We talked for quite awhile before the cameras started rolling. One of the things that interested her was the fact that I had come very close to giving up. She wanted to know what that meant, and what that looked like. In its most painfully acute moment, it was that wish that I could finally be done. I felt I had ruined everything and the hole I had dug for myself just felt too deep to ever get out of.
But on a daily basis, that hopelessness was much more chronic. It meant not having any energy because I wasn’t moving my body. It meant using way too much food and TV as a daily escape from feeling the pain and loneliness that was inside of me. It was escape into work or anything else that I could lose myself in. It was avoiding mirrors, or cameras, social events, or other opportunities to really put myself out there. I didn’t want anything that forced me to come face to face with me.
And I thought it was forever. I thought I was stuck with that. But that was a lie.
You can change! There was absolutely nothing keeping me in that dark place, except a very powerful (false) belief that I had screwed things up and I was no longer worthy of a joyful, meaningful life. I didn’t need a new job. I didn’t need a new husband. I didn’t need a new body. I didn’t need a new past. All I needed was to understand the truth; that I could change my life anytime I was ready. It was never too late.
So, in my desperation, I did. And as I did, I created what I like to call my daily practices. These are the things that keep me sane and rooted in the truth. My daily practices are never about being thinner, or weighing less. They are always about feeling better about myself, so I can live my life as it was intended; with purpose, and in service to others. My daily practices include everything from reading, writing, walking, lifting weights, chopping vegetables, stretching, deep breathing, listening to music, talking to people who share this journey, and praying. Yours will be different, but the important thing is that you have them and you do them.
My daily practices don’t guarantee a perfect life. I fall short and get off track like everyone else. What my daily practices provide is hope. They are my personal empowerment to make choices that honor my life. They are a reflection of my new set of core beliefs; beliefs which say there is always a second chance. We are all already good enough. And we all share this incredible journey to become who we really are.