When I’m tired, I am more subjected to self-criticism and insecurity.
I worry about the dark circles under my eyes, the smoothness of my skin, the way my hair falls and frames my face. When people notice the semi-dead expression that I wear and the prolonged reaction of my mental workings, they will flag me as inappropriate and judge me for not being at my best. It’s silly. I’m scared that people can tell that I am tired, that I am lacking some good protein–that I am not functioning at my optimal today. They will turn with a snicker, their unspoken criticism seeping into my skin, collecting themselves like organic black sand into hideous lifeforms, touching the flesh of my heart with their insidious hands, slowly smothering my heartbeat.
I feel so defeated–having my life sucked out of me. Other things start to haunt me: old ghosts, unspeakables, instangible fears. I hate my skin, my body. I don’t look like my perfect self. I am insufficient to exist in this world.
Stop looking at me. Stop thinking about me. There I am, letting my imagination turning myself into something sinister.
Relax those shoulders. Gentle, open heart. Deep breath. Inhale, exhale.
There are days when I love myself and there are days when I don’t.
The days when I do, I have come to notice, are the days when I really take care of myself physically. Days when I sleep better, eat better, and exercise better. Days when I say to myself: you’ve got to be healthy. This is more important than anything else. You can’t thrive without your health.
It’s funny. Of course! I have always known that health is something absolutely essential when it comes to feeling good in life. It is something I know I should prioritize. I know it on a logical level. My brain approves. But there are always something more important than choosing the right food, exercising the right amount of days, or sleeping at regular hours. Journaling–gotta process this experience so I can extract the necessary wisdom. Tarot readings–I need to speak to my guides and gain clarity on this particular issue. Weekly planning–yes, need to figure out how I can be be productive and maximize my time in each day. I’m a spiritual person, so I must feed my spirit and take good care of it. Oh yeah.
Meanwhile, my poor body, taps me on the shoulder. I brush its hand away and says, “Later.”
Neglected and lonely, it sulks in a corner. My back aches from sitting. My legs bloated from poor circulation. I climb a flight of stairs and I am breathless, my heart beating fast against my ears. My focus wanes considerably. I’m half dead throughout the day. I feel stiff, awkward, unanchored. I feel tired of being tired most of the time. I will be more or less awake, conscious. My body is moving, but it’s like I’m not fully there.
For the past two years, I have failed to fully embody my life. Because of that, I wasn’t fully alive. Not really.
Well, I was, but it wasn’t the best state of being alive. I wasn’t alive alive. You know what I mean?
I didn’t know I wasn’t providing myself with enough energy until I started making sure I supplied my body with sufficient protein every day. I didn’t know the solution was so simple. One day, I felt awake, awake in my mind and body, simply because I ate additional chicken for breakfast and for lunch. I was embodying my life that day. I was grounded and anchored that day. Just because I was eating right.
And I didn’t know the constant discomforts in my stomach were caused by my tea obsession. English Breakfast with sugar and cream in the morning. Chai latte in the evening. I loved strong tea–still do. But that was giving me indigestion, because caffeine gives you indigestion. It was a simple fact that I didn’t want to recognize. Because I loved tea and didn’t want to give up tea.
And I didn’t know how much more windowshopping I could actually do after I started exercising regularly in the morning. I’m not really into sports, but windowshopping is one of the sports I enjoy.
All of these minor discomforts: stiffness and soreness in the body, perpetual tiredness, chronic indigestion…made me a zombie. I was trudging through my days, complaining about how I didn’t have enough time, stressing over how little I had accomplished, wanting to do more, wanting to push myself to my full capacity, wanting more wisdom in life, wanting a deeper spiritual connection–
I tapped my body on the shoulder. “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” I said.
It brushed my hand away and said, “Later.”
But it really meant, I can’t.
I can’t run as fast as you want me to.
“Why!?” I cried.
My body looked at me and shook its head.
You know why.
Yes, I do. I did. I have always known. There is no excuse.
The truth is I am shocked that I let myself function at way below par for almost two whole years like a lifeless zombie. Two. Whole. Years. Maybe more than that. Of not eating right. Not sleeping right. Not exercising right. My life could have been so much fuller. Richer. If I had only taken care of my body so my spirit could fully embody it.
And now I have tasted how full and rich life can be…how awake I can actually be without mindlessly slugging through the day. How alive I now feel.
I am never going back.