There’s this thing that I do…I start over. I used to beat myself up about all of this starting over. Shame myself. Diets, exercise, relationships…
I give up dieting because, well, food! Am I right? I’m making light, because really it’s about feelings & emotional turmoil when diets “don’t work” for me. Exercise routines, stick with it attitude, gyms…gad! My abs get all poofy, my legs hurt ALL the time, I gain before I lose…I bail! Relationships, yes, let’s dig deeper into that another time. For now, I will own this regarding relationships…I have never allowed myself to engage in a healthy, respectful, and loving relationship. And this invites unhealthy people into your life.
All of the above, it’s all chapters in my life story…NOT my LIFE. This morning as I’m beginning day three of my commitment to love and support my body (my home while here on Earth) aka a healthy lifestyle, I felt a pull, to recognize that starting over isn’t a bad thing. Starting over is fucking courageous! It means you haven’t given up! It means you are learning from each chapter, about what’s important, about what matters most to you and your story.
So as I’m moaning through 60 sit ups, sweating like only a 52 year old grandma’s gonna do, I strip down to nothing but bra and panties, roll my granny ass in front of the mirror, and recognize…me! I will never be a model, nor do I have the desire. There will ALWAYS be more beautiful, more fit, more whatever…IF you are all into comparison. I am no longer down for comparing. Comparison has left my story. Ya’all want to go ahead and feel that for a minute, because THAT, that decision is magical! It is you, unlocking your own damn life and setting your own damn self free!
Yes, I will find myself in self sabotaging moments. I will no longer shame myself for these moments, I will brush the shame society, our ancestors, our traumas have instilled into our minds…and I will pick up where I left off. Because what matters most is continuing the self-love journey. The self-acceptance journey. This is the story where you love yourself so much that that very love radiates out into the Universe, felt by many, felt by every, love…that’s felt is beautiful.
I hope you are along for this journey. I pray you find peace with yourself, right now, in the today’s, in the chaos, love yourself through the storms, and recognize the rainbows as they appear.
If you never voice what’s breaking you to the people that are slaying you…how will they ever know? Your inability to speak your truth will never make the world a better place. Look at you, showing up, all keeping the peace-like, everyone elses peace…meanwhile, yours fades into a distant memory.
What will become of you if you repeat the same patterns, holding in your emotions, locking away your pain? When you’ve eaten your way through a thousand cupcakes, numbed yourself with your drug of choice, made yourself so small that you’ve become insignificant to the ones you ache to be loved and respected by? What will you do with your knowing…knowing you’ve become insignificant to yourself?
When you know that you’ve lost yourself, forsaking yourself to please others, find your knowing, bring her back into your heart…she is meant for life! A life made up of loving, peace, empathy, strength, courage, even pain and heartache…because this is all a part of living and you…you my precious wild flowers, are meant for living too!
It will be hard, the ones you’ve fed yourself to, they may punish you for your selfish choice to love yourself first. They don’t recognize you in your power. They may even hate you in your new place. Take ownership of your part in their suffering, you made the choice to give them all of you, without saving anything for yourself…when your back gets strong, when you walk away…acknowledge that you’ve changed. They will want the old you back. The silent one, who will never stand up or ask for anything, always pouring love into people that cannot be satiated. Once you’ve unleashed your wild, apologize for their pain, forgive them, forgive yourself, but do not stop standing tall. Do not stop using your voice. Walk away, walk toward yourself. Never stop, and never stop speaking your truth.
I am still learning, growing into the woman I am. Most of the time I simply say what needs to be said, knowing that living in my truth is how I want the people in my life to live in theirs. It’s this wide open knowing most days, but then, there are moments, even in the knowing, where I have to take a deep breath and recognize that this is all still a part of learning and growing, right? Because if I’m not continually learning and growing…then I am stuck again, and that is a temporary situation I need to address and find my way through. To listen more closely to what’s happening inside of the moments of questioning, in the moments of fear, and those moments when I feel unworthy. These are the moments that need my attention, immediately.
It is difficult sometimes, to face the woman from my past, it’s so damn easy to look at her and immediately shift into shame, even with the work I’ve done, the therapy I’ve embraced, the deep love I feel for her, and the trauma she is continually overcoming. But reflecting with her, it’s really all a part of our growth. Our introduction to the woman we truly are. I have been mindfully living my most authentic life to date. I show up in each new day, each hour, each minute or moment, Mary. That’s it. Take it or leave it, I’m here, and I know that spiritually, I am rare…we all are. That there’s not a single creature on this earth that is “me”. It’s important to our worlds capacity to love that I get quiet in the unworthy moments and figure out where that’s coming from. We all need to do our part to grow the love.
