This a phrase that I will openly and willingly offer others who are in struggle as a way of comfort. I would tell someone it is about any step forward or even status quo that is progress. Our disorders are fixated on the idea of perfectionism and an all or nothing way of thinking that anything we do sometimes feels like a trap. If I can’t do it at 150%, well why would I bother doing it at all.
This all or nothing thinking has me repeating a mantra to myself on days that I am finding more difficult than others, “there are no rules”. Because holy moly, do I have a ton of rules I have placed on myself in order to see myself achieve “success”. The rule book only grew as I aged and now includes a volume 2 I swear.
I can get very caught up in the idea of “perfect” eating, or “perfect” exercising, of “perfect” being. I build up what I believe I am to be and then the mere thought of trying to achieve it all gives me great anxiety and with anxiety I emotionally eat and then it all comes crashing down. The past few days – here and there, admittedly, it has not been every day as I find constantly trying to change my self-talk can be rather exhausting – but sometimes lately, I have been repeating to myself that I have no rules. The rules I have made are all in my head and they aren’t real.
I am not a bad person if I don’t eat 2 cups of vegetables with every meal, I am not a bad person if I don’t kill myself to get to the gym every day, I am not a bad person if I haven’t worked through all of my past “stuff” yet, I am not a bad person if I don’t look like a fitness model, I am not a bad person if I can feel my stomach move when I walk – yes, that’s a very real one and an area that is very troubling for me.
If I can get past the fact that all of my “rules” were made as a way to manage emotions that don’t even relate to the rules I made, then I think I can continue to make progress in my recovery. I have to constantly remind myself that I am making progress even if it feels like I am remaining in the status quo. I am becoming more vulnerable, I am working towards dealing with things – even if not every single time a flood of emotions come, but if sometimes I can sit with them and deal with them.
I have a hard time giving myself a break I would so readily offer on a silver platter for anyone else. I believe it comes down to self-compassion and sometimes that’s not something I just have. It’s something I have to dig deep for or fake it til’ I make it sort of thing.
I don’t HAVE to be anything that I’m not. All I want is to strive towards a more peaceful existence and be more at peace with myself as a human and my body.
There are no rules.
Thanks for reading. ❤