If I Can Just…

Monday motivational posts are usually about how you can do it, or just do it like Nike says. But not today. Today’s a reality check from me, who’s a breast cancer survivor, has chronic fatigue, and recently had open heart surgery to fix a genetically deformed aortic valve.

How I’ve made it through to midlife has been with the following phrase – If I can just… Think about it. Most of us make it to midlife with a developed sense of stubbornness because we don’t give up and we try not to give in. That’s how we’ve made it thus far. Don’t you think?

But the mind and body don’t work together so well for me lately since my open heart surgery. What the mind believes is feasible, while urging the body to push just a little bit more…backfires more often. Obviously, they are not in sync.

I could rattle off a ton of different scenarios that have happened to me recently because the mind pointedly whispers, “If I can just…” and the body quickly obeys. But, it’s not good. The mind overestimates what the body is capable of nowadays.

Like a toddler who’s missing her nap, the brain goes into overdrive and pushes the body through, past its limits. With the impulsive adrenaline, the body continues on, pushing the limits until (at least for me), there’s a slump, a not so gentle slide down physically, complete with shortness of breath and confusion.

You’d think that would stop the stubbornness, wouldn’t you? But when you’ve had to do things on your own for a long time, your can do attitude makes you more determined. Because if you’re like me, when you’re on a roll, and you’re so close, you have to finish it.

My mind’s cheerleader voice says: You just have to finish it because you’re so close! You’re almost there…If you can just hold on for a few more minutes it will be complete and you can rest afterwards. Come on. You can do it. Your break will come soon. You’ve earned it. Now just a few more minutes…think of how happy you’ll feel when it’s done. You don’t need help. Just a few more minutes...

Does this sound familiar to you? I can’t be the only one whose brain does this, can I? Maybe not the exact same words, but something similar? Do you get this too? What do you do? Do you listen? Acquiesce and continue on even when the body isn’t feeling up to it anymore?

Right now I can’t expect the mind to remember what the body is capable of at this point because I’m still healing. It’s still a long road ahead of me. Part of the issue is that I’m so used to doing it myself, that I don’t stop to ask for help. Because I don’t want to be a burden. I think that’s the final straw that keeps me going – I don’t want to be a burden. Even when offered help, I will push through, determined that I can just…

My sons have been telling me that my stubborn nature is not working right now for me. In fact, it’s hindering my healing. So I’m trying to back off and tell the mind to let the body heal. I am not sure this will work for me, but I have to try. Otherwise, I will become a burden and nobody likes that…do they?

So my new mantra is:

If I can just…be mindful…

Published by Joyful Change With Yvonne

Joyful Change is embracing the journey to health and wellness of mind, body and spirit. Sometimes we need a little hand holding and support as we process life school. I am here to help you as a Companion and Mentor.

4 thoughts on “If I Can Just…

  1. I can hear the efforts to be tender toward yourself, and how it feels like pushing a boulder uphill. Thank you for reminding us to want that tenderness for ourselves, too.


  2. Oh, boy, do I identify with that! I agree, being more mindful of when I’m pushing my limits would sure save me a lot of pain. I can’t imagine being in your shoes, not knowing what those limits are temporarily. I’m keeping you in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

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