Taking Personal Inventory

One very important tool in my life I learned in Alcoholics Anonymous is the 10th Step of the 12 Steps.

10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admit it.

Nothing will derail my life faster than pride and the anger that follows my disappointment in the way I have acted. Nothing will make me feel worse than the realization I have not followed my way of eating or not done a workout properly and wound up hurt the next day or spent too much money on something I shouldn’t have and so that I have nothing left in my checking account for the rest of the week until payday.

All of these scenarios came into play for me over the last couple of days. They were all because I messed up in one way or another. I blame no one but myself. But, I’m not going to hang my head in shame. I know I made mistakes and I know how to correct them and I know how not to do them again in the future. The grownup thing to do would, of course, not repeat these mistakes. So, time to be a grown up, Martha! Time to rise up and act somewhere around your age!

We have a choice, to wallow in our pity, sorrowful over the life we created, angry at the world, blaming everyone but the one person we should and refusing to correct those errors and move on, because wheres’s the fun in that? Forgiving ourselves would mean no more self pitying! And being stuck in a personal pity party just seems like the thing to do!

At least in the short run it does. But in the long run it isn’t. It’s painful and destructive. I’m done with that. Living, really loving and living life is about shedding that which has caused harm and moving towards the light, where things grow bright and strong.

Keep Moving Forwards!



Stop Putting Yourself Down!!!

I belong to a particular running group in Facebook specifically for slower runners. It’s a fun group, for the most part, but sometimes some of the posts sadden me.

Many people, through a harsh life’s history or intense medical problems or something else, suffer from a negative self-image. Because of the magical power of running, they a strength within themselves they never knew existed and believe in themselves again. Others continue to struggle, trying to cope with those inner voices while posting backhanded criticisms of themselves.

Some of the ones I see a lot:

“I’m really slow…”

“I’m not a real runner…”

“Everyone is faster than me…”

“I’m afraid of being the last runner…”

And there are so many more.

Self-esteem is not an easy thing to grow, nurture, if it was never given the chance to blossom. But we have to find a way. We must. I was a drunk for much of my adult life. I drank to escape the real world. If my life had been great, I wouldn’t have wanted to escape, would I?

When grew tired of hangovers, black outs, missing money, lost friends, etc, etc, I quit drinking and spent years telling myself I was an OK person. And I am. And you are too.

As they say in AA, “fake it til you make it.” Because one day, you will make it. One day, you’ll realize that you’re not such a horrible person and that you’re doing all right. It might take some time; it might not be perfect. And you’re going to mess up, we all do.

But one thing is certain: you’ll never make it if you keep telling yourself you suck. You need to stop that. NOW.

So stop putting yourself down. Keep running, keep working out, eat good food and…

Keep Moving Forward!!

The Hardest Thing….

At my friend’s Wake this Tuesday, I had the chance to talk to an old co-worker of mine. A truly wonderful person A. was always a terrific workmate and it was nice to talk with her again. The first thing she said to me was to thank me for something I taught her.

This was a surprise to me. Me, the irresponsible one when I worked there, for the most part, anyway. I was a drunk for most of my years working at concerts, at least until the last couple of years and I didn’t know I could teach anyone anything.

She said that I taught her not to Self-Sabotage. And then I remembered way back to a conversation we had while having dinner before our shift at a show. It was many years ago, but it was clear in my mind.

On my run tonight, I thought back at Self Sabotage. It happens when we wish to punish ourselves. And why would we do that? Because for some reason or another, we dislike ourselves.

I’ll be exploring this subject in many blogs, because that’s what I’m doing in my life and it’s too big of a subject and much too important to gloss over in one blog. But I’ve committed Self Sabotage many times (and quite recently) because I wasn’t happy with myself.

How many times have we reached for cookies, chips, beer, wine, or something else because we weren’t happy with something that we did or we are? I bet there are many times.

The first question I ask is: Why do we hate ourselves?

It’s something that’s taught to us from birth. At least it was for me. I was raised Lutheran. My mom’s family immigrated from Scandinavia where everyone is taught to be modest, and nothing I did was ever good enough. No matter how hard I tried, it never seemed to be enough to please my parents, I was such a disappointment to them. So the seeds of self-loathing set in early. Combine that with impossible to achieve media images and being told time and again how imperfect I was, no wonder I had self-esteem issues!

It’s taken all my life to understand and truly KNOW that I am a pretty good person. And even this has to be reinforced sometimes daily, sometimes hourly within myself.

So, Self Sabotage? It is a real and nasty thing and now with artillery of my own, I can combat self negativity when it starts to creep in.