Last January, I decided to get back into shape. One thing I had always enjoyed was running, so I put on my old sneakers and went for a run. I made it two thirds of a mile before I had to stop. I could feel my heart pounding and it took me some time to catch my breath.Â At that moment I had a choice: I could call myself a â€ślazy bumâ€ť and judge myself accordingly or I could realize that this was just my starting point.Â Perhaps being a bit stubborn, I said to myself, â€śThis is where I am going to start. By the end of May I will be able to run five miles.â€ť
And so started my running routine, and I was able to meet my goal even before the end of May. I was quite proud of myself. But like any person who gets wrapped up in work and family, I let go of my routine for a few months. When I did finally get back to the track, I was expecting to be able to run five miles again, because that was the mark of my achievement. I ran two. I felt the disappointment seep in, â€śHow am I not be able to run five miles?â€ť
I blamed circumstances and people for this, then got mad at myself for not keeping up with that ability. The judgment in the form of the expression â€śyou lazy bumâ€ť filled my mind.Â I started to create a new plan for reaching my five-mile mark and staying there, deciding which other responsibilities could be set aside. At that moment I understood the danger of self-judgment.
I had unknowingly, or perhaps knowingly, placed my persona on a pedestal. I needed to run five miles in order to consider myself acceptable, to be perfect. This was just the latest of my needs, having created several expectations over the years of who I was supposed to be based on how I behave or look. Any expectation I didnâ€™t meet, I judged myself, sometimes causing me to forget my own happiness in order to be someone I thought I needed to be or to do something I felt I was supposed to do. All these needs and my â€śsupposed toâ€ť made me forget to enjoy life.Â READ MORE
Tags: don Miguel Ruiz Jr