The ‘Right’ Way

Our whole lives we are taught to do things a certain way. We’re told this is the ‘right way’. But what if how we chose to do things was defined as the right way?

Today I took my first yoga class. During one pose a student asked how the right way was to hold the block and what the instructor told me has been stuck in my heart ever since.

She said, however you chose to do it is the right way.

 

What if we all started living life this way. However I choose to feel is the right way.

However I choose to live is the right way.

However I choose to exist is the right way.

 

Can you imagine what a radical change that would be?

 

Never feeling like you are ‘bad’ because you do things differently. Never being told that how you stand, walk, talk, dance, create, is the wrong way. Because it isn’t. It’s just your way.

We teach our children this is how you tie your shoes, this is how you hold a pencil, this is how you draw. We tell them that this is how you do ‘x’ and if you don’t do it this way then you’re wrong. But how can it be wrong if it works for you?

I have spent most of my life trying to do things the ‘right way’. Trying to gain everyone’s approval. Somehow trying to turn myself into a mirror that reflects the things other people like.

 

But what if I stopped.

 

What if I started telling myself, this is how I choose to live my life and what I choose is right for me. There is no wrong. Only different.

 

And different is beautiful.

Should

Today I cancelled plans to have lunch with friends. Instead, I am staying home so I can cry.

At first I was mad at myself. I felt like a failure. I was cancelling at the last minute on friends who love me because the fear inside my head was getting too big. Fear that had nothing to do with being around them but was present nonetheless.

But then I realized that these people love me.

They LOVE me.

And if someone I love is struggling I would want them to take care of themselves. Just like they want me to take care of myself.

So often with mental illness we get trapped by the word ‘should’. I should be able to do this. I shouldn’t feel this way.

And in the past few weeks, I’ve discovered I hate that word

should

It has a connotation of guilt. And I’m tired of feeling guilty about my emotions and my needs.

Did I want to go to lunch with my friends? Absolutely! But I know that what I needed was to stay home and take care of myself.

AND THAT’S OKAY

So that’s what I’m doing. Today I am able to have perspective and know that it is okay to do what I need. Tomorrow I might not remember that, and so that is why I am writing this down. To remind myself. And–hopefully–to encourage someone else.

Ignore the should. Do what you need.