Doing what’s “objectively correct” for you
So today I had a pretty good day of therapy, and it contextualized a couple things for me.
For the last little while I’ve been focusing on “doing nothing” to various success. The idea, though, was trusting a process that my brain was going to be able to fix some things emotionally in the meantime, letting me get back to the “big life stuff” of a career, direction and purpose eventually.
The thing was, I didn’t really know what this process looked like. I couldn’t tell if I was doing it or not. All I did was indulge myself, go to the gym, and attend a course at a college I’d been looking forward to taking. This left me feeling a bit empty at the end of it, and a bit frustrated, too: from what I could tell, I didn’t really make much of an effort to change; it just felt like I was coasting.
Today, a couple things clicked, including the concept of doing things that are objectively correct for myself in order to build a strong foundation to take the leap to more drastic, difficult changes. Essentially, even if I hated them or even if I felt they “weren’t enough”, doing objectively correct things for myself would passively improve my life to a point that failing at the bigger things didn’t hurt as much.
The idea is pretty simple: have a strong enough foundation that failing doesn’t completely shatter everything. This is something I’ve worked on for a long time, but it seems a bit more clear, now.
So what exactly are “objectively” correct things? To be honest, it’s a bit of a weird distinction to make. Going to the gym on a regular basis was something I came up with: I might not be using it for anything, but I cannot actively hurt myself by going — well, in a literal way, sure, but not in the sense that my life and mental health will get worse.
Others are just being able to write or read regularly, explore new things with tea (which gets me away from the gaming/esports zone) and actively trying to get out of the house to meet new people. Getting a job, even if it’s just a stopgap, will keep me from stressing about making each venture “have to count” in order to pay the bills.
This all sounds miraculously simple, because it is. I’ve just never been able to connect these simple things with that kind of weight that motivates me to do them before. I had always framed it in a way that made me feel negatively — I was doing these things because I wasn’t capable of doing the “big life improvement” stuff in my current state.
Now, instead of looking at this kind of repair — the kind that focuses on just calming down and living without expectations for a while — as a failure on my part to be healthy enough to tackle bigger things, I can fully integrate it as part of the larger plan.
It feels a lot easier to say I’m “trusting the process” now, mostly because the process seems more logical than it did before. Instead of doing what I thought was running away from a bigger problem and not being satisfied with my progress, I can… not worry as much. I won’t say that that worry is gone, but I can least explain it.
I hope, at the very least, this can contextualize that process for people going through it; those intangibles can seem really scary, especially when you feel silly for doing what you perceive as “nothing.” The idea is to do “nothing” in the sense that you’re taking a break from your all-encompassing “life’s purpose” work to find yourself for a bit, even if it’s just doing things that are objectively good for you, your body and your heart.
One day at a time. Good luck out there.