Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Poison of "I Can't"

There is a difference between what we are capable of and what we are comfortable with.  Sometimes the result is one and the same, but sometimes not.  There are a lot of choices I have made in my life where others have said or certainly thought, I would/could never do something like that.

I teach beginning piano and often prefer it to more advanced students.  Many musical people don't have the patience.  To me, I'm more confident with beginners so I feel like I do a better job.  If you can teach advanced students, you are certainly capable of teaching beginners, but perhaps not comfortable doing so.

My children were all born at home.  Especially, 8 years ago when I was pregnant with J many people said or thought (and later said) that there was no way they could ever do that.  Of course there are high risk pregnancies that most certainly couldn't do that, but I'm referring to normal, low-risk births.  Hospitals have always truly stressed me out in every sense of the word.  Being able to relax and birth a child without unnecessary intervention was a great blessing, not to mention I'm pretty sure the Race Car wouldn't have made it anyway!  I know many births would have been blessed by and certainly capable of a home birth, but because of any number of personal preferences they would never be comfortable with a home birth.

Same goes for a lot of things like cooking at home more than you go out, homeschooling, planting a garden, maintaining better health, etc.  The reason I even bring this up is because of how significant our language is on our personal thinking.  My children have a bad habit of complaining that they can't do something when what they really mean is that they don't want to or they don't want to continue working hard enough in order to said thing.  Adults are often very similar.  And the trouble is that start to believe the things we say and take our personal choice out of the equation.

Take the birth example.  Because of my fears, I might say that I could never have a baby in the hospital.  The truth is that I'm capable, but not comfortable with the idea.  If there was a danger to me or the baby, of course I would go to the hospital and, despite my discomfort, successfully have that baby there!  If you have a heart attack and the doctor says to start moving and quit eating out, those that say they could never cook for myself, just might find a way.

For my kids' sake and for my own, I have had to take inventory of the things I say and be more honest about my choices.  See, it is easy to feel like a victim of your circumstances.  I've struggled with this all my life.  Suddenly we're blaming everything under the sun because life is hard and we don't want to admit where our choices really rest.   I am a year out from giving birth and I have only lost about 5 pounds.  A couple of pregnancies ago I would be mad and giving up all the time because it was hard.

The reality of 2017-2018 is that I am choosing to prioritize the education of my children, the health of my marriage, and the health and security of a baby ALONG WITH my recovery and weight-loss.  That is my choice.  Perhaps if I sent my kids to public school and daycare, shirked a lot of my responsibilities around the house or chose not to breastfeed, I could be a lot further along in my weight-loss.  And that is just fact.  But those are also things that are very important to me so I'm trying to balance them and bring myself along albeit a little slower than I'd like.  It's not too hard, it's just focusing on what is most important.  Plus, the scale isn't the only indicator of improvement.  My clothes are fitting better.  My endurance is improving.  The brain fog is lifting most days.  I'm very blessed and thankful.  6 years younger me would not have been so understanding.

We all have our limits, our priorities.  The trouble is we aren't always good at verbalizing them honestly.  Perhaps we're trying to be polite by saying we can't when we really mean we won't or don't want to for specific reasons.  And I'm not suggesting that it's good to go around being rude about other people's life choices!  Still, a little bit of honesty can go a long way in making sure you are okay with the way you're prioritizing your life.  Don't believe the rampant lies of "I can't." Believe it or not, I won't or don't want to are a lot more freeing and healthy.

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