I have been feeling a lot like Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Prince Zuko this past week. While I didn’t turn into a firebender grappling with whether or not I was going to complete my family’s wish of eradicating the last of the airbenders (this children’s show had very intense, real-world themes), I definitely relate to Zuko’s feelings of missing a key piece of self. And, in my own way, I have been following a misguided path to reclaim it.
I’m in the middle of project mode, from all avenues in life. I have expectations from work, from school, and from my extra-curriculars. Despite all of these attachments forged from my responsibilities, I’ve still managed to feel misplaced. I’ve felt inadequate. I have not felt enough.
About 90% of this stress is mental and only 10% is genuinely due to my lack of foresight and tendency toward procrastination. The anxiety I feel comes from this weight of expectations that I feel like I can never live up to, but in the midst of all of this I never stopped to question what I expect from myself. The issue is, I often conflate my own expectations for myself with those from other people. It’s like how Prince Zuko was always angry and unfulfilled, because his only expectations for himself were the expectations from his family. Well, my expectations were essentially just the expectations based on everyone else’s activities. I could never be fulfilled, because I had no true goals. I had no true expectations for me that were separate from the influence of others.
Then I did Yoga with Adriene’s Day 3 of Revolution Yoga, which is all about honoring yourself and where you are in the moment. I laughed at her video title first because:
But then I took the time of my midnight yoga session to actually reflect on my life and realized that I too had misplaced my honor. First of all, I placed honor and respect of self in the hands of others. Secondly, I had zero expectations that were genuinely from myself. It’s impossible to ever honor where you are in the moment, if you’re trying to match the plans that you believe others have for you. Chances are, you aren’t a mind reader, so you’ll never be able to gauge how you’re matching up to their desires. More importantly, self-respect, honor, and all that goodness starts within the self. If you don’t know yourself, then you’ll never be able to honor your self.
This Monday, I want to honor my present self. I want to spend time reflecting on what I want from myself, what I deserve from myself, and appreciating how far I’ve truly come.
Song Rec of the Week: Orla Gartland – Lonely People
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Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!