Happy Tuesday friends! I hope your week if off to a great start! The weather is cloudy and cool today in San Diego making me so excited to pull out some warmer clothes. There is still time to join Blog-Tember 2016. Join us!!!
Today's Prompt: If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
I thought long and hard about this one. I contemplated between wanting to be my favorite authors (Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, Shauna Niequist) because I would love to have a career of writing and publishing books.
I then contemplated being one of my most looked up to therapists, Rebecca. She started her own practice called, Potentia; dedicated to those recovering from eating disorders and the whole spectrum of trauma. Her team is very collaborative and includes a nutritionist, a yoga instructor and workshops dedicated to shame resilience and redefining failure. She has two kids and owns her own home. She's passionate, intelligent, determined and empathetic and she practices what she preaches.
I thought about trying out being President for a day to increase my empathy for what a truly difficult job it is. I would live in the White House and have someone clean for me while I changed a couple policies that day.
Maybe I would be Laurene Powell Jobs whose net worth is 14.4 billion so I could spend as much money as I want when I go shopping. I could buy my whole family plane tickets to come visit me and I could travel anywhere I wanted whenever I wanted.
But nothing really stuck*. The truth is I would want to be myself for the day. I don't say this because my life is perfect and shiny and glistening. I say that because I know enough to know that no one's life really is. No matter how successful or wealthy or prestigious your life is; there's still a human underneath whose "glistening" is really sweat, whose "shine" is really grease and whose "perfection" is only perception.
I might live in a small apartment and not own a home. I might not have kids yet. And my career might be extremely daunting all of the time. But still, at the end of the day, I choose me to be.
I may have gone through some intense loss, I may have experienced things I wish I could stuff in a closet and throw out the key, I may have wondered why my brain seems so predisposed to anxiety, but still I choose me.
With me, at least I know my mess. I am very acquainted with it at this point. I know how it ticks. I'm not afraid of my mess anymore.
And I've also experienced great recovery, launching freedom, and authentic grinning. I have not been made rich by inheritance or by my career. But I've been made rich by my husband, Scotty and his love for me. I've been made wealthy by having Lenny as my sweet puppy. I've been given friends and family who pursue me, fight for me, stand by me and advocate for me and this has given me wings.
I always feared that if I got quiet enough, really looked inside of myself I'd find someone small and terrified and fragile. In order to avoid such a conclusion of myself I stayed busy, lived in chaos, numbed myself with an eating disorder, and pursued external things to prove I was okay. I pursued a higher education, being thin, rocky romantic relationships, and tried to outrun my anxiety.
But eventually I stopped running. I bent over after my marathon and strained for air, to breathe again. I was shaky and sweaty but I finally dared to look inside of me. At first it was just a quick glance.
Instead of running, I kept coming back to look at her, at me, the person inside of me who was there all along. I started looking at her longer and longer.
What I found was surprising. Once I got quiet and listened and everything external that claimed my worthiness was stripped away, I saw the real me.
And she was strong.
She was a fighter.
She was passionate and engaged and intuitive.
She was a warrior.
And oh my goodness she was not small.
The world maybe told her to be small and thin and little but she was not.
And the world may have told her to live in terror and panic but she was done with that.
I soon realized all my external stuff (my productivity, my anorexia, my anxiety, my busy chaos) did not keep me safe. It didn't have to keep me safe because I had a warrior inside.
I listened and I waited and I got quiet and there I was. There I realized God was not outside of me, something I had to search and hustle and bustle for. God was within me. The Spirit of God dwelled within me. I was grounded and anchored internally, not externally as I had thought I must strive to be.
If you're reading this and thinking Well, if you knew me you would know that on the inside I am not strong. I only appear strong.
I completely resonate with that feeling. I was convinced for so long that my mess made me weak.
I have something to tell you; you have a heroine waiting to be discovered inside. She isn't out there, in the next self-help book, or bible study or podcast. She doesn't live in that country or work that job over there. She lives inside of YOU. Spend some time with her. Turn off all the lights, turn off the distraction, light those candles and listen to your insides, even if just for 5 minutes. It might be painful but trust me you can handle hearing from her. She needs to be heard.
"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light", Theordore Roethke wrote. That's the truth. Deep inside each of us is divine light.
Inside of me is the Light so for today I choose to be me.
* Okay if I really had to choose who to swap with for one day I would choose my puppy, Lenny. Lenny your life is easy and awesome and all you have to do is eat, poop, sleep and play with your toys and jump on your parents and sneak food off the table. I know you hate bath time but seriously bubbles and someone massaging your head constantly? I choose your life.