I’m either in saving mode or spending. Dieting or binging. Spiritual mode or secular. Helping people or being selfish. Being productive or wasting away on my couch. When did I start choosing sides I wonder? When did being one thing seem to automatically eliminate the potential of being the other?
Somehow, I think I’ve managed to unknowingly climb into a “supposed to” box mentality, wherein, things are supposed to look, feel and smell in a very particular way. For example, saving is supposed to look like me putting aside my savings first, pulling out cash to spend and not purchasing things I don’t need in between paydays. Mind you, if I “ruin” this picture perfect savings scenario in some way by pulling out my trusty visa for a small online purchase, it’s inevitable that I’ll continue to spend money on new clothes, maybe some new hair products, a few eating out meals and a new gym bag (as I promise myself to start budgeting again next pay day). Or spirituality; if I don’t start my morning off with some morning devotion with a cup of coffee, my Bible and prayer, (the picture perfect way spirituality ought to look like in my life) it seems like the thought of God barely crosses my mind throughout the day. If I don’t work out and meal plan, then it’s no surprise to find me on a deep fried bender…all IN, or all OUT. Sigh. I’m so tired of this binge mentality because it’s infecting so many areas of my life.
When did I start putting all of this “picture perfect” pressure on myself? When did things start having to look a particular way? Instead of these perfect boxes that I am struggling to step into and achieve, how do I just integrate all of the chaos together? What does spirituality look like without the picture perfect moments of prayer and bible readings first thing in the morning? What does being healthy look like when I don’t have time to work out or cook? What do these things look like in the mess of life and the unpredictability it often brings?
I’m not quite sure how to be a “some of everything” kind of girl, though surely, that most best characterizes my life. I wonder what having a binge lifestyle means? When you think about the concept of it, it doesn’t really make sense. Indulgence seems pleasurable (as in the excitement of splurging and buying that initial online purchase), but binging seems excessive to a point of punishment or causing pain, most likely followed by guilt or regret. Binging isn’t just the act of doing something, it’s an excessive carried-awayness. But it’s counter intuitive. Why would I choose pain over pleasure? Why would I deliberately hurt myself by going too far? It doesn’t really make logical sense. Maybe it’s an emotional response to something. Emotional responses can defy reason…..So the question is, why does a slight step off course for me, end up in a crash landing only to be realigned a next go around – a next payday, a following Monday or a Sunday morning service…
Maybe I am just trying too hard to be good at these things. Maybe I’m not even just trying to be good, maybe I am trying too hard to be perfect at these things. And maybe it’s the trying that I am rebelling against, causing the unintentional binging, the emotional response to letting myself down from achieving what I hoped (or expected) I would. The truth of the matter is, I’m not perfect, and I probably don’t want to be confined by anything, including my own high expectations! Maybe I need to make a shift from what I think something is supposed to look like, to what it actually is in my life. Instead of focusing on what it looks like to be a perfect saver, how does it feel to save a few pennies while I spend some too? Not focus on what a good Christian is supposed to do, but how does it feel to act in Christianly ways throughout the day – maybe it’s time to stop worshipping these small gods I’ve built: The Saver, The Church Goer, Runner, The Worker, The Wife, The Good Daughter….and just focus on being me? Maybe it’s time to accept my personalization of my roles, the bettyness I add to them. The bettyness in my spirituality means that I have a big wide open heart who longs to love God and know Him deeply, but the bettyness in me has commitment issues, and time management issues and may wake up mornings either too late or too distracted to pray – does that change my big wide open heart? Nope. I do really embrace and love an active and healthy lifestyle, but the bettyness in me loves to indulge on sweets and fried foods at times, does that change the fact that I like to get up in the mornings and run before work? Nope! Why have I been so unaccepting of my own bettyness all of this time? Why was I instead trying to conform to these perfect unattainable illusions?
Stop waiting for ideal conditions….stop trying to create perfect scenarios….true enough some of my messiest moments have created my deepest joys and most meaningful memories.
I’d heard so much in dieting and in fitness forums that restricting oneself with extreme limitations can cause someone to eventually give up and binge. Who knew that it was possible to create extreme restrictions/binging cycles in one’s life totally outside of the dieting and fitness realm?!
I will work on, being well, being whole and being me, in all of my bettyness. <3