I am certain we have all heard this more than once on our journey. Some roll their eyes and think to themselves that the person who wrote this has no idea of the shoes I am walking in. Others embrace it with a positive and resounding yes. Then there are the reflective folks like me who choose to take some time and thought before following through with this statement. Whichever you are I wish you peace. She hits it on the head, though. We can't control every single thing in our lives, but we can control how we react to them, how we take them in and how we choose to live by their meaning. I know some days I can let the events of my life take me down the hole of darkness. That isn't a bad thing either. Sometimes we do need to sit with our traumas to learn from them, we just can't live there forever. So, just for today, consider which path you are in and at the end of the day CHOOSE JOY!
What a powerful quote!
Before you get reactive and defensive, pause. Simply pause and ask yourself what strong feeling do you have about this statement.
Are you holding back in your life?
Is there a part of you that knows your woundedness, but has been afraid to admit that it needs to be addressed?
Walking into ourselves could be the most terrifying experience of our life, but don't you think it is more frightening to ignore our true selves?
When we walk through each day with only a mirror of ourselves silently, we are not being true to the life that has been given to us. If we do not wake up every day and ask ourselves the hardest questions about our journey, then spend the day trying to answer it for ourselves, are we really living?
The greatest gift we have is to continue to journey into ourselves every day that we breathe air. Our journey does not have to look the same every day for all intents and purposes, but rather every moment we take that deep breath we are challenging ourselves to walk into the unknown.
Go towards the unknown!
Live the unknown!
Speak the unknown!
Don't let fear be the decider of who you are and what your path will look like in the end. Be fearless and don't look back.
Embrace the journey into you, you will not regret it.
Darkness and light complement each other.
I know that can be a challenge to consider, but if we take a moment to go within this thought, you may be surprised by what it can show you.
When we are in the darkness it is hard to see anything other than the woe, pain or misery. Life is a struggle, and the light is impossible to grasp. We can't see gratitude, the gift, or the joy when we are sitting alone.
The day comes when light will be shown outside of this moment. It will lift us out of the sorrow and grief, showing us hope and life. It is then that the darkness will reveal that it was a road that we needed to travel in order to get to where we are today.
Where in your life have you been in a darkness so deep, but when the time came for you to embrace the light your life was transformed?
Take a moment to reflect or write about this time. Consider all the pieces of the experience and what it offered you. Embrace this process so when the darkness comes again, this memory will lift you up!
This isn't as simple as it seems. I have watched people live in this life solely existing. They are amazing at taking care of their responsibilities, but they are not living. They don't take the time to enjoy a meal out every so often. When was the last time you went to a movie in an actual theatre? Have you walked through the woods? Do you marvel at the beauty around you? Can you pause? We aren't truly living if are not taking the time to appreciate all that is around and within us. It doesn't have to be a grand trip across an ocean, not that wouldn't be a bad thing. It just needs to be a moment when you remember there is a bit more than just your responsibilities.
Our Bodies, Aging and Love
The first two words I imagine one has seen a lot, but when you add the last word into that equation a mountain of emotions and feelings come reluctantly attached. Most people can’t imagine love connected to those first two words: bodies and aging. It is often a raging battle throughout their lifetime.
Why is that?
Where did it become so mixed up along the way that our bodies were not something to love?
Who was the first to decide that aging should always have negative connotations?
These two words are life.
These two words are journey.
These words dance together and should bring stories of love, light and joy, not sadness, fear, regret, hatred, or self-loathing. I marvel every day at my age. It seems like yesterday I was a child in the school yard thinking how old the adults all seemed. It was something I could not grasp that it too would be my reality one day.
Then there comes a point where all we want to do is grow up as fast as we can. We reluctantly understand that it comes with responsibilities; but we desperately think it will make us happy to be anywhere other than where we are when we are young.
Until we get there. Then we realize that happy is the furthest emotion from the hardcore truth of responsibility at times. Furthermore, at that point we find ourselves in a body we sit in that seems foreign to us.
I remember vividly watching people in my life as they physically changed. Personally, I have had a love hate relationship with my body since I was a young child as a survivor. I came from a relationship with my body that was wounded and scarred. I came from a background where there was not a lot of support around my body or the story it told. I grew up figuring out my own way in terms of my body, all alone; that was not always a good thing. I don’t think I am unique in that reality. Early on when women can’t find peace within their body journey, it is nearly impossible to guide anyone else down that path.
Out of fear of understanding the changes and the stories my body was trying to speak early on, I jumped into the attack of my being through disorder body image for fourteen years. Somewhere along the pathway of that healing journey I introduced the healthy body to the fearful body, and we began to learn a dance within its beauty that never had been defined before. A welcome rarity, albeit slow. Some days are harder than others, but the continued gift in listening and exploring the wisdom my body speaks never tires.
Some may never learn this dance.
Some may lay in the darkness of fear and shame never understanding the gift within their body.
Some will only ever abuse their body by hiding away or by disguising their true body through the endless forms of dieting and cultural anti-body norms that will have them never taking a true and deep breath of acceptance in their truth that they were born into beauty.
Which are you today?
Which do you want to be tomorrow?
Our bodies are our intimate and personal story. No one can speak to them but you.
Our bodies are speaking to us every day.
Our bodies are carrying us through this life stepping courageously into the unknown of each day. I want to look in the mirror and stare lovingly into my eyes seeing the wrinkles on either side, remembering that the endless moments of laughter, joy, tears of sadness and pain that eventually brought healing peace were the foundation of those wrinkles.
Our stomachs will never be what they were from the beginning to the end of life. They will have stretch marks that will tell an abundance of stories, of bringing life into this world, of enjoying life to its fullest.
I want to be able celebrate the curves that have come over time as I healed and lovingly grew into my body. The dimples that have appeared in the most loving and living of ways.
Those wrinkles, the scars, my skin, my loving pillows are my journey, my story. I don’t want to hide them anymore in oversized clothing or masked in cultural pressures to change their immeasurable beauty.
Let me tell you all of the stories that are engraved into my face, my hands, my arms, my legs and my stomach.
I am not ashamed.
Let me remember how I lived fully in this body.
Let me remember lovingly and gratefully!
Our bodies are not covered in flaws, they are aged in an endless beautiful story.
I am real.
I am beautiful.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.