Occasionally, the IOWL podcasts mention--or deal directly--with the term "abundance". I have quite a strong reaction when the word comes up. It's an odd reaction--partially negative and fear-related; partially full of hope.
Almost a year ago, I wrote about having enough. And how my fears of not having enough might be an underlying issue worth revisiting. ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
Well, I think it's time.
I have been at my current weight for about 2 years now. There was a year in there when I went up 11pounds in 6 months, discovered IOWL, and came back down 11 pounds in 6 months. Before that, I was at this weight, for probably another year.
It's not a bad weight, really. I'm just the right side of normal. I can't wear everything I want--but I can wear most things. I'm pretty happy with the way I feel in my own skin.
But 5 years ago, say, I was thinner. At my lowest, I was at a weight I wasn't comfortable with. But I think my perfect weight is somewhere between then and now.
So what's holding me back?
Where was I, when I started regaining? Hmmmm....
We were in the middle of building a house. Major stressful event. We had hoped to be finished before dh went away for 3 months--something that had been planned years in advance--but alas, we weren't. So... I got stuck with a lot of the finishing. NOT something I wanted to do. I didn't want to be stuck with paying contractors. Making sure they were doing their job. Arguing when they didn't. And yes, I had to. Oy, the way the stairs got screwed up!! Not the fault of the guy doing the stone--the architect didn't give him proper plans to work from. And I had to deal with the "no, it's not that bad!" "maybe you can live with it" "it's not my fault, it'll cost more"... I got my way, but it did cost more.
At a time when the company I worked for was very, very rocky.
We were scraping by. Probably shouldn't have been--we probably should have managed our money better so we wouldn't have felt so tight. But it was pretty clear that if I lost my job, we'd have trouble paying the bills.
And the job? Well, I liked it, but I was vastly underpaid. Partly by design--it was close to home, and I had great hours for a hi-tech job. But I knew that I was worth more. And yet I wasn't trying for more.....
I started gaining. Slowly. I lost my desire to exercise--that's around the time I stopped running. The girls and I went to join my husband in the states for part of his 3-month stay, and by the time I came back I was not able to do anything more than the bare minimum. I did manage to tell a friend to watch out, and drag me to the doctor if I didn't snap out of it soon.... Which, if I had been thinking more clearly, would have been my signal to go to the doctor THAT DAY. But... the deep depression did pass.
The slow weight gain didn't.
The situation at work continued to get worse. And worse. Until finally the company closed down. They basically auctioned off workers--two companies we were working with came in and interviewed everyone, deciding who to take.
They didn't want me.
OK, the objective situation was that both companies decided not to take anyone in either of the positions I was suited for. They did not need someone in that position--it wasn't that they didn't "want" me. But somehow, I was back in grade school, not getting picked for the dodgeball team. Again.
The work situation? Well, before I actually got official notice, I had another job. The pay? Substantially more than I was making before. Like, night and day. The job itself? Highly technical, highly challenging, and BORING..... I was already looking into something else, though. Something that I thought would be a good fit. Something that would take me back to that biology degree I never did anything with all those years ago. And sure enough, it came through. A really interesting job, with amazing people, and--an even higher salary than what I had thought was amazing. But it did have its drawbacks, which led to those 11 pounds...
When I started listening to IOWL, I started figuring out what things weren't working, and realized I couldn't continue. I got an offer to go back to the boring job--in a slightly more interesting position. But when I resigned--my boss's boss basically said I couldn't. :-) My work conditions were rearranged so it was livable--reduced hours, more time working from home.
I was still feeling so insecure. So... not wanted. But wait--this was basically two companies fighting over me! Maybe... maybe I'm not so worthless? Maybe I'm not such a fraud?
But I still felt so raw, so worried, so scared for the future. What if what if what if....
And that word "abundance" kept cropping up. Gah. How can I trust to abundance??? But... I knew I had to. It took a little while to start getting used to having a little extra. Paying old bills. Looking at the bank balance and seeing not just positive, but a lot positive.... But at the same time, I was concerned that maybe we weren't handling it right. Maybe we should be putting away more Maybe we should be doing this Maybe maybe maybe.... Maybe feels a little better than "What if", but not a lot better.... Oh, and then I added some new "what ifs" just to keep from feeling too good. What if... if I worry too much about saving for the future, I lose the "abundance" of the presence???
I made a deal with myself, to take some time to just get used to not worrying. To accepting that I will get what I need, when I need it. I decided I needed to get used to the idea, to believe it, before I could frame plans for the future from a place of peace, not worry. And.. it happened. Little by little, we've been making changes to take control of this surplus so we can enjoy now, AND be comfortable later. We talked to a financial planner--with a few suggestions, we've already made back the money we paid him. Today we got investment advice--since I work as a freelancer, I have to deal with my own pension/savings/blah. I haven't wanted to deal with it. But... we did. And the amount he's suggesting and the way we'll deal sound so easy, so doable.
I do not know if this fear of accepting abundance is part of what's holding me back in weight loss. But it was holding me back in other ways--and I'm very happy to release it now.