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The Next Right Thing
I’ve discovered a new way to understand progress over perfection
As I learn to honour my feelings, I acknowledge that so much of my behaviour in public comes from a deep longing to be loved and considered nice/sweet/kind. So when I am feeling overwhelmed by negativity and cannot act in accordance with those qualities, it’s like an earth shattering experience that sweeps over me and causes me to question my entire selfhood.
Growing in recovery, spirituality, and mindfulness, I realize that I don’t need to fear or even avoid the more negative emotions, and that the end goal is not to be “on” every waking moment. I recognize that I will naturally experience a wide range of emotions in a given week, and by accepting that and naming those emotions, I can in fact manage them without getting myself into trouble or having an identity crisis.
While I can overcome a lot of negative thinking with good habits, sometimes I simply don’t feel good, despite all my efforts. Today I can understand that feelings don’t have to be all-consuming, and that I can still do well and have positive and even pleasant experiences through challenges thoughts.
I’ve found that true power comes from doing the next right thing, so I can gather strength from that even when I’m having an off day. I’ve come to understand that my higher power does not operate on a performance-based rewards system where I must always be perfect in order to feel happy and fulfilled. I’ve taken that understanding a step further to affirm that negative thinking is just as sincere and honest, and therefore of God, as positive thinking as well.
Once I normalized less than desirable thoughts to be a natural part of the human experience, and therefore to be respected, I felt so much more relaxed and free. My previously impoverished thoughts caused exhaustion, because I believed I had to resist and fight bad feelings. Now that I have experience processing emotions in a healthy way, I no longer need to villianize them.
It’s okay to be in a bad mood, it’s okay to feel off. I can responsibility carry those feelings today and not have them negatively affect me. Having healthy boundaries helps guide me. I’ve discovered that having protocols in place and doing the next right thing are objective behaviours that can easily navigate harder moments.