Last week I had a surprisingly difficult day emotionally. I felt challenged in oddly old familiar ways that I did not care to revisit. A brief return of old thoughts about not being and doing enough, of not performing well, of the slow pace of recovery encroached on my bliss. To counteract this, I reminded myself that I have done a lot this past year and of progress I’d made toward healthy living. It occurred to me that having this blog allows me to actually look at my progress by just reading what I had written about a year ago. I was wonderfully rewarded with a post from March 18, 2013, a year ago to the date of my troubled day. The posting is called “The Sara Canvas”. It is about my vision of myself as I entered into this new season of my life. This segment in particular was helpful:
This Sara canvas will have some richness to it. I see the woman who has overcome a lot, but the overriding victory is the absence of addictive behaviors. I have been imagining what it is like to live in contentment and to not be drawn to eating or smoking to fill a void or to avoid feeling pain. This contrasts previous dreams of being thin or being “happy”. This canvas has more depth because it is about an inside job. I believe I will be thin, too, but the real transformation is within. This is because this Sara has grown up and is now a FFA (my short for fully functioning adult), and enjoys the benefits of healthy adulthood. She relates from a place of worthiness; she makes decisions from a place of wholeness and maturity; she exhibits appropriate vulnerability. Her emotions are freely shared, but contained for her sake and others. She is ok with herself and being single, but is an excellent companion as well.
I can hardly describe what I felt as I read these words and realized for the most part, that they had or are coming true. The work has been paying off, and I am living the rewards of showing up for myself.
A dear friend has suggested that I again put to pen with intentionality what is ahead. I see the power in this because after I wrote about my vision, I didn’t rehearse and refer back to it. I didn't focus on this but I received it into my soul and spirit, where it lived.
I reflect tonight about my present situation. I am finishing up a three week weight loss program, wearing jeans that I haven’t worn in the last year. I feel love and acceptance, have self-esteem, can identify a peace within. Life is very good. What does better, or more appropriately, what does healthier look like? I return to my canvas to add details.
This Sara has continued to grow inwardly, building on the confidence, love, self-esteem, and self-compassion she now has. She has continued to work on the wounds that manifested in the mounds of fat. With each pound shed, a parallel weight of shame, pain, and anger has also been released. This has allowed the authentic, confident Sara to emerge. She no longer hides behind the weight, but allows her light to shine becoming attractive to those around her. She is becoming more accustomed to people’s compliments, and is aware of no longer needing others’ assurance and approval to feel loved, but can receive such compliments with humility. Singleness has also become comfortable because she likes who she is and enjoys her solitude, her home, and her relationships. This Sara is aware of the necessity to hold healthy boundaries in dating, which by the way, she thoroughly and readily enjoys. She has learned how to manage her home and her finances, putting those fears of insecurity at bay. Enjoying abundant health in her mind, body, soul, and spirit, Sara has come to understand this word serenity. With gratitude and joy, her love for others is a motivator in sharing her recovery all-the-while knowing this is critical for working and maintaining it. At 50, this Sara knows that the best is still ahead, seeing opportunity and possibility in nearly every situation. She seeks discernment as to which ones are for her to pursue since her interests are wide and deep, having learned to embrace this live-out-loud life that has been her destiny.