Grateful for my Journey

I am at a place where my past experiences are starting to make sense.  Every person I’ve met, every meaningful conversation I’ve had, has taught me what I need to know at this moment of my life.  My life is pretty glorious at the moment but it hasn’t always been.  I’m very busy but I’m living each day in my own skin, as myself.  I’m here, now.

I realized that much of what I’ve been running from may actually be the key to what I have to offer this world.  I’ve been fat.  I’ve been skinny (for me).  I know that neither makes you happy or unhappy.  You can be any size and comfortable in your own skin but it requires being brave enough to face reality, whatever it entails.  I am a little baffled by how few people do this but encouraged by those rare souls who do. They are out there and I have met them.

I have an identify that is not defined by the clothes I wear, money I make or job I do.  I found my “self” and she is pretty freaking cool.  There is a voice that says it’s not okay to think that about her but it’s getting quieter.  I believe every single person’s true self is pretty freaking awesome, it’s just that not everyone has the guts to be authentic.  I can’t help everyone and I can’t free everyone but my hope is that by living my life the way I do, somebody else is given hope the same is possible for them. It is!  I promise it is!

I don’t know exactly where I’m going and that’s ok.  I’m grateful for the friendly, funny cab driver that brought me to the airport today.  I’m grateful for the airport personnel who took my baggage and chatted with me for a bit with a smile.  I’m grateful to be able to be present, not frantic, even when I have a lot to do.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

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Spiral Up

People think that recovery is an upward staircase.  They think that things only get better with time.  The truth is, it’s more like an upwards spiral.  There are always highs and lows but as one grows, the lows don’t go as low and the highs are higher than ever before (Patrick, n.d.).

In my journey at this moment, I’m noticing things I’ve never noticed before.  People I have not spoken with for years have recently reached out.  In many ways, I am the same person I have always been.  In other ways, I’ve grown into someone nothing like my former self.

I believe every relationship serves a purpose but not every relationship is worth continuing.   I believe sometimes people are in our lives to teach us what we don’t want to be and challenge us to be better versions of our former selves.

I have crazy moments but they don’t last as long and they aren’t as crazy as they used to be.  I am grateful for that.  The answer to “I don’t know what to do” is “breathe”.  Embrace the moment.  Be present in “today”.  If you have breath, you have purpose, and don’t ever lose sight of that.

References:

Patrick. (n.d.). The upward spiral of growth and recovery. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://www.spiritualriver.com/upward-spiral-growth-happiness-recovery/

Choosing to Not Return to the Burning Barn

During a recent gathering of great minds who help me keep perspective, one of my closest friends shared an intriguing observation.  If you remove cattle from a burning barn, they have to be restrained in a safe location or they will return to the burning building.  Why? Because they associate the barn with safety.  Even though the barn is no longer safe, their instinctual brains are driving them back to what they associate with comfort.

When I first heard this account, my mouth dropped open and I stared blankly.  The group thought that I was worried about the cows.  I wasn’t thinking about cattle.  I was thinking about how often I have returned to unhealthy behaviors because they are associated with comfort in my instinctual mind.  Somewhere along the line, ice cream, chocolate and milk gave me comfort.  Somewhere, I got the idea that life is about suffering and hard work.  My rational mind thinks that’s insane but my cow brain still desires to go back to the burning barn.

I started to think about how many people I have watched go back to their burning barns.  Addictions of various forms: food, money, sex, work, religion, exercise…  All of those things can be harmful in the extreme (in either direction… too little or too much).

I am practicing living in the moment, here and now.  Feeling my feelings as they happen, being in control of my actions but not which emotions I let myself feel.  It gives way to spontaneous tears, incredible joy and occasional anxiety.  But, you know what?  I’m still here!  My feelings aren’t fatal but continuing to go back to the burning barn is.