On the way back from Santa Fe yesterday I sat on the plane looking through my computer at some old notes. Some from 10 years ago, and frankly, I didn’t recognize the person who had written the words on my screen. In some dark recess of my soul, sure. Some dusty region of my being, yes maybe. In some moldy corner, the remnants of that girl still exist, but holy sh#t, am I glad she is gone! I am glad she no longer owns the lips that touch my coffee cup every morning. I am glad her brain was replaced by the one I am now in possession of.
I was reminded of the lyrics to Amazing Grace:
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Truthfully, I was a little sickened as I read some of my old stuff. I got out my little compact mirror from my bag to make sure my face was still there.
I felt an ache for the girl whose words I was reading. How could that have been me? Me, who is a successful yoga teacher and loves herself ( most days.) Surely this is some kind of mistake and I picked up someone else’s computer. Horrified, I put the stolen computer back in my bag.
I took it back out of my bag. It is indeed mine. I own it. I am the sole owner of those crappy insecure negative journal entries. My name is Jennifer and I am a recovered negativaholic. I am a recovered jerk junkie. I am a recovered low self esteem user. I am a recovered I-think-I’m-fat-aholic as well as exercisaholic.
How did I have time to be so many things? I must have been so busy.
In fact, I wasn’t.
How could I have been busy with all my mental energy being taken up on what was wrong with me?
I bring it up now as a parable.
Against all odds, I came out on the other side. I killed the witch and I am living happily in my home with my seven little men. Ok, that’s a fairy tale, but you get the point.
And, they may not be seven little men, but I did marry one amazing man.
This parable has a moral as most parables do. (At least that’s what Wikipedia told me as I was confused between parable and fable. I have no talking animals so I suppose I am a parable.)
A parable is a short tale that illustrates universal truth, one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable is often not explicitly stated, the meaning is not usually intended be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.
The universal truth: everything I was telling myself I firmly believed ( I was fat, not good enough etc) and yet wasn’t the truth at all.
In fact: it was a big fat lie.
The setting: my mind.
The action I took after many years of starving myself and being depressed and dating someone who didn’t appreciate me was: I changed my thoughts.
It took time. It took a lot of time, some yoga and a great man. It took also: finding my bliss. It took learning how to manifest what I want into my life without being attached to the results.
The meaning of this parable is obvious: You get to decide who you want to be. You get to believe it. Or not.
For a long time I was looking to be saved. I wanted security. I wanted nothing to change and no one to leave. Sigh. I wanted what stays.
I used to feel like I was always losing and gaining weight, that I was a constant up and down, a monster, that I was literally unrecognizable from the day before (that bitchy and unreliable “Body Dysmorphia“.) I was obsessed with the idea that I was always changing. I couldn’t stand it. I wanted to stay the same and never ever change. I wanted to be safe.
So I look back at the old me without being too naive in realizing that it has been the same me all along. I learned whatever lessons I had to learn and am still learning, sometimes over and over again. If I let myself, I could easily slip into her skin. My skin.
But I ask you, why on earth would I want to? She may be ten or fifteen years younger but I am wiser and kinder. I now love myself deeply. Like my beloved wine, I have gotten better with age.
Guys, it’s like this. Sometimes you can see everything at once. Your whole future mapped out, veins raised and ready. This is the geometry of your life: blue, irreversible, ingrained. It’s like how your eyes adjust to things, how you can see part of the moon when it isn’t really there. It’s like that with your mind. Adjust to the belief that you are f#*king awesome. See everything at once. All your glory.
The moon’s fullness still faintly visible, a whisper in the ear of the hard arc that hangs like it’s missing something, a part of itself. Waiting out it’s own cycles.
Except you’re not missing anything of yourself, nor were you ever.
Go grab a camera and take a picture of your face.
Frame the photo.
Make a note to self that says: ” Dear Self, Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones.”