Restlessness, Realism, Redemption.
Even though it's not a new revelation, it just fully dawned upon me how harshly I can treat myself. The thought "I am so unkind to myself" finally landed squarely on my shoulders.
In the past few weeks, I have been a very tensed, scrunched up ball of anxiety, frustration, disappointment and fatigue. It was not Thesis that did this to me, it was my reaction and response to Thesis that did. It has been a very uncomfortable journey of self-doubt, mismatched expectations, unrealistic expectations, and extremes:
I can finish X, Y and Z by today. (note: unrealistic expectations)
Ok I did not finish Y and Z. I have to finish them by tomorrow. (note: probably still unrealistic expectations)
Tomorrow comes. I'm tired. Let me relax by watching some videos. Tomorrow goes.
I've not done anything. I've not done Y and Z. I am so frustrated and disappointed in myself. Tomorrow, I shall punish myself by pumping in extra long hours to do my work. Stay in the library the whole day? If I have to. Until I finish all I set out to do. By hook or by crook. (ouch)
Okay, I've finished Y and Z. I'm so tired. Let me relax with a whole day of videos. (oh boy)
The next day of videos comes and goes.
I am lousy. I did not have the self-discipline to stop myself from wasting yet another day. Tomorrow, I will punish myself by pumping in extra long hours to do my work. Stay in the library the whole day? If I have to. Until I finish all I set out to do. Mega ouch.
Rinse and repeat.
That's phenomena #1. Here's the second:
I have always done a good job. The high expectations I have for myself and the quality of my work always translates into a job well done, no matter how hard I push myself.
I have pushed myself before (see line above). The result? 'A'. A pristine, crisp clean A.
Thesis is one of the many assignments I've done and I have to do as a student. What result do I want cos I view it as a benchmark of success? A.
I'm not putting in 'A' effort (see phenomena #1). Punishes self even harder.
Ends up sleepless, restless on my bed at the end of the day, disappointed with myself for wasting another day, for letting the day go by so easily that it's now time to be easy on myself and sleep again.
Omg? Who am I? What do I really want? This sounds like an existential crisis and I'm sure it's something like that.
I have been so uncomfortable all this while. I have been so unkind to myself. In this case, tough love is not self-love. I'm not even sure I can call it 'love'. It's definitely 'tough'. The harder I am on myself, the harder it is to let myself flourish and do whatever I can, and be okay with wherever I end up at. Yet, because I want to flourish, I become hard on myself (to counter effect). Why am I living a paradox? Why am I giving this paradox permission to manifest itself within me?
Ego. A huge portion of that 'Expectations' stems from my ego. Receiving results that are any less is a bruise on the ego. Will I still love myself if I fail? Will anyone still love me if I fail? If 'I' were somebody else, will I still love the person? Of course I will. Of course they will.
Maybe it's time to let go of that ego. Maybe it's time to readjust my expectations. Readjustment to realism does not mean settling for less. Readjustment to allowance does not mean settling for less. Redemption of self does not mean settling for less.
Realism does not necessarily mean skepticism.
Humility can give me so much more.
Surrender may bring me full control.