This morning on the radio, I heard the DJs talking about something someone saw on Dr. Phil. I came into the conversation in the middle, but I surmised that Dr. Phil had asked Charlie Sheen to give him 3 words how he used to be, and 3 words how he sees himself now. The DJs were giving their sets of words.
As I listened, I started wondering about my 3 words before and after this journey I’ve been on the past few years. It’s been tough personally and professionally, but I am stronger on the other side of some dark days.
My first Before word would be perfectionist. It killed me to do anything I tried at less than perfection. If I did blow it, I’d ruminate on it, and beat myself up in my mind. Today, I am happily enough. I’ve learned not to replay the impossible in my mind and to be content with being imperfect.
My second Before word would be guarded. I worked to build a wall around myself so that I couldn’t be hurt. I didn’t know that by building a wall, I was not only keeping people out, but I was also limiting myself. Today, I am free to be my crazy, fun-loving, laughing self. I care less about being hurt and more about living in the moment that I have been given.
My third Before word would be stifled. Thoughts stayed inside my mind so that I wouldn’t be argumentative or contradictory with what was crossing my mind. I figured I could handle my internal frustrations better than I could handle the conflict with others, thanks to my overused strength of empathy. Today, I am still cautious, because I have no desire to be hurtful in any way, but my word would have to be stretching. I’m learning that conflict can be healthy, and that I have a valid opinion, even if I can’t always articulate it the way it’s forming in my mind. I now am giving myself grace, and it’s a great place to reside.
DAY 117 HOMEWORK: Try this exercise for yourself. Pick a point in time and tell me what your 3 Before and After words are. It can be pretty enlightening!