***Linking up with MamaKat today: 2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: goals.***
A repost from February because I’m not doing very well with this goal and thought I (and maybe everyone) could use the reminder…
What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for ‘hope.’ If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it.’
— Linda Ellerbee
I know it’s almost February and I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve been pondering. I wanted to get in on the “word for the year” game but I really wanted to get it right. For me.
So I decided my word for 2014 was…free.
I had a revelation the other day. It was in therapy which is often the best place to have a soul-searching revelation, no? (P.S. for those of you who aren’t in therapy, these revelations almost never happen while you’re with your therapist. They happen at 2 a.m. and then you forget by the time you have your next session. Am I right?) I was really getting frustrated with myself because I just can’t get past this obsession with being very thin. It’s ridiculous because a.) I haven’t been very thin in a very long time so I’m not sure why I’m still hanging on to it b.) it’s not going to happen c.) it’s getting in the way of my enjoyment of life. Point c was good enough reason for me to demand that I figure out why on earth I have this obsession.
Then it hit me.
I want to be very thin because I associate being thin with being free. Free from counting calories, from working out, from standing in front of the mirror pinching fat and lifting up your butt and wondering how much better you’d look if your waist was just *this* much smaller.
Then it hit me again.
I was very thin for a very long time and I was anything but free. I was obsessed and miserable. So that couldn’t be it. My therapist asked me when was the last time I felt truly free of this obsession. I said probably Kindergarten. I am almost 38 years old and the last time I felt free from my obsessions about my body and my looks was when I was five. Does that depress the hell out of anyone else? It did me. But it was a real eye opener.
I don’t want to be very thin, I want to be free. I want to workout because I love to, eat healthy because it makes me feel good and be done with it. I want to enjoy pizza and ice cream with my kids once in a while. Be free.
I want to be free from my obsessions. If that means taking medicine that helps me, then I’m going to be free from the stigma that comes from taking “happy pills”. I need them, damn it, so there.
I want to be free from caring what others think of me, from the unrealistic expectations I put on myself and others, from the need to be perfect 100% of the time.
It’s a great comfort to be yourself, and a goal worth striving for, even though it may temporarily make life more difficult.
— Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal
You want to know something else that has been really healing for me and helped me on my path to being free? A song from Frozen. Let It Go. As silly as it sounds, that amazing song from a Disney movie really got to me.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Let it go, let it go!
Can’t hold it back anymore.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don’t care what they’re going to say.
It’s funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I am free!
I’m never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
Isn’t that perfect? No more perfect. No more queen of isolation. No more having to be the good girl. The past is in the past. I’m free!!!
I don’t want to be 40 years old and still obsessing over the size of my ass. I don’t want to be 50 years old spending an hour looking in the mirror trying to judge just how far my eyelids have started to droop. I don’t want to be 60 years old still feeling shackled to this perfect girl I felt I needed to be. I want to be free.
Will I still workout and try to keep my body healthy and in shape? Of course. Will I still eat healthy? You betcha. Will I still care about my appearance? Yes, Ma’am. The difference is I won’t obsess. I won’t let any of those things make me feel imprisoned. I won’t let it keep me from enjoying my wondrous life.
I want to be here. In the moment. Living and enjoying every single second of this amazing life.
One of the essential tasks for living a wise life is letting go. Letting go is the path to freedom. It is only by letting go of the hopes, the fears, the pain, the past, the stories that have a hold on us that we can quiet our mind and open our heart.
— Jack Kornfield
Oh, Tiffy. My wish for you in your freedom 🙂 is that you will look in the mirror and see what we have always seen….a beautiful girl (or grown up lady) that just happens to also be intelligent and kind, and somewhat annoyingly perfect in her attempts at whatever it is you are attempting. xoxo
Tiff, you are brave and kind and I love you. I hope you know that I am just as neurotic (and I bet others are, too–they just don’t admit it). You know you can call or write any time, right? We nervous ones need to stick together. xo
ps: you are stunning, inside and out. But it’s the inside that has the true grit.
I love this, Kitch. It is so true. The insides are what counts. I learn that more and more everyday.
I echo what Dana says, Tiffany. You are beautiful. Claim it. And be free, my friend. xoxo
This is amazing. It’s also a wonderful reminder that we all deserve to live our lives free from whatever it is we put upon ourselves.
Omg I know exactly what ur saying and I have to say when I hit 40 I chose to “Eat to live“ instead of “ Living to eat“ and I stopped obsessing about my weight and size. And for the last 5 years I have felt so much better. And you know I always stay within a few pounds. I hardly weigh myself. And for some reason people think I have lost weight and I haven’t.
Once again I am floored by your writing, honesty, and strength! I needed to read this. I also LOVE that song, but hadn’t really heard all the words until I saw it written. Thanks again! Love you!
LOVED this post!!! Also LOVE “Let it Go” from Frozen 🙂
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so many can relate to this. I was obliviously unaware of any body issues until I got to college…and then I became a little more obsessive. I try to keep it far from my brain because I know how miserable it can make me too. So what’s the update? Have you made any progress to the freedom we all desire??
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