I am realizing more and more how big of a role shame plays in my life. I am writing often in my personal journal and I am compiling those writings into what I someday pray is a book. Then I will share the story of my A to B....until then, there are some things I feel compelled to share because they are so heavy on my heart.
Life is hard, we all know that. I am battling right now to learn to love myself, and I have blogged about that very topic recently. I decided on a whim yesterday (more of a Holy Spirit whim I believe) to gift myself with 30 days of being kind to myself. Life is out of control and as always, I'm not in control of life. I am however, the manager of my life and I do have choices to make beauty out of the hands dealt.
My nice thing to myself yesterday (day one) was to pick fresh veggies and herbs from my garden. We had ripe red tomatoes, beautiful white Casper eggplants and narrow Ping ting lang (or something) purple eggplants; there were green bell peppers, and red sweet peppers. After photographing the gorgeous colors, I chopped, chopped, chopped my worries away. John came into the kitchen and asked to help. He has a big relator heart and likes to do things side by side, though as he enters pre adolescence he becomes too cool to join in these activities at times. That said, I was thrilled to have his sweet presence in that moment. I added an onion and fresh garlic and John opened cans of tomato sauce. I watched him sauté the veggies in a bit of olive oil and then I let him pour the hot veggies into the tomato sauce. Lastly, I went out into the pouring rain just to pick fresh basil, thyme and oregano. I am glad I did, if only to see the delight on John's face while he inhaled the fragrance of each herb as he added them to the sauce. We poured it all into the crockpot, simmered it all day so the house smelled intoxicatingly delicious and tonight we enjoyed the sauce with spaghetti and meatballs. So much of this meal had nourished my heart before I ever tasted it. So there...that was my number one kindness to myself.
A nice thing that happened to me yesterday is that I was surrounded in a safe place with love, hope, prayers, tears and heart medicine. I was in a place where it was okay to be vulnerable, okay to be afraid and encouraged through my tears.
Day two is today, I woke up and my first thought was 'Oh no, I have to do something nice for me today and I really don't have time.' I decided to place it in God's hands and see where I needed to be kind to myself today. And the gift I gave me was not quite as easy as yesterday's kindness. At three o'clock today, I walked into Weight Watchers. It felt like the billionth time, the billionth failure. The minute I stepped on the scale I told the clerk that I did not want to know my weight. I told her briefly about my current stress, I was desperate to seek my way out of shame and of needing to be here again. Needing to be here again means I am engaged in the same struggle not just of being overweight but of being stressed, shamed, disappointed and undeserving. She was kind to me. She told me my point amount for each day and I knew that was way higher than I wanted. The minute I got in the car, I looked at the number on the scale and I felt sad. I was not going to tell anyone that I had joined again, I was just going to try in secret. In my secret shame. And then I thought about the impact of the Brene Brown books I am reading and decided to do different and speak of my shame. Maybe that really will help some of it's power diminish.
After work, I actually attended the Weight Watchers meeting. I walked in with an attitude of 'here I go again' and my self defeating tapes began to play. I stayed pretty disengaged until close to the end of the meeting and the leader (who I thought had very kind eyes) asked what we were going to do different this week. I am sure she meant something like 'drink more water', 'track meals', 'exercise', and so I did as I do and gave the unique answer. I held back my tears the best I could as I said that I could not believe I was here again. I spoke of my shame and of my embarrassment. Several people turned and looked at me and I did not see judgment, I saw compassion.
Then, the lovely thing that happened to me today....After the meeting, a very sweet woman and her daughter came to introduce themselves. The woman asked me if I struggled loving myself and she said that she had struggled for years to love herself. She had tears in her eyes and hugged me tight. And I knew I was in the right place and that I had everything I needed in that moment. Several people told me that I was beautiful. That was hard for me to hear. I know my spirit is beautiful but my self image right now is that I am pretty icky. It is my goal to learn to not just love my heart but to love my body as is. I still want to lose these ugly pounds but with them I want to lose the ugly self hatred I have because it holds me back in my confidence.
So....I have been well loved and the love I have received has been found in the most surprising of places. I am hurting. I am thankful and I have a glimmer of hope mixed in with my sadness. God is good to us.
Peace and blessings to you.....