accept the consequences of my behavior—if I eat that whole box of cookies I know I am going to feel absolutely dreadful in a couple hours, but I may decide I’m going to do it anyway. I work really hard not to lie to myself or pretend I’m not doing what I am. Did I mention I love myself for being such a crazy nut?

6) Sometimes sooner (the more I love myself the sooner it happens) or later I decide to work on healing whatever it is that’s coming up. If I’m really, really stuck with a dreadful case of the “poor me’s” I get some help from a friend (thankfully I have two of the very dearest friends, Nancy & Ceitllyn) who are also brilliant healers.

7) Then once things are past and I’m back on an even keel and moving forward, I learn what I can from the experience.

So with this plan in place, overall I’m doing much better about doing worse. I encourage you to think through (before you need it) your own plan for handling the down times so that eventually these down times are just little jaunts down into a valley that gets you further along toward cresting the next ridge on your journey forward through life.

We’d love to hear any other ideas and strategies you have for moving through the “doing worse” times.

From My Heart to Yours,