“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
I share this because I know I’m not the only one going through this, I’m a real person sharing real thoughts and stories, the same as you. I’ve been up since 3am thinking, and writing, to share with you.
I’m often led by my heart, not my head, but I think that’s what makes me so authentic, and why people appreciate me.
A year ago, I hate to admit – I was sitting in a constant state of anxiety. I knew something had to change – I was working a job that I genuinely loved, but in a toxic environment. I was met everyday with feeling unworthy, unappreciated, and made to feel extremely small. Everyday I would wake up dreading getting ready to go to work. For a long time, it was the people around me who made it such an exciting and fulfilling place, but the behavior of an awful boss made me feel worthless.
I mentioned it in my last blog – making that decision to leave was a tough one, and I lost so many friendships; but I would do it again in a heartbeat (I can say that now).
When you’re making the decision whether to stay or go in any type of relationship – what tells us now is the same? What tells us we’re worth more or that the bad outweighs the good?
Change is messy. Change is difficult.
2023 proved to be a year of tremendous growth for me personally. While I was wavering on my direction, I tapped into some major “stuff” that’s been holding me back for a long time. When I began this journey, nearly a decade ago, I never thought I’d still be digging at this point.
Even through all the smiles, special times, memories being made, at the end of the day, I do long for a hug from the person who’s got my back. My person.
I have shared a lot of truths in this blog, and some personal confessions have occurred (and keep occurring).
When it comes to a partner, I know what I want. I know what it looks like. In my mind, I don’t lose myself in the relationship. Just two souls building a solid foundation of love and support.
True confession: I have been in love with the same man, for five years. Some of those years we were together, and others, he was my best friend, and still others, we did not speak.
Our relationship ended earlier this year, and months have passed, and I still think of him every single day. I have never stopped loving him, and like a gravitational pull, I do not know if it is because of our history, comfortability, or none of the above, I am still in love with him.
I am doing all the things I am supposed to do. I am filling my own cup, “keeping busy”, working on myself, being present with my kiddos, reading, learning, and growing. Letting go is so hard. I have hope that one day, my person will step forward and meet me somewhere in the middle. That the love he said he had for me for so long, will outweigh the insecurity and he will show up and fight for what he wants.
I needed the space that I created, but I also hate it. We both needed to grow, but I miss him more than I can even comprehend. It felt so good to be loved. He would tell me how amazing I am and listen with intent – and now I rely on only myself for those things.
It is easy to hit share on an inspirational quote and move on with your day; it is hard digging to the core of your soul and unravel the parts of you that you know need mending – AND take action to correct those thoughts, behaviors, and mindset.
It is easy for someone “not in it” to tell you to “get over it” or “focus on yourself” – they aren’t feeling all the feelings you’re feeling in that moment. While I KNOW in my heart that we both needed space, it absolutely kills me not to talk to him. To be going through all these things this year, without him.
While I KNOW objectively, I deserve someone that puts in the same amount of effort, time, and love…that I do; I just wanted that someone to be him. My love for him is immense.
Change is messy, it is not wrapped up in two hours like a movie. Grieving/walking step by step through the process can and should take as long as you need it to. We are healing. We are becoming better people. One day at a time.
This part is SO uncomfortable, instead of fighting the letting go – I work at it every day. Theres a lot of deep breaths and tears, every day. Each thought is a toss-up between second guessing I made the right move, to praying he’ll show up, and then finally – practicing letting go of control, and trusting that whatever is meant for me, will find me in its own time. It does not make the missing him go away. Talk about an inner struggle.
As we enter 2024, I am approaching my own goal setting totally different than the way I used to. I used to always set my goals based on fixing something – a behavior or chasing a goal…rather than attracting it.
This year, I am going deeper into “knowing” myself. We are what we attract, right? So, what if instead of chasing after what it is I want to achieve, I am letting go of anything that isn’t in alignment with what that goal is. I’m giving myself grace, listening to my body, my thoughts, my feelings, and everything I desire.
I’ve been putting a lot of these thoughts into motion over the last few months. I’m not re-inventing myself – I am loving myself more deeply, I am listening with an open heart and mind, and learning how to honor and respect myself and my physical body.
What does self-love really mean, anyway?
“You can’t get the body you love, by hating it. You get the body you love, by loving it.” – Mel Wells
Learning to practice the art of loving yourself and your body, but you’re saying – “Laura how can I love my body and still be trying to change it? Can’t I lose weight first and then love myself?”
Love and respect your body enough to make your body feel amazing. Learn to accept and love yourself EXACTLY as you are.
Work together with your body – not against it. You know what makes you feel good, and what doesn’t.
When we respect our body, and treat it like our best friend, you will begin nourishing her (or him) – feeding her whole fresh foods, moving it more, and dressing it up. You deserve that.
Would you talk to your daughter or best friend the way you talk to yourself about your own body? Of course, not – we need to treat ourselves just as we would treat the people we love.
Change the script in your head. Be kind.
It is not about the clothes you wear, it’s how comfortable you feel in the skin you’re in
I have spent the last eight weeks collaborating with my own coach, navigating through my lifelong tumultuous relationship with food. I have been focused on nourishing my body instead of shaming myself or feeling guilty for eating (because that is a thing for me).
I put my scale away and instead, focus on the way certain foods make me feel, not eating my emotions, and focusing on the foods that make me feel good. Afterall, if we are filling ourselves with junk, we’re going to feel like junk.
I started moving my body with intention and have restarted my daily meditation practice. That alone has changed so much for me. I had been caught in a busy circle of “trying” and slowing down these last few months, and only taking in what is in alignment with what I desire (conversations included) – has given me so much abundance already.
Unending love, and unending openness is the heart of possibility. I have no control of the outcome. Letting go of the expectation of love – just continuing to love myself deeply. To live in love as it feeds and strengthens me. Just keep letting go. Just keep living in abundant love.
My 2024 wish for you – is to work on the most important relationship you have – the one you have with yourself. Let the love you have for yourself be greater than the turmoil you may be facing every day.
Every year – especially the one right in front of you, can be the most important year of your life. The one where you become the absolute best version of yourself. Do not talk yourself out of being ready – because as with anything, we must work for it, we will meet ourselves with much resistance – you must know you are strong and capable of change. Growth cannot happen without a little (or a lot) of resistance.
Thinking of you and sending you so much love!
“Pick the path that lights you up
The one you know deep down is the right choice
Stop listening to doubt
Start connecting with courage
Do not let the idea of normal get in the way
It may not be the easy path
But you know great things take effort
Lean into your determination
Lean into your mission
Lean into the real you.”