Once I claimed my I Don't Matter baggage, I wanted to be healed. For good. But I didn't understand healing, so I was going about it wrong. I was thinking about it in terms of yes or no. I am either healed or I am still broken and struggling. For you math folks, binary code - either 1 or 0. And since I believed I was either healed or broken, any time I fell back to my old ways, I thought I was failing. I screw up too often. Never good enough.
But healing is a practice.
I wish I could tell you it is a permanent state of being. I would love to be rooted in my healing all day long. Showing up as my best self, my healed self, is my intention. But I am human, so I fall short time and time again. And when I don't show up as my healed self, I show up as my wounded self.
My wounded self is just the worst decision maker ever! Especially when it comes to loving and taking care of myself.
I can tell when I have been triggered down to my I Don't Matter. I quickly abandon healthy choices. I skip workouts. I eat crap and I really don't care. I go for instant gratification and forget all about my long term goals. I don't matter, so why should my goals and dreams, or my health and fitness.
Then I remember that I don't want to live this way, and there is another way of being that I've experienced. That is: life as my best self, rooted in my healing. It is this moment I practice again and again; calling on the Spirit to lift me up and out of the dark, back into the light.
And it happens, every time.
The problem is, I don't always call on the Spirit. I start relying on myself and my own strength. That is when I take control! I get out all the old behavior controls. In my marriage, it was controlling behavior such as nagging, criticizing, anger and blaming. In my self-care, it is the scale, calorie control, deprivation, diets, self-judgment, etc.
Anyone who has lost a lot of weight and then desperately watched it all come back, plus some, knows this pain. Self-control is not the answer. More self-discipline is not the answer. Willpower is not the answer. These are good things, but they cannot heal us.
There is another way.
That's what I tell myself. Surrender control, and get back to your healed, whole self. That's where good choices come from.
People ask me all the time why they sabotage themselves. This is it, right here. This is the key. Who are you when you are making your current choice? It is a present moment question. Right now, this moment, who are you? Another way to say that is, are you rooted in your wounds and fears? Or are you rooted in truth and healing?
Grief is a wonderful example of this. You don't wake up one day, look around, and proclaim you are healed. But as you feel and work through your grief, the good days start to outnumber the bad days. You learn to identify your triggers. And you learn to find peace in the present moment.
Your life will change dramatically when you decide that your wounds are part of your story, but you do not have to live rooted in them and identifying yourself by them. You can be lifted out of that darkness and spend your life in the light. And when you do fall, it doesn't feel like the terrifying, endless pit that it used to. Just another opportunity to practice calling on God to bring you back to the light, back to loving yourself, and back to the person you were born to be.
"Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.