If there’s one thing I know about myself, I can definitely be a procrastinator. Ya know that old saying, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today”? Well my motto has always been, “Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow”. 🙂
I say that with a laugh but it really is true, at least in the case of putting off things that I don’t want to do. Things that I’m nervous or scared of also fall into that way of thinking. Of course if it’s something fun, I’m all about doing it right away, yesterday even.
Procrastinating isn’t exactly a healthy way to live, especially when it comes to healing from trauma. There is never going to be the perfect time to start, the ideal circumstances, to begin healing. Just like most everything else in life, waiting for just the right time usually means that you’ll never actually start.
Perhaps we’re afraid to heal, I know I feel that way at times. I used to feel that way all the time. While I am getting better at it, I still have my moments when healing scares the hell out of me.
Maybe we are thinking that, “There’s no sense in starting to see a therapist when my abuser is still in my life; once he or she leaves, then I’ll start”.
Perhaps it’s more of a situation like, “I’m just too busy with work right now, and the kids needs to be run here and there all the time”. “I have this appointment, that meeting, vacation coming up, a big project…” the list is virtually endless.
When we have so much going on, how easy is it to push aside healing, and talk ourselves out of it for now? That’s a key phrase right there, “for now”. Our intentions are good, we know we need to put in the hard work and dedication to work through our past, but that temporary feeling of “for now” can be justifying all too easily.
If we tell ourselves that we’ll get around to it soon, it can give us a false sense of security. We think we are aware of how important it is to work through our trauma, but do we truly realize how important it is?
This is life altering stuff here, it’s not just going to go away and we can only put it aside for so long.
I was an expert at pushing this stuff aside, I did it for 30+ years. It will catch up to us, whether we like it or not. Our brain doesn’t forget our trauma, and when it feels we need to deal with our past, it will bring it to the forefront.
Whatever our excuses are, and let’s be realistic they are excuses, we are doing nothing but prolonging our pain. I’m not trying to minimize all of the important stuff in our lives, I have things I need to do every day too. However, sooner or later we are going to have to put ourselves first.
It seems counterproductive to put ourselves first. From a trauma recovery standpoint, we were likely groomed to feel like we are less than desirable, worthless, and not important. Or perhaps our personality is one of being a helper, or people pleaser, we will want to help others so we feel better.
There’s nothing wrong with having a giving, helping heart. I have that same mentality. There needs to be a balance though, of taking care of ourselves and helping others.
By doing that, we can be better able to handle what’s coming at us every day. So by healing, we are helping ourselves out in many ways.
So I encourage you to stop waiting for this right time or that right time. Stop waiting for the sports season to end, the class to finish up, or the project to be over. Something else will always come up to occupy your time.
Stop waiting for the ideal circumstances to present themselves to you in undeniable fashion.
It’s not selfish to want to feel better and live a life we desire. So as a famous slogan goes, Just Do It! 🙂
This post was inspired by a recent blog article by Josh Rivedal
Image courtesy of Pinterest
Great post! At work I was plagued by perfectionism until someone said “It’s 80% okay, let’s go with it.” From that moment on I stick to the idea of making a start when 80% is in place… and being a perfectionist that probably means more like 95% correct anyway!
I do struggle with procrastination sometimes, not wanting to face feelings right now, compartmentalizing things is in my nature. It always catches up to me. I try to find the courage to face things in real time but it is difficult.