As I was going through it, I found photo albums, report cards, ACT scores, journals, my GED, college degrees, mementos from my parents, school assignments, poetry I wrote, awards, and lots more. It was fun and difficult and amazing to go through it all.
What really struck me was, I'd been trying my whole life to feel OK about who I was.
Why didn't I know I was OK? Why don't we know we are OK?
I found a journal with just a few entries in it. There were a lot of starts and stops back then, it was such a struggle to find consistency in any of my self care. One of the entries said this.
"Important Days to Celebrate:
January 28, 1999 Quit Smoking
April 28, 1999 Won Best Speaker Award at Toastmasters for First Speech"
Looking back almost twenty years later, I am going to completely agree with the fact that these are very important days to celebrate. There is no way I knew where any of those choices would lead me, but they were turns OFF the road I was on, onto a NEW path, and therefore they are extraordinarily significant.
They were so hard to do. They were terrifying. But they were important and life-changing.
"4-28-99 Congratulations on conquering one of your biggest fears - public speaking! I won the best speaker award at Toastmasters today for my first speech. And it was about my life I even had the courage to talk about dad, mom, school, etc. It was awesome. It has been three months today since I quit smoking. Doing great. I am going to focus month four on getting some self discipline. I am struggling a little bit to find and work on one priority: working out, food, sleeping habit, etc. I can do it. Even though it's hard I know for the rest of my life if I quit smoking and gave my first speech in the same year, I can do anything. You can do it."
Wow, do I love that 34-year-old seeker.
In the same journal, I have an entry from November 13, 2001.
"Arrived at Red Mountain Resort today [first time I ever went there]. Incredible. I am overwhelmed by the beauty and the attentiveness to the spirit here. I just made my dream schedule for the week, which includes three hikes (or 4?), biking, yoga and massage. This is fabulous. I am fighting a headache from the travelling, convinced it is the toxic things I eat, drink and breathe. And say. And feel. I am going to leave here without some things. It is time to free myself from them. Anger, judgment, fear and take freedom and peace home in my soul. The mountains and the desert sky will teach me all I need to know. Here I go!"
Here I go.
Oh, sweet 36-year-old Sue I am so grateful you kept searching and trying new things. I have now been to Red Mountain Resort 16 or 17 times! I learned to hike at Zion and Bryce, which led me to the Grand Canyon, and who knows where that is leading me.
What I do know is I am on the right path now. Not because I go hiking out west, but because I learned to honor who I was. I learned to let the mountains and the desert sky teach me who I was and what I needed to do next. But mostly I learned that I had always been OK just the way I was. Flawed, scared, lost, brave, talented, creative, introspective, sensitive, rebellious.
We are OK.
We have always been OK.
We have ALWAYS been OK.
Sometimes it takes looking through the Life Box to remember that.