In order for me to fully appreciate a new beginning it is also important to reflect and gain insight from the chapter that was just closed.
The last decade of my life was almost entirely devoted to my own healing and recovery. It was then that I fully committed to not letting myself be a victim of my past. To stop living my life for anyone other than myself. And let me tell you it was full of ups and downs.
It is no joke taking a hard look at all of the beliefs you hold about who you are and where they came from. Peeling back the layers, examining the stories I told myself about who I am, finding patterns in my thoughts and behaviors. It was hard fucking work considering all that I had experienced in my life.
From feeling un-loved and un-wanted by my father to childhood sexual abuse to chronic illness starting at 2 years old to developing disordered eating at 6 years old to cope to seeing my body as the enemy because of abuse and illness. My early childhood was traumatic to say the least.
Then as a child and teen dealing with being bullied by the person who was suppose to be my best friend as well as from other kids at school. Continuing to struggle with chronic illness, disordered eating, and being a very competitive athlete, going through taking my biological fathers rights away, being adopted by my mom’s husband, the man whom I call dad. All while trying to figure out who I was in a small town where my family was well known.
Also it is worth noting that I am the oldest of two children. So I had tons of pressure to be the perfect child or at least that was how I perceived it. It was my job to protect my little brother and to be a good role model. As a result I became a serious perfectionist, which fit in well with my eating disorder, body dis morphia, and competitive nature.
By the time I went away to college, when I was 18, already having two and a half years of college completed. I was deep into my eating disorder. My multiple Chronic illnesses had made my relationship with my body even more toxic. And I was pretending that everything was totally fine.
Then six or so months into being at college I was raped. To make matters worse I was help captive at my rapists house until the next day. Upon my arrival home one of my roommates teased me for not getting home until that morning. Yet, I decided not to tell anyone anything about what happened. I just kept pretending everything was fine.
At this point, everything in my life felt like it was falling apart. I knew If I continued on the path I was on I would not live very long. I knew weighing ninety pounds and being five foot seven was not something that was healthy. I knew that beating my body up at the gym was not sustainable long term. I also knew that all of the coping mechanisms that had helped me survive, were now killing me.
It was time to make serious changes. From that time in 2009 to 2019 my main focus was on myself.
That is why I say I am so grateful for it and at the same time so glad it is now behind me. I literally started over and was consciously working on moving beyond all of those experiences in order to be the person I wanted to be.
So, here are some of the things I learned during that time 1 plan to take with me to make 2020 and this next decade the best decade of my life.
Perfectionism is not helpful.
Where I thought it was helping me it was actually just keeping me from trying new things. It kept me from believing in myself and it kept me feeling stuck. Needing to be perfect was a way to keep myself safe and with in my comfort zone. In no way was being obsessed with perfection benefiting my life.
My new motto and a quote I keep in my office is done is better than perfect. And it couldn’t be more true.
Emotional Babysitting is Exhausting and Keeps Me from Being My Authentic Self.
I define emotional babysitting as tailoring your words and actions so that they don’t make people in your life uncomfortable, Including the inability to say no even when you want to.
This was a big part of my life. Because of my need for perfection and my lack of self worth I was always making sure to be the perfect person in each of my relationships even if that meant creating a new version of myself for them, especially in romantic relationships.
Letting go of this way of being freed up so much of my time and mental energy. It was truly amazing. I learned to set boundaries, I learned how to say no, and I learned what things I truly liked. when I gave up trying to be everything to everyone I allowed myself to find me.
It was not easy all the time. I lost friends, I felt conflicted and confused at times. But in the end it was all worth it because it helped me connect back to myself and be able to consciously create a life I want to live. so I would say the risk is far outweighed by the reward.
Self Care is Not Selfish.
If I learned anything over the last decade it is that with out self care I cannot show up in my life the way I want. Simply put to be at my best I must take care of myself first.
Before I started on my healing and recovery journey self care was last on my list. Anytime I did something for myself I felt like I was waiting time. My internal dialogue went something like this, “I can’t believe you are wasting valuable time on this. There are so many other important things you could be doing right now. You don’t deserve to do this right now. You’re so lazy.” Pretty much anytime I took for myself.
Now I know that none of that is true. I know when I put self care last that the rest of my life suffers, especially as a person who has multiple chronic illnesses. If I don’t take care of myself everything goes down hill pretty quickly. So, prioritizing self care is not selfish at all. It allows me to be the person I want to be, and that’s pretty important to me.
Be You, Do You, Fuck the Haters.
This one took me a little while to fully embrace, but I feel like I am pretty firmly rooted in this belief in 2020. For so long I had lived my life for other people. Most of my choices were made to make other people happy. And to be honest that landed me in a placer of deep unhappiness.
The past decade I worked on discovering who I was and what I wanted.
I allowed myself to try new things, to travel all over the country, to meet all kinds of different people, to do all kinds of different work, and develop all kinds of new skills. Most of all I allowed myself to just be me.
Take it or leave it this is who I am and you either like it or you dont. Either way it’s cool with me. At the end of 2019 I was embracing this mindset even more. I started sharing much more vulnerably. I started sharing parts of myself that I had not shared with anyone outside of the people who were closest to me.
After sharing parts of my journey for the last ten years I felt like the things I was sharing were actually having an impact. I absolutely believe that fully adopting the mindset of totally being myself has made a huge difference. Now I honestly and truly do not care if someone has a problem with me being me. That is their problem not mine.
Attachment Causes Suffering.
Woo thats a big one, and I have totally found it to be true. In the eight limb practice of yoga Aparigraha is the fifth yama, or fifth guiding principle of the practice. It translates to non- attachment and teaches us to enjoy the journey instead of the destination.
This quote perfectly sumbs up what Aparigraha teaches us. “Let your concern be with action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction’.” – Krishna
I have found this to be very true, although not always easy to remember over my journey the last ten years. Despite my struggle with always applying this principle in my life I have to say I have gotten much better at it.
Entering 2020 I have never been better at this practice. At the end of 2019 I realized my goal in life is to have as much fun as I can while doing my best to make the world a better place. As long as I am having fun, being present in the moment I do not need to worry about the results. I know and I trust that everything will unfold exactly as it is meant to. There is no reason to create un-necessary suffering in my life by creating attachment to results.
This does not mean that I dont set goals and do my best. It means that I dont judge myself when my work yeilds results different an I expected, and that my friends is what I call freedom.
Because of these reflections I am very excited for the new beginning that is 2020. It represents a new era of the evolution of my being, and it all came together so beautifully at the end of 2019, and continues to blossom more fully as 2020 progresses.
Taking a step back from all of my social media, all of my businesses, and allowing myself to reflect and then make more conscious choices about what I want to create and cultivate in my life has renewed my passion for writing and using it as a tool to help others.
That is exactly what I intend to do in this year and this decade, without attachment to results, without perfectionism, and without caring if there are people who are going to hate it or not. I’m sure there will be, but I don’t care, I am committed to being the best version of me and sharing that journey. No matter the result.
Thank you for being here. For sharing this journey with me. If I can help in any way feel free to reach out my inbox is always open.
My Deepest Gratitude,