I woke up this morning mad at myself because I couldn’t get myself to wake up earlier to go to the gym. I haven’t gone for the past 4 days and it made me feel awful about myself. Like I was a bad person. Like I was lazy, undisciplined, and unworthy for the world. I went into this whole spew of self criticism in my head as I laid in bed, seeking the temporary solace of my warm blanket. These thoughts felt like suffocation, a familiar feeling creeping up from my past. I thought I was done with this feeling. Every time I get this way, I always tell myself: “Okay, Gretchen, this is it. I won’t let myself feel this way anymore. I won’t feel guilty about the things I’ve done anymore.” Then I make some sort of action plan to go to the gym for the next few days and eat “healthy”. But then I wake up the next day and I still can’t get myself to do it, and then it cycles all over again and I am met again with this suffocating feeling. I kept praying the same prayer over and over and over all morning—”Please make it stop. Please help me let go of this old story. Please help me stop.” Every time I would start to feel better, I would be reminded somehow of how much I suck as a person, and I would start to feel awful again.
But eventually, it reached a breaking point. Negativity and lovelessness can only last for so long in the presence of an honest prayer. I remembered something I had heard this past week—someone was talking about how easy it is to gloss over our own progress. She compared it to when you’re on a cruise ship and it hasn’t started moving yet, so you go and do something else. And after awhile, you remember to look out the window, and you find that you can’t see land anymore. It’s all just ocean everywhere you turn. You have gone so far and you haven’t even realized it.
Here’s a snap shot of my life one year ago….
- My disordered eating was at its worst
- I still had body image issues
- I was breaking out in acne and my self esteem was suffering from it
- I was experiencing the hardest semester of school and was filled with stress and anxiety
- I had a UTI that would not go away with antibiotics
- I wasn’t focused on my relationships with others and felt completely alone
- I had a month where I felt so depressed that I couldn’t even get myself to watch TV or participate in any enjoyable activities
- I hated school and doubted every single moment of me being there. I didn’t know if being a nurse was worth it to me.
Looking back, I’ve seen how much my life has changed and how much progress I’ve made. Like the cruise ship analogy, I can’t see land anymore.
Here’s a snap shot of my life now….
- I’ll be graduating from nursing school in May
- I feel so excited to be a nurse and feel connected to this career
- My skin cleared up
- I got back into writing again and started a blog
- I feel motivated to focus on my relationships and connections with others
- Food binging is completely gone
- I’ve established normal eating patterns
- I’ve found multiple forms of exercising I genuinely enjoy
And the most important part of all this is not the pleasant circumstances I have in my life now, but how more alive and connected I feel within myself and the world around me.
And when I realized this, I recognized that this is transformation. This is what I’ve always wanted. And it’s been happening right before my eyes.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we can’t do right now. It’s easy to focus on our weaknesses and what we constantly fail at.
But what we don’t realize is that we are like that moving cruise ship—we are constantly moving miles and miles away from our starting point. We are making progress everyday, even if it doesn’t come in the form of what we expect—like going to the gym successfully and consistently. But we must have faith that wherever we’re heading towards is absolutely amazing. That right now, where we are is already amazing in itself. And that there are no real failures here. There is no reason to criticize yourself or make yourself feel guilty about what you can’t do today. You must belief that in time, you’ll be exactly where you’ll need to be, and your place right now is already perfect.
I’ve heard of this idea that we tend to overestimate what we can do in a week. But we also tend to underestimate what we can achieve in a year. And this is something to always remember when you feel like you’re not progressing fast enough or you’re constantly failing at the high expectations you set for yourself.
This is transformation. This is the slow moving, yet steady and savory journey of real transformation. Transformation isn’t something that happens over night. It is the natural result of constantly moving forward, learning the lessons we’re given today, and knowing that where we are right now is exactly where we need to be. Ultimately, transformation isn’t our responsibility. The Universe, God, Intuition—whatever you believe in, will handle all that. Despite our repeated failures or setbacks, our most important job is to continue to watch our growth and appreciate how far we’ve come.
Kisses and Meows,