It’s about time I write on here again as it’s been a while and a lot has been going on in the past few weeks.
To keep it real, I’ve been really struggling when it comes to mood and food. My depression is a real b*tch, especially as we roll into winter and gloomier weather. Struggling in the ed department doesn’t help either.
I don’t need to get too much into detail; what really matters at this moment is what I choose to do to move forward. It’s not only about how I get out of this “stuck place” in which I find myself, but it’s about how I create meaning so that I feel more fulfilled and therefore can better build a life where there is less room for sinking into my depression and listening and succumbing to ed thoughts and behaviors.
I’ve been talking with my treatment team and have been thinking about what I can do to find satisfaction and joy rather than trying to find that through food, or control over food rather, exercise, or sleeping away the depression and numbing out from feeling the discomfort or lack of contentment and purpose.
So, what is truly important to me? What ignites my passion and zest for life? I don’t think there is a fixed answer to those questions. Values change all the time, and while many of my values have remained the same throughout much of my life, the relevance of some of them shift as I change, mature, and come into who I am as a person.
In treatment, we used to draw our core values on these big targets and where they fell on the target signified how much you felt you were living out certain values. Sometimes values would fall on the outer ring on my target, some closer to the center, and sometimes all of my values would be on the outside. But the goal of the exercise wasn’t to be critical of myself for not having my values closer to the center, signifying that I was living them out more. The purpose of the exercise was to show that these values can move from ring to ring at any given time and I have the power and ability to take committed actions to move closer to my values and live them out more fully.
So, which values do I want to focus on right now to move towards a more meaningFULL life? While it’s hard to choose, I’ve taken some time to look inward and really connect with what feels important to me right now and which values will bring me closer to being the person I want to be. Passion. Spirituality. Connection. Authenticity.
It may be difficult to hone in on a specific list of values as it may seem like there is a lot that could be important. Or maybe, it may seem like nothing feels important at all. It’s easy to TALK about values you are or are not living out once they’ve been narrowed in on, but, what does one do to actually live out these values? First, I’m going to have to break it down and see both where I want to go with each value, as well as where I’m falling short.
Passion. To be honest, in this moment, I don’t feel much passion for anything. Depression tells me that I’m not good enough or even capable of finding passion in anything. Luckily, I’m at a place in my life where I have so many things that I can grow more passionate about. My relationship, my job, my faith, my friendships and connections, my yoga practice, my recovery, and even rock climbing. So how do I move towards passion? Practice. Consistency. Patience. Persistence. Practice is simple. In order, to build my passion and zest for something, I must commit to practicing that thing as often as I can without getting to the point of burnout. Consistency can be difficult in execution. Life seems to like to keep me on my toes and depression likes to tell me that I’d be better off not doing anything at all rather than attempting to do something and failing, but I have to commit and keep at it. Patience. Developing passion and zest and living them out isn’t going to happen immediately. It’s a process and I must be patient and have compassion with myself. And, persistence. Much like consistency, I need to keep on keeping on. Day in and day out, I must choose to follow through and explore these things in which I long to find passion and commit to them.
Spirituality. The actions for moving towards this value are rather simple, but there is a lot of internal work that needs to be done in order to move towards and connect with my spirituality. Actions: reading my Bible, going to church, going to Bible study, spending time in prayer, following along in my church’s Advent Reading Plan, and acting more like Jesus. Internal work: Love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. This isn’t easy, but the more I commit to the actions I have listed, the more I draw near to the Lord, learn more about who He is and what He is about, and the deeper I will fall in love with Him.
Connection. This one is pretty straight forward. Make time to spend with my loved ones, explore opportunities to meet new people, follow up with people, and be truly present in each interaction I have.
Authenticity. This one is very much an internal commitment. In order to be truly authentic, I must be honest with myself about whether or not I am being true to my values, who I believe I am and want to be, and the identity I have in the Lord. This means I have to really check myself and make the conscious decision to present as who I am and take down the facade I am so naturally inclined to put up.
So there it is; my comprehensive guide that I commit to following in order to move towards my values, find meaning, and come out of my depression and ed slump.
Feel free to check in with me and keep me accountable, and if you want to identify some of your own values or if you already have an are looking to find new ways to pursue them, please reach out and I would love to embark on this journey with you! Email me, Facebook message me, or DM me on Instagram.
Until next time,