Mar 26, 2013

March Challenge Update—Off the Hook

You remember my March Challenge, right? Where I planned not to drive to work for the month? This month's challenge was a lesson in... giving up.

Now, don't take that the wrong way. I think there is something to be said for giving up when it isn't working. I don't know about you, but I don't allow myself to give up guilt-free often enough. I've already had plenty of guilt for what I perceive as failing at this challenge. But who says we have to feel bad for not being great at something, or not being in the right place mentally, emotionally, or energy-wise to finish (or start) something?

There were a lot of cards stacked against me this month. New town, new house. Illness. Inclement weather that I was not prepared for (and am not currently in a financial position to responsibly get prepared for). A longer, tougher bike ride than I had estimated (30 minutes rather than 15), and not yet being in the physical shape to take on those hills twice a day. Lack of familiarity with the bus route.

These sound like excuses, don't they? I guess you could look at them that way. I'm choosing to look at them as an honest assessment of my current situation. In this case, I think I jumped in before I was ready. This isn't to say I cannot be successful at a challenge like this. It just means that this wasn't the right time for me to take it. It didn't work out right now, and that is okay.

So I'm going to have compassion for myself. I'm letting myself off the hook.

Try it with me. What has been hanging over your head? What optional task have you decided you must do, but been feeling guilty about not starting, or completing, or being good at? Is it worth beating yourself up over? No? So just let it go.

This life is hard enough. We don't make it any easier by using ourselves as an emotional punching bag. This week, let's do things a little differently. Let's all have compassion for ourselves. Let's treat ourselves with kindness and love.  Let's give ourselves the respect we deserve, and the respect we would afford anyone else.

Let's let ourselves off the hook. Who's with me?

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