In all these years it has never ceased to amaze me that if I listen to what is coming out of my mouth when I am talking to someone that I am dispensing my "pearls of wisdom" to..inevitably those very words are the ones that I need to be hearing, processing, and living by myself! :) It is kind of wonderful actually!
Tonight I was listening to someone I love very much and I started to lay out all the stressors (good and bad) that I was witness to in this person's life. I was saying how taking stock of all of this was neccessary to really be clear and honest with oneself to be able to be sure to take care and to be good to oneself, but also to be fair about involving others or taking on anything new.
I had to laugh when I got off the phone because I heard that voice inside me (and yes, there are voices...no medication needed! LOL) that said..."you did hear what you just said..right?" I thought about it and then I listed out the stressors (both good and bad) in my life and when I sat there for a minute and realized how much I have allowed to gather on my own plate, well, let's just say the blessings I was facilitating for another was flowing back to me in my own awareness! :)
This comes on the heels of a week in which stress got to maximum levels. We had the dedication of the honors college where I have worked for 11 years and along the way there were some personal issues with people that i love that came up, and I was trying to keep up with appointments and meetings as well. It was just too much. Period.
The thing that exacerbated it all was that I was having some real issues with my own self image this week as well. I was looking in the mirror and seeing this fat man. I have talked about not being able to see my weight loss before, but this week was really bad and I was having some real issues. I have really fallen in love with running, but I know not to push myself too hard because I do not want to injure myself to hurt my chances of being able to exercise regularly. Well, on one evening this week, after literally working and being in meetings and class all day, for a 14 hour day, I still went for a run. I conned myself into thinking this was "stress relief". But what it really was was absolute fear of being fat and concern over what i saw in the mirror.
Ok...so this is a problem...but one that I am actually glad happened, because it is something that by seeing it, I am learning from it and am on the other side of it. I got so stressed this week that my ability to feel healthy was out of reach so my abiltity to see myself as healthy was out of reach. My own mind let me see me in ways that were just not accurate.
A real gift, though, came to me as one of my students was taking pictures at the dedication and he took a picture of me that was profound. I got home Friday night and I downloaded the photos and I saw this photo and for a minute it was hard to see "me". But then, I realized, the pretty thin guy standing there (in profile no less), was actually me. I was not posing, not tucked in, not styled for the camera. Dylan had just caught me in the moment. It was like seeing myself for the first time..and there was no "fat man" in that picture. There was the "me" that I wanted to be. It is my profile picture right now. I can't really explain it, but it was not a narcissistic moment, it was a real moment of "seeing".
The next day, I went to the Rape Crisis Event "walk a mile in her shoes". I was renewed, but still tired. I put on the heels and set out with the crowd. I was walking with this couple who had shirts on from another gym and they were asking me about my journey, having heard about me from another. I told them about it and it was as if my week was in their minds. They asked me if I had any more weight I wanted to loose and I said maybe about 10 to 15. the husband started asking me if I could "see" my weight loss? I laughed and said as a matter of fact I was just having that issue with stress this week. He said he and his wife had had the same issues and to watch out becoming obsessed with it as being able to "see" yourself and be healthy is as important and "feeling" healthy and balanced. We had a wonderful talk that only reinforced what I had seen and experienced in the week and I just marveled that this conversation with these two strangers (as I am walking the streets in high heels no less!) came to me. God I love how it works!
I don't know if I will ever truly "see" me without seeing some issues. But I do know that stress inhibits my vision on many levels, that a lot of my stress I CREATE, that I am in control of a great deal of what I choose to do, and that my choices, given these last 22 years can be more often than not, very positive. As I grow, I want my choices to be more of those that build on those that create the best in what I can be and do. I can choose to be a lot of things: spiritual, loving, sober, loyal, married, charitable, forgiving, open, honest, forthright, openminded, on time, responsible, accountable, and as I have seen in this last year and a half, I can choose to be healthy in body, athletic, energetic, and motivated... and I can choose to see myself in a positive and affirming light...right sized, and loving. I can also choose to work on those things that inhibit my choices, my vision, and my growth.
For today..I am just so grateful for the awareness.....and a picture taken by a student who had no idea they were taking a picture that would make such a difference for me.
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