Relationships of all types - friends, family, interpersonal - are both a strong suit and a weakness for me. Strong because I the people in my life are the most important part of it. Without them, what's the point? I truly do not feel it's possible for me to live a happy life without people I love and care about in it. It may be for some people, but not me. Not only is this because I want to be loved and feel important to people, though I will admit that I do and I don't think this is a bad thing per se, but because I am a giver, and a caring person, and I like to have people in my life that I care for. I don't just want to to have people there for me, but to have people to be there for.
I realize, through a lot of talk therapy both with professionals and friends, that the key is to love oneself first and foremost. Not in a "taking pictures in the bathroom mirror to show how good I look" way, but to truly think you are a great person, to be proud of yourself, to say "I'm happy with who I am", and to do all of this without feeling the need to be perfect. And supposedly then the rest will follow. This all makes sense to the head, but not so much to the heart. Especially on my rough days, I struggle with the "rest will follow" bit. I am not a fatalist and I have a bit of trouble with the divine plan notion. I fully respect people who believe this way, and I often wish I were one of them because it would probably make things easier - I could just know that it will all work out and that all of the hurt I've felt at the hands of people in my life would be worth it in the long run. But I'm not necessarily one of those people. I consider it, but it's tough for me to fully comprehend. As a Buddhist, even the things you started life with were based on previous actions of your soul, so you (or your soul) has control, time after time. Add this to my already "control freak" personality, and it's very tough to just sit back and let the universe work it's magic. That said, I'm considering giving it a go. Hell, my plan so far hasn't exactly been the recipe for success in the interpersonal department, so who am I to argue!
I tried this before for a couple of weeks, and it seemed like things were falling into place. But then some things happened that made me say "what the &!$%" and I reverted to my natural "how do I fix this and make it better" mode. As someone with a mood cycling condition, I'm use to so much feeling out of control (my emotion, my attention span, my energy level, etc) that when I think I may be able to control something, anything, I feel the need to sieze the opportunity and hang on for dear life. But in the end, I do, at least logically understand that I only have control of one thing, and that's how I choose to act and react, at least to the best of my ability - when you have rapid mood cycles even that's not always guaranteed.
So I'm going to start with a few physical things, because that seems a safe distance away from trying to control my emotions and my heart, and may be a good stepping stone. I'm going to start a "30-day ab challenge", thanks to a friend who brought it to my attention. I've also agreed with another friend to attempt to get back into running, in spite of an IT band issue, and do a 5K running program as soon as I get new running shoes (mine are two years old and definitely not healthy for the IT band issue). Finally, I told a third friend I may do the City to Shore bike ride with her this fall. To sum it up, my fitness level should be improving pretty drastically over the summer, thanks to the help of my friends.
So this is my attempt to focus on me, starting with a few things I should have some control over, at least in my attempt to do them. You can't control injuries and such,though you can try your best to avoid them. I'll see what else starts falling into place. I need to take the attitude that you may be trying to open a door and be shown a window instead, but at least you have some direction.
I'm open to any tips and tricks, though despite the totally cliche ending to the last paragraph, I am kind of over the "you'll meet the right person eventually" and "it'll all work out as it's supposed to" lines, especially from those blissful happily-coupled people. I understand those people are trying to be helpful, but it feels a bit like the super skinny girl whose never had to diet a day in her life telling the obese girl who struggles with weight loss that all that counts is a great personality. But back to the tips and tricks, I'm especially open to any challenges, physical or otherwise. I like partner/group motivation and I like helping motivate and inspire others, so those are usually a win-win.
Now, like anyone about to start a health regimen tomorrow, I'm off to indulge in Cinco de Mayo treats and drinks today! Have a great day!