Monday, November 25, 2019

I Love Me, I Am Enough, And That's Always Enough.

The heart is a muscle, just like any other. And the best exercise you can do for it is called picking yourself up off the floor 

Every time a loved one has to go away, I'm left to flex that muscle that aches when I miss them. Just like any other muscle that can rip and tear and grow back stronger. I imagine it growing stronger when they leave, so that it hurts less the next time. Each time they go, my heart aches a bit less, my stomach doesn't flip flop so much, and the tears slowly diminish. But, as I dry the tears from my misty eyes, I am grateful to have loved so much that it makes goodbyes feel so hard. I'm grateful for how far I've come to get here. To let love in, in the first place.

I first discovered a similar feeling at sixteen. It yearned for attention and approval. My first boyfriend. Teenage romance. It was puppy love, always wanting to be together, but not really knowing what love was yet. When that relationship ultimately ended, as most young loves do, it transformed into a self-love struggle. When your heart breaks for the first time as a teenager, and you experience new things like rumours swirling, mean girls scheming... finding a safe place to put your heart is a challenge. You feel a little more skeptical of who you can trust. You wonder if your past experiences will manifest again in the future. You learn how to play the games. This is just the beginning.

It took many years of playing the games for me to realize that what I was doing was looking for my self-worth in something other than my authentic self. I looked for my self-worth in who I was connected to, where I lived, or what I did for a living. This was the hardest discovery of them all. I relapsed many times... into bad relationships, unhealthy habits, negative thinking, attachment to outcome. A desperate need for connection, attention, progress, from relationships or work. I was so focused on what I looked like to the outside world based on who and what I had, that I didn't give myself the opportunity to look into my own heart to find what would truly feed my spirit.

Sometimes the walls you've put up, the shell you've contained yourself in, the barriers you hide behind... need to crack. As Leonard Cohen would say: that's how the light gets in. The harder you try to hide, the more walls you try to put up; it creates pressure that eventually has to come down. Whether it comes down gracefully when you choose to let go, or with a big crash when you can't take the weight anymore. The light gets in. What's ahead is foggy but there's a light shining on the pieces you need to pick up. You can choose if you do the hard soul-aching work to pick them up or if you want to step on the broken glass. You decide which pain you prefer to endure.

Before now, that muscle was based on attachment to others. If the guy called: I am worthy. If I got the job/opportunity: I am important. I was always missing the parts of myself I was not self aware enough to see. The aches I felt when relationships or opportunities didn't work out was because I was missing the part of me that says "I love me, I am enough, and that's always enough"

I realized my mental and emotional wellbeing requires just as much effort as the effort to keep our physical body healthy. We do our best to eat balanced meals, sleep well, and exercise regularly. We can see the physical progress in our body as it becomes stronger and more energetic. What do you need to do for your mental and emotional well being?

For me... it's writing. Journalling. This is my me-time. When I was lost and going through this self-love, self discovery phase I found this journalling book that helped my soul to open up. I'm starting the 40 day challenge again and will write about it through my next phase of life challenges. Self-discovery is the scariest but also most intriguing experiences to go through. You dig up things you forgot about. You unpack baggage you didn't realize you had. My physical body fought me on it (read about that here). I was on bed-rest for a while as my body reacted to the emotional struggles I faced. Carrying on in a sinking ship is not bravery. Pick up the pieces or step on them. Either way it's going to hurt. It's never easy but always worth it.

Round 2 of opening up my soul: here we go.

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