So…my musings bring me here…I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t working valiantly to please others. In, like, everything I said or did. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Granted, my memories from childhood are fairly shadows and smoke (I have a theory about this, but that’s for another day), still…my life-long mission has been to be whatever was necessary to please others. This week I experienced this huge wave of unworthiness crash up against my knowing! I feel so much peace in my knowing, in my relationships. I feel so incredibly sure of what my head and heart are telling me about loving and being loved. To the depths of all that kept me locked inside myself, from so far back, where an innocent toddler once lived. I know! I know that I am worthy. That my purpose is to love, and that in the loving, I am meant to be deeply loved. And yet, so conditioned by the world, what we see on social media, what we hear in movies, what our people share with us, we wonder…is this what makes us worthy of love? I faltered…I wondered if I was enough, what a freaking asshole I can be to myself!
Here’s the thing…if it doesn’t feel right for who you are, it’s not right for you. Period. If you imagine that you must reshape yourself to fulfill someone’s fantasy, you are likely not their fantasy, and they may very likely already consider you their fantasy! But…pay attention here…if what you feel in your moments of knowing with this person is seen, so known that your true authentic self has no need to retreat, deeply desired just as you are, now, and you desire this person for all of the same reasons…if you share a space with this other human where you can both simply be all of who you both are, with no fear, your small moments, they become big, beautiful, glorious moments. Is this not what authentic love is meant to be? Is this not what the Universe tells us we are meant for? Isn’t it supposed to be this simple? Like, do we really have to “be” what the world expects us to be? Tells us what normal looks like? If so, perhaps I have no desire to be normal. In fact, normal can kiss my sometimes asshole ass! If being so myself, that everyone that comes into my world can be their true selves, knowing they are loved without expectation or judgement…this is how I choose to live. Crazy? Maybe…but I’ll choose loving over normal every time.
I’m not a relationship expert. I am not “certified” to give advice, I’m simply living and learning as I go. But in all of my life experiences, I’ve found this one constant that has always kept my heart open, even when I thought it had seen enough, just wanted to be done with the never ending striving…forever maybe. The constant is loving…no secret sauce, no epiphany, just love. Here’s the secret to MY knowing…you deserve to be loved as deeply as you love. There it is! The secret to my knowing. YOU deserve to be loved, we all do. YOU are worthy, we all are. You don’t need to “be”, reshape, or do anything other than show up…authentic. Because that’s when people will see you, and they will be like…wow! Look at this woman! She is rare! She is the kind of woman I want in my life, for as long as she’s meant to be here. And on the other side…you will be looking at these same humans and you will be wowed by their awesomeness too! You will take a moment each day, to give thanks, for their presence in your life. Never forget…the rare ones…they are a blessing, the Universe brought them into your life, cherish this gift…because it is real…and it is rare.
If only ya’ all could see…the mess. When you are in the healing, all the ugly tears, the food binges, the screaming, foot stomping, cussing like a sailor moments…good lord, you wouldn’t recognize me on those days, or maybe, maybe you would. Maybe you’d look at me, and see you! You would know me on a level of humanness, reserved for the healing.
I wish that we could see each other on those days, because these are the moments, knowing you are not alone, that make us one. Just remember, if you are feeling the ache, there’s another out there feeling her ache too. You are aching with a world of women, seeking expansion, growth, freedom…you are among friends, your sisters, yes…your tribe.
From The Book of She…
Healing is fucking messy. It’s alienation. It’s detachment. It’s batshit crazy. It’s jet-black inky darkness. It makes you ache for the void or the mundane. You want to quit everything, but you can’t. You won’t. Not now. Not ever, baby. Because even though it aches the mother of all aches, you’ve changed.
Underneath all the bullshit, there you are. Brand new. Born again. An angel awakened to her cosmic mission. And you aren’t going back. There are more out there, waking up in the dark. So don’t worry about fixing any part of you and let your wicked shambles raise the damn roof on this whole thing. -Tanya Markul, The She Book v. 2
I love you. I believe in your strength. You are held.
God! Last week started out rough for me. I was an emotional wreck if I’m being completely honest. I cried, alot. I felt this wide range of emotions, they started with joy, then swung right into sorrow. But I kept up my daily gratitude’s. I looked at the bigger picture, I had to remember that this too shall pass.
Most importantly, I felt it. I felt the sadness, because it’s a sad time, and we’re allowed to feel these emotions, even if we are grateful each day, even if we know it will get better. And then I prayed, for strength, for mercy, for love, and understanding. And if I can’t understand I pray for grace, grace to see me through the sorrows.
