If you're a blog reader that peruses posts looking for pictures that catch your attention of yummy foods and crafty goodness, you won't find that here today.
If you've known me at all- especially in the last 4 years- please stick around. This is a post that means a lot to me. It's been a long time coming and I'm proud to be able to share this.
I was so excited yesterday to celebrate my guys birthday with him. If I don't say it enough, he's amazing and such a blessing in my life. I pinch myself on a regular basis because I just can't believe I got this lucky.
We got to talking about how crazy it was that since we first started "talking", as they say, just 3 years ago, this was the 4th birthday of his we were getting to share.
That also means though that it's been over 3 years since I went through one of the most challenging, life changing transitions I've ever faced. The specifics of what led to my growth aren't the point of this story.
The growth I made is the story.
Just over 3 years ago I felt so lost. In some strange thing I suppose I would call luck, a friend going through some similar issues told me I should read Eat, Pray, Love. This was soon before the movie came out and I didn't know if I would like it because of all the hype surrounding it. But- I read it anyway.
While I read it, I wrote down every quote that spoke to me. To be honest, it more than spoke, a lot of it slapped me across the face. I just came across the document where I wrote down these notes this morning and that's what compelled me to share my story with you today.
"I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life- so why did I feel like none of it resembled me?"
There it was.
Someone else had written it but that was it. That was me and that was what I saw.
To say I cried a lot while reading this book is an understatement. It was cathartic. Yup, it's just a book. It's just one woman's story. But it was a story I needed to be reading right at that moment.
Then I got to the part of the book about letting go... I wasn't able to truly listen to this quote for a very long time. But every time I come across it again, I take a deep breath and let go even more...
"Instructions for freedom
1. Life's metaphors are God's instructions.
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is God's response. Let go, and watch the stars come out- on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive him, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of day turn into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy."
I still cry when I get to the end of that list. I think anyone can relate to having been in a place in life that weighed so heavily on you that you needed help to let go. This was my help. Reading this book catapulted me forward from a road block I had been fighting far longer than I was willing to admit.
So after letting go, I wrote down this next quote. It wasn't until I reread it this morning that I beamed with pride at the thought-
"My thoughts turn to something I read once, something Zen Buddhists believe. They say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. Obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well- the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the Zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it's born.
"I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself. I think of everything I endured before getting here and wonder if it was me... who pulled the other, younger, more confused and more struggling me forward during all those hard years... Who was saying the whole time- "yes- Grow! Change! Evolve! Come and meet me here, where I already exist in wholeness and maturity! I need you to grow into me!"
I could not have worded any part of that more perfectly myself.
I couldn't have known when I first read this book just over 3 years ago that the passage I was writing down would be a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I needed to believe at that time that I could become the woman I like to think I am now.
The woman I know I am now.
I'm proud of the strong and independent woman I've grown into and my journey here has been my own though parts of it I wouldn't wish for anyone.
When you all see me now, living my life and getting healthy, and you ask me how I'm doing?
I'm doing wonderfully.
I've made myself very proud in the last few years and I'm still growing into the woman I know I can be. One day at a time.
Hard to believe one simple little book can do so much...