How often do we say we “have to” do something? I know I do… I many times a day. I have to get up earlier. I have to feed the chickens. I have to check my blood sugar. I have to vacuum the carpet. I have to drink more water. I have to go for a walk. Some of these things really do need to be done and some could wait. When I say the phrase “have to” it feels heavy to me. It feels like a burden. It feels like it’s something we are forced to do instead of something we want to do.
We have to… says who? Are we imposing these rules on ourselves or does it come from elsewhere? I don’t really have to write each Tuesday. It’s not part of a job. It’s something I get to do. Getting to do something instead of having to do something has such a different weight and feel. Getting to do something sounds more like an honor or privilege. People don’t usually say, “I have to get ice cream,” normally they say, “I get to have ice cream.”
Words matter. What we tell ourselves matters too. I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life that I’ve not written about, but all of those things swirl around in my head. I’m not great about “positive self talk.” I’m quick to dismiss compliments and I’m very hard on myself. I try to catch those thoughts and flip them, but it’s an ongoing struggle. I don’t think many people wake up one day all cheery and mentally well adjusted with a wonderful positive tract in the background of their mind. I tried adding some affirmations to my walls to have a visual reminder. Not quite the kitty hanging on a tree, but close. My pessimistic side says they are cheesy. I read that our minds don’t really know the difference between what is actually happening and what we are just thinking about. Are you thinking about what you have to do and all the struggles with it? It’s shaping your day. It can feel like a hamster wheel some days and it’s hard to jump out.
Sometimes I feel like this mushroom in the woods, growing silently in the shade. If I’m stressed out, am I acknowledging it and moving on or dwelling on it in the dark? What’s feeding my thoughts and shaping me into who I am becoming? There are currently 4-5 different kinds of mushrooms in our woods. They grow out of the stumps, in pine needle piles and on the side of the logs. We just got more rain so there will be even more sprouting up. They grow despite the lack of direct sunlight. They don’t need the spotlight to thrive.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Whether you’re in the shade or basking in the sun, your journey is your own, and you get to have a great day.