Oh yeah, I can speak to this with plenty of experience. Experience in not giving myself permission!
Here’s a perfect example. A few months ago I went out with my great group of friends to celebrate the first of many celebrations of my husband’s “50th” Birthday. Now, I don’t eat cake. It’s just not my favorite thing. And, I rarely eat desert…I’d rather enjoy more wine! Oh yeah, and let’s not forget, I rarely have any gluten! Why? It just works better for my digestive system.
So, let me get back on point. No 50th birthday would be complete without a birthday cake! My husband, Jeff, has two favorites…peanut butter and carrot cake! A coconut cream would probably take home the bronze. Because I already had another surprise planned with a carrot cake, I went with Peanut Butter Kiss from my local Whole Foods. So after enjoying great food, and wine, and a little more wine, well, the cake looked pretty damn good to me. Oh yeah, and I love peanut butter. So, I indulged! Not just a bite, or two, but my own slice! It. Was. Perfect!
That said, my typical day after would have been..WTF??? I would have beat myself up over it and all the guilt that goes along with that. But I woke up and that didn’t happen! We had an early morning yoga class and I was on fire! I even came home and went for a run as it was such a beautiful day. That begged the question, hmmm, burning off the indulgences or, better yet, I was on a carb load! Let the overthinking begin!
I’m in the process of reading the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read it years ago and just recently I took a mediation class and we discussed some of the book. Ruiz talks of the “Book of Law”, which is essentially our belief system that rules our mind. Whatever our personal book contains, is our truth. And then comes judgement, of ourselves and others. And with that comes guilt.
Guilt….yup, one of best friends. This can be from a decision I make, saying no to someone, and yeah, eating something that I consider an unhealthy indulgence. And it all comes from our past, and what we experienced and then ultimately are conditioned to believe. The past year has been full of self growth for me. And that means letting go. Letting go of expectations of myself and others. Giving myself permission to try something that scares the hell out of me and possibly fail at it, saying no, not compromising my values, and yes, eating a piece of cake.