I don’t miss going out…I miss my family. I miss my most cherished friendships. I miss the fellowship and community of church. I miss the idea of breaking bread with my loved ones on Thanksgiving…and then, the longing for those things begin to come into the light in new ways, creative COVID safe ways, and I am reminded, God is listening, He is good, the universe has us…it is okay to see the struggle, to feel the pain, but it is not for us to get lost in it. We are all struggling right now, be rare, be the love, be empathetic, be a light.
My oh my, I’m a bit out of sorts in returning to Reinventing Beautiful in such a public way. However, if I’m going to ask you to walk in vulnerability with me, I need to be fully vulnerable with you.
This page, used to be my God-given solace on the hard days, while simultaneously, it brought me incredible joy to share the pain, the growth, self-love, and beauty that surrounds us. The love I feel for all of humanity, it shined out into the world here, from the beauty of face to face oneness to touching lives for miles, and miles, becoming one with the world, it happens here.
To begin again…if you know me well, you know that for a short time, I, and the ways that I shared and healed with the world became a target, became weapons to be used against me, in the most traumatic way I’d ever encountered. The speed with which the unraveling of me began to unfold was astonishing! Sharing the same space for less than four months, I was completely in the throes of being destroyed. At one point, there was a vast, all-encompassing emptiness in my life. An utter loss of peace, joy, love, and family was followed quickly by the need for fight or flight, the very necessity to choose survival, for myself & my family…I chose both fight and flight. To survive I was forced to fight, to reach deep inside my soul and recognize that I was not what a broken human, fully entangled in their demons, thrust upon me. Projection is a mighty force to protect yourself against. That shit just wreaks havoc on your self-esteem. Even when you fully know you are none of the ugliness being poured over you like hot lava, at some point in an attempt to “keep the peace” or “appease the beast” you will echo back their belittling words, agreeing with all of their made-up accusations and heart-wrenching dehumanizing, you accept what they are feeling about themselves as who you are. Does this even make sense? It may not because it’s fucking confusing. The flight is mentally given wing until you find your footing from rock bottom and physically remove yourself from the hate.
It’s what we all imagine is the unimaginable treatment of another human. It is systematic, calculated, evil. If you think you know what domestic abuse is…I urge you to learn more. I’m not special, many have experienced this pain for years, many didn’t survive. This makes me ache for them, bow my head and pray for them, and long for change for the ones blessed enough to still be here, fighting with all their might…to find their footing. I’m grateful, I am alive! I escaped the madness! I am free! I KNOW without a doubt, I NEVER deserved to be treated in such an ugly, evil way. Nobody is. Let me be clear…I take complete ownership of my part in the nightmare. I know now when you walk around believing you are unworthy, broken & damaged, undeserving of authentic love and belonging…you will unfailingly attract the same. When this happens, if you are not willing to step up to your boundaries and withstand the onslaught of someone else’s self-hatred, self-loathing, and in some cases evil, completely poured into your life…you will slowly, achingly die, piece by piece.
I am made of flesh and bone, as you, full of vast love and empathy. When you wake up one day and realize you are dying a death a thousand moments at a time, you have to stop, you have to breathe it all in, feel every single moment of pain, of shame, of death of you…love yourself enough to want her back. She’s always been there, right? Always…just waiting for you to see her, as she sees you. God! She sees you! You are so strong, so courageous. You are stunning. There are no words to fully describe you. The words matter less than the recognition.
Everything swirling around inside of me wants to pour out right now! I know though, that I need to fully embrace The Four Agreements, at this very moment I must do the following, to stay in alignment with myself.
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best
If you haven’t read The Four Agreements, you may not be fully realizing just how beautiful your life can be. Nor are you aware of your power over your life. You have everything you need, to reprogram your belief system, and to emerge gloriously! Okay a bit off-topic, but you’ll recognize the side-by-side journey of growth when you do the internal work of changing your external world.
So…I’m here right now, my core strengths, my values, my moral compass directs me towards forgiveness. It is extremely important to choose my words wisely, be impeccable with my word in this re-introduction to my tribe. Settle into this…there are steps forward, there are steps back into time, and there’s staying still, just treading water. The first step is about reaching deep into my becoming… your becoming…our mutual becoming. Thank you for stepping back into my world. For never giving up on me, for your belief in the journey. Thank you for loving yourself enough to never give up on you, to know that each new day is yours, to grow and learn. You have support here. You are loved here. You are never alone on your journey.