I’ve always had this idea that I can’t handle life as well as everyone else. I am wary of putting too much on my plate. In college, when friends were taking 5 classes a semester, I took only 3. As a florist, I took 1 wedding per week and never worked on Sundays, when colleagues were taking multiple weddings a day. I have decided that my hands are full with 2 children, while I watch others have 3, 4, or more.
Maybe I can’t handle as much stress or busyness as my peers. I’ve always considered this a bad thing. I have some very ambitious friends and it’s easy to compare myself to them and conclude that I must be defective. Or weak, or scared. Or just an underachiever?
Perhaps that’s part of the story. As an HSP and a recovering perfectionist, I am afraid of taking on too much for fear of slacking in any one area. Sometimes I feel like I’m holding everything together by a thread. I also take everything so dang seriously. Any small task, especially if it affects others, is done with much planning, intention, and preparation. I wish I were more relaxed and spontaneous. Wish I could just laugh at my failures and roll with the punches.
But there is a positive side to all this! I actually respect myself for not overextending myself. I know what I value in life, and that is my family, alone time to reflect and recharge, nature, generosity and community. On some level, I have always known that those values must be protected from the busyness and chaos of the world. Why would I take 5 classes? Cram my kids’ schedules with activities? Work to make more and more money when we already have enough? I rarely burn out because I am so good about conserving and replenishing my energy.
So I’d like to thank my intuition for knowing what I can handle, weeding out what is not needed, and pursing with full-force the few things that mean everything to me. And when life heaps more onto my plate than I would choose (trials and tribulations aplenty), I always surprise myself by being stronger, wiser and more capable than I ever imagined.
So I guess I can handle life. I just handle it differently.
An affirmation I wrote in my journal is this: “I am strong enough and wise enough to handle the present and the future.”
Another one is: “I face failure and success with courage. I become more successful with each failure.”