Just let it go…..Let what go? What does letting go feel like? Why should I let i go? Don’t I need to hang onto it? If I don’t hang onto it will I be safe? What am I safe from? Am I REALLY safe if I hang on, or am I hanging on to a false sense of safety? If I don’t let go, what will that be like? Well, a lot like right now and how does right now feel? Well, it feels like I am death gripping so tight to a hope for a reality that is not my current reality, and might not even need to be my reality if I just opened my heart a little bit. No, letting go feels like living somewhere outside of now. But, what about now? Shouldn’t I be able to have now? Shouldn’t I be able to string a thousand nows together and create a piece of art? I think so. What kind of art will I create? …art makes me happy….
Weird…I thought all those things I wanted so desperately would make me happy?
Maybe, you should be happy anyways, and then what follows will be way for meaningful. oooooo, THAT’s why you want me to let go.
* I am 100% aware of how fast and chaotic the above thought process appears…and for good reason. It is. It is not calm. It is not peaceful. It is disorganized and disjointed. But, it is mine nonetheless.*
I have just given a snip-it into my mind over the last year or so of trying to let go of some damaging beliefs about my body and my world. Fascinating I am sure! I have no idea if anyone reading this can decipher it, but I’m ok with that. Maybe then I have successfully painted the back and forth chit-chat rattling away in my “youngish” brain. I think what is most apparent is fear and thinking that if I can just get to a magical spot or goal THEN I will reach the golden egg of happiness and self-acceptance.
For the purpose of this blog, the thing I was always searching for wasI “reaching my goal weight.” I am talking about fitting into society’s version of a “sexy sexy” body. OK? get the picture? (I put 2 sexys in there to really highlight having a sexy sexy body.) I am talking about EVERY single diet commercial offering us what we have always wanted: LOVE.
Unconditional Love FOR OURSELVES does not come conveniently packaged in a 100 calorie package. It can not be found in an app where we measure everything we put in our mouths. Our self-worth is not measured this way. GUESS WHAT? Here is the good news: you are already worth 100% of what you are externally seeking. It is there. It has been there this whole time.
So, what does this have to do with bikini/bathing suit season??? Well, I came to realize something. Basically, for my whole life except now, I have been always trying to lose weight for something. I have a wedding coming up: better lose weight, I have to see old friends: should probably do a cleanse. It’s almost summer: maybe I should sign up and start tracking points…. When I think back on how much energy I wasted doing all of that shenanigans, I feel a bit sad really, and it’s ok to say I feel sad. I feel like I wasted parts of my life. You know what, I already was a hot sexy mama in my own way. And even if I wasn’t I can tell you in the most recent past, that I usually didn’t lose weight. In fact, all that focussing on dieting really lead me to gain weight. There was a point in my life, when I controlled every piece of food, and ya my weight. However, I usually felt starved. Constantly starved. I felt starved for love, for satisfaction, to be thinner. I felt starved for connection, for expression and most of all I think I felt starved for myself. Helllooooo self where aaaare you??? I am here a little voice would tell me. Sometimes it told me lies like, if you lose 20 pounds then you will find a partner that will love you. Sometimes, those lies still creep in. I take an honest look at them now. They are not as scary. Because, they are trying to tell me something I need to hear.
I recently read that sometimes when people emerge from a place of pain or darkness into hope again, this can be one of the most traumatic times. It sounds contradictory, but I now believe it to be true. As I emerge from this place, I feel such deep gratitude, but yes, I mourn those years I spent hating myself. I also feel fear. What is next? I am still afraid in many ways to truly let go. Like, if I do not control everything, then I will be vulnerable. Well, that’s why I am still on this path. That’s why this is all a journey.
I am excited for this bathing suit season, because I am excited to swim, to feel the sun on my face and to find enjoyment in all of my favorite things. I did not see ,that to come first from this place is the only way for me to go. I thought if I stopped trying to lose weight and have the perfect body, I was giving up on myself. The opposite is true. Every time I looked in the mirror and said, “yuck”, or pinched my skin, covered myself up, or avoided seeing friends out of embarrassment. THAT is when I was giving up on myself. THAT is when I was slowly bit by bit losing me.
Please do not think “I always think WOW I look great in my bathing suit look at me!” I am not always like you are beautiful, look at you! NO, still those voices creep in. Still, sometimes I compare myself. Still a group of women sitting around talking about their weight and dieting CAN trigger me to second guess myself. But, then, I goto a place of the second best thing. If I can not get to “I look absolutely fantastic right now”, I can at least get to, “I accept you as you are right now. I accept that I love you self. I extend so much freaking self-compassion towards myself that I usually can not help but snap back into reality.” If not, I usually just wait, or surround myself by positive people. Like I said, self-compassion isn’t easy.
Sayings about living in the present moment do not just exist because people like clichés. I will tell you, I actually historically rejected clichés, I like to think I am original(sometimes illusions are, ok. Just kidding.). But really, enjoy this moment. Enjoy whatever body you have. It does soooooooo much more for you than look or not look good in a bathing suit.
Here is a quick list of 10 things not related to the appearance of my body that I like about it:
1. Holding my nieces and nephews little hands when they are crossing the street.
2. Planting any kind of plant— making a garden.
3. Using my eyes to see all of the rich colors of the world.
4. Using my ears to hear the music that expresses the soul’s desire of another human being.
6. The fact that I held my grandmother’s hand so many times, that I can still remember the touch of her skin.
7. The blood running through my veins carrying messages and nourishment to my cells.
9. Holding a baby.
10. Petting an animal.
When I look at this list, I remember when I made a similar one years ago as I began to look at my self-image. I think back and ya I thought these types of things were great, but I still really really # 1 wanted to be thin. I guess why I write that, is to say, that progress can take time, but it is possible. Nothing about this journey is easy. But, as I sit here exciting to but on my new bathing suit and I look at this list, I am confident that change is a real thing. It just starts with one step at a time.
Happy Swimming!!! And happy Summer!
-No coincidence I love the water, being a mermaid and all ;)
-A Mermaid Named E.D.