Wednesday, September 23, 2015

be bold

for some reason the word "bold" struck me today. i had read a blog post about the idea that the way that you tell "your story" shapes your life. the author mentioned that she was striving to tell her story in a bolder way. and i started thinking "would my story have a bold protagonist? would people describe me as bold? does pink hair equal bold? can i be bolder?"

one definition of bold is acting fearless. a course in miracles dichotomizes the world into fear and love. if we take that perspective, being fearless can be interpreted as living fully in love.

approaching difficult conversations, interactions, or situations with an attitude of love: BOLD.

i used to talk about "when i developed bulimia" before my lifecoach insisted i change it to "when i chose to start binging and purging." it took me a while to incorporate that language choice into my lexicon, but, when i did, it actually became easier to talk about. owning my behaviors put me in the protagonist's role: i was no longer a victim of circumstance; i was no longer "sick" or someone to be pitied; i was not blaming anything in my life on anyone else.

i hear people every day attribute their perceived failures, big or small, to outside circumstances. if we consistently think that our life outcomes are outside of our control, we are let off the hook of taking action. but if we recognize that we can take ownership over our pasts, of our decisions and choices, of where we are currently in our life, we can move forward boldly.

and the best part is that it is never too late to take that ownership. it is never too late to change your perspective on your story, or the way you convey it to other people. this week i had a first date with someone. during this date, i talked freely about my part in the ending of my marriage, among other things that could be interpreted as life-fails. my date listened to part of "my story" and then replied with "wow, i didn't expect to hear that; thank you for sharing that in such an honest way."

that whole marriage-ending story is one i haven't quite mastered all of the boldness in yet. i tend to say "when my husband left me" or "when my husband moved continents without telling me" because of the drama of these statements. but no one has never complimented me on those re-tellings. a few chuckles or embarrassed side-glances, perhaps, but nothing more.

the relationship stories can be some of the most challenging to own. because there is always another person there: there is always another person that can be blamed. so it can be difficult to take the words and actions that are ours within a relationship, and to own the effect they have on the outcomes. we have to let go of the hurts enough to release the want to blame the other person for the story's ending.

and sometimes we might not even know how we got to a relationship's ending. one of my friends recently blogged about the struggles of today's dating world. and believe me, i know. owning my story in unexplainable situations is very challenging--when i think that i have acted as a bold individual but feel that i have received fear in return, the boldness can feel worthless... but i think that knowing where relationship outcomes are not directly related to ourselves is also pretty bold.

i don't want to be let off the hook in any area of my life. i want to take ownership. the shift we can make and the power we create for ourselves through such boldness is impressive. we get to decide. we get to act. we get to create. we get to be the author. and fuck, i think that's all any of us want.

today, i choose to be bold.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

recovery is a long word

do you know what yik yak is? if you're not under 25, or one of my best friends, the answer is probably no. it's an anonymous twitter type app that i'm obsessed with--along with all 18-25 year olds. you can only see yaks that are posted in your immediate area, so if you're near a college campus, or in a big city, it will be super interesting. (if not, don't even attempt to download it!)

you can comment on people's yaks and up or down vote them. if a yak gets 5 down votes, it is automatically removed. which is kind of cool, because it is a little self-regulating. anyway, it can be a mean place (because it is anonymous), but it can also be a super supportive place (because it is anonymous).

point of the story: a young girl posted tonight about binging and purging. i replied, she replied, i replied, etc. she hadn't told anyone about her eating disorder; she kept it hidden; she didn't know what to do.

is how i felt. and i wanted to help her: i wanted to do all the things for her. i told her about how hiding it amplifies the shame, and about how admitting it (even anonymously) was a good first step.

that admission can be SO. HARD.

i've had other people grace me with their admissions in the past, both about eating disorders and other mental health issues. and every time i feel this intense yearning to soothe and nurture; to offer support; to provide forgiveness.

i know those feelings arise from the needs i have so strongly felt in my life. the needs that i was afraid to express, and afraid to have met--both by myself and others.

this morning i did an online yoga class with elena, and she said this:
the amount of energy that it takes to resist the expressions of our heart and recoil from our divine nature is exactly the same amount of energy it takes to surrender. this energy cannot do both at the same time.
when she said that, i freaked out a tiny bit. like it struck a chord inside me pretty deeply. i couldn't say for sure exactly why this morning.

and now, i feel like, oh, yeah. it's because all i do is struggle with how vulnerable i can be. how vulnerable can i be with exposing my sensitivities, my true feelings, and my insecurities? how vulnerable can i be with admitting TO MYSELF my sensitivities, my true feelings, and my insecurities?

seeing my struggle reflected back through a younger version of myself hurt. i wanted to protect her; i wanted to speed up her healing process.

not that i'm recovered.

not that any of us are.

from whatever.

but, you know, we're all ok anyway.

we're all on this journey of recovery.

which is actually just life.

so keep recovering. keep remembering that true nature. keep forgiving those who can't yet. keep supporting them. and put all your energy into the surrendering: to the vulnerabilities, sensitivities, feelings, and insecurities. i swear it's fucking worth it.

now watch this. #love