The last several weeks have been pretty eye-opening for me. I’ve been on this journey of change and self-acceptance and forgiveness for a long time now, and I take pride in the fact that my blog readers have gotten the most honest representation of myself that I could ever hope to portray. I’ve been blatantly honest here, and I believe that it has been the key to my success so far. I cannot count the times that I was desperately anxious or worried about something only to feel completely free of it after I talked about it on this blog!
And I’m thrilled about that, but I’ve shoved some of my thoughts under the rug. I did not want to face them or think about them, and I certainly didn’t want to talk about them. But it’s time to start facing them so I can continue on this journey with a new sense of self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-love so bear with me as I spend the next several minutes shedding my self-inflicted armor in a personal attempt to reach a new level of freedom and self-confidence.
I’ve talked about my struggles with self-honesty and honesty in general on my blog several times in the last year, and I’ve made some pretty big strides in being honest and content with who I am right now. I’m proud of myself for losing the filter, for saying how I feel even when it’s uncomfortable and for being myself even though I’m not precisely sure who I want to be. But I still have a long way to go so over the last couple of weeks, I have forced myself to face some extraordinarily uncomfortable feelings and memories and even talked about them with my sister because she’s really the only one who can fully understand the root of those feelings and memories.
I’ve talked about some of these things on my blog. But I also want to talk about the unnecessary stress I used to place on myself so frequently by trying to hide things about my life that no one actually cared about because I feared judgment. What I’m learning is that we spend so much time obsessing over trivial things that often times, we forget to look at the big picture.
It is hard to admit that I was a lonely girl in my twenties who was wasting opportunities and had no idea what my life should be or what I really expected out of myself. I faked it for a long time even convincing myself that I was the happy person I described above. But I was not. Obviously, I was wrong to pretend be someone I was not. Yes, I’ve done that before – more than once, I’m afraid. In fact, it was practically a way of life for far too long, and it was not fun. It caused unnecessary anxiety and created feelings of loneliness even as I was surrounded by people who wanted to accept me.
I have been living humbly and apologetically for months. At various times, I have lamented mistakes and regrets, written blog posts about my desire to be a better person and the work I’m doing to create that change…But I am keenly aware, probably for the first time in my life, that my actions in the past do NOT make me a terrible person. They were wrong, and, of course I regret them. But those less-than-stellar moments, in addition to the great moments in my life have helped mold me into the person I am now. And dare I say I’m starting to like this person?
Now…I realize that I can’t expect forgiveness from every person I hurt as a result of my own selfish insecurities. There are people on this planet (thankfully not many) who would love to tell the world how awful I am – and people who are, perhaps, jealous of the attention I’ve received through my blog and the media. There are also strangers who do not believe that someone “as fat and ugly as me should be allowed to inhabit the planet” and have e-mailed me with the details of their horrible thoughts, but all of these people are missing the entire point.
The goal in writing this blog – the goal in my life, in general, is to be better today than I was yesterday. I say it all the time, but I am also living it. I am taking responsibility for myself and doing my best to evolve. This journey is a process filled with ups and downs, shameful secrets and epiphanies. For me, this journey – at this precise moment – is about figuring out how to love myself. It is not about who I was; it is about who I am, who I want to be and who I’m working to become. It is about making progress and getting to the root of the problems that allowed this girl – me – to weigh 400 pounds in the first place.
I am human. I’ve made mistakes, and it’s time to forgive myself. I’ve made this proclamation before, and I’ll keep making it until I feel completely free of those regrets. I may not have always deserved the life that I want, but I deserve it now because I’m working for it, and I’m the only one who can do it. And I’ll remind myself, as many times as I need to, that there are plenty of reasons to love myself. And those things deserve to take center stage in my head now.