I spent year in the church trusting in God, finding my way, trying to obey all the rules of the faith while seeking an authentic relationship with my maker. When I initiated my divorce, my conflicting world became more apparent. I wanted to have this unbelievable unwavering and perfect faith that others could commend and follow, but that’s not what it looked like. It looked real and ugly.
Following a set of rules has never brought me closer to God, in fact, it often took me further from him. The rules kept me from what the church kept telling me to do which was “let go and let God.” I never understood how to follow the rules and let go. I still don’t. I do however understand better than I ever have what it feels like to be stripped down of all the things I most covet.
In the last year I have lost my husband, significantly reduced the engagement I have with my son (almost as if he went off to college), lost a relationship with a close personal friend, my “framily” in San Diego have almost all moved away, lost some of my health, stopped sleeping, and my business has managed to just sustain but not thrive through the difficulties.
I used to see myself as superwoman, like my mom (my words not hers). I have a business, I am a part time single mom because my husband deploys, I am a loving and patient wife, I’m a fierce philanthropist, I plan gatherings with friends and framily, take my nieces on dates, I work out daily and eat well, and I still manage to get to church every Sunday with my son a part of the worship band. I defined myself by what I thought I was supposed to be.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the harshest of change, the most difficult of which is my declining health. The second is the impending inevitable departure of my Bestie. As I sat thinking about it and how to make this into a positive, I struggled. To remain present and not always be angry, and shutting everyone out is a struggle. Feeling like a victim is a deep hatred of mine only surpassed by acting like one. As I struggled with my beliefs about my character and personality in contrast to how I was handling it, I just let go. I thought, “I can’t eat this or drink this away. It’s too much, I could literally kill myself trying. I can’t pretend like it’s not happening because it is.” So I decided I was too tired to come up with anything, so surrender to it for now.
When I awoke the next morning, I was reeling through all the pain and fear. I couldn’t stay in my own head and didn’t have the capacity to meditate and stay in the moment so I tried to numb it or make sense of it by reading. I was reading Fearless by Arrianna Huffington and the chapter happened to be on fearlessness in God and death. I almost skipped it to be honest.
As I read in the quiet of the early morning, I was recounting my spiritual journey. I don’t have a fear of death and I think that’s partially because I lost people very close to me at very young ages well before I felt it should be their time. Everyone dies and we never know when, so I don’t spend time in fear of that, but I also don’t embrace that it has not yet happened and I still get to enjoy (or not) life.
Reading and recounting and evaluating my situation, my perspective of my current state changed. I have a choice to make:
1- I live in mourning of what is lost and fear of the VERY unknown future.
2- I look at this moment as the ultimate strip down I have been wanting and just BE.
Since my weight loss in 2011, I have been struggling to figure out who I am and what I want. When I realized how little weight loss does for confidence and self-image, I was at a loss and kept seeking outside sources to make that happen.
But the truth is in any given moment, we are who we were in our past. The series of actions and thoughts created us and if we want a future with new, we have to start here and now with new.
Although I would NEVER choose for my Bestie to leave my close proximity, maybe it’s what we need to grow and be better for each other. I won’t define myself by our relationship the way I do with her here, I can’t. Maybe if I can’t define myself by my “just work hard and it will be OK” body, then who am I? Not “what am I?”
These thoughts are a work in progress, but I know I long to be the person who doesn’t place my self worth in my body or my friends and family saying I’m enough (which by the way the always do and I still don’t believe it). I’m not there, people, but I long for it. Like a deep calling to be connected to something just waiting inside me. I’m guessing I need to just BE, but I can tell you this, that is a new skill I am going to have to work on.