Growing older and experiencing the highs and lows of life has taught me a lot. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned in 2017 is that there is SO MUCH I don’t know. I truly believe we spend our entire lives learning. There are lessons to learn from every person and experience in our life if we are open to them.
That being said, I have a few things I’ve learned to share with you.
I have very little control over things I used to believe I could control. How other people feel about me, how other people treat me, my health, the future, and the natural size of my body are all things I used to think I could control.
Not only that, but I believed it was my JOB to control them.
The single best thing I’ve learned
When I let go of control over those things my life, experiences, and heart actually opens up wider. Sometimes it feels sort of like I have been holding my breath my entire life, opening my mouth up periodically to take gasps of air, but never truly allowing myself to take a deep, long, relaxed breath.
Letting go of trying to control outcomes, my body, how others think about me has been the single best thing I have ever done in my life.
..and the second best
I’ll never be done with the second lesson. I absolutely believe in full recovery from an eating disorder and it is my primary goal for 2018.
However, I think I finally realize that even when I reach that goal, I will still have work to do. For the rest of my life.
The process of staying present, letting go of control, focusing on gratitude and connecting with others is not a destination I will reach one day and be finished. It is my life work.
There is always something to be grateful for. The fact that I’m alive and breathing and am able to connect with others means there is so much to be grateful for. While there is so much I can’t control – the most important thing I CAN control is my choice to focus on gratitude and positive aspects of life.
There will be ups and downs.
Right along with letting go of control comes the idea of letting go of perfection. Because not only does it not exist, but the pursuit of it only causes pain and heart ache.
There are so many different paths people take towards living their best life. What is best for me is not necessarily best for everyone. But when I embrace a compassionate mindset towards others and towards myself, I can appreciate differences.
Comparing my path to someone else’s is not helpful – nor does it even make sense.
The more I focus on my own path while being open to the paths of others, the more deeply I can breath and the more I can live to my highest potential.
Life is scary. And hard. Yet beautiful. And glorious.
Every single person on this earth experiences loss, pain, struggle, and hardship. While our paths and our journeys are unique, we are all fighting our own battles.