I’ve posted this quote before on Instagram (along with the artwork by the uber talented beautiful that is Jo Kilma). But these words have taken on a whole new meaning to me.
I’m not going to lie. The last few months have been a little tough.
Of course I am blessed and grateful that nothing completely heartbreaking has happened to me. But the last few months have taken me away from myself. And that has been hard.
I spent the best part of 2009-2015 trying to connect back to the woman I have always been. It was a delicious, soul-nourishing, emotional and exhausting time. I had to re-learn everything I thought I knew about myself. I had to let go of who I thought I was.
It took me a very long time to come home to the person I was born to be (I’ve written about it before here). Through years of torment, struggle and pure self-hatred. I had to work hard to find a smidgen of respect for myself, let alone a friendship or self-love. My ego ran the show. “I am not pretty enough.” “I am not skinny enough.” “I will always be fat.” “I am unloveable.” “I am such an idiot.” “I make stupid mistakes.” “I am worthless.”
These statements were my anthem, and I had that record on repeat.
But I did it. I worked hard. I turned those thoughts around. I found my way back home to me. And I finally loved the woman I was. Like really loved.
For several years, I maintained a very strong, healthy and loving relationship with myself. I had my own back. And I was able to live in harmony with my ego. I heard it, but never listened to it. She was there, but she no longer ran the show.
And then last year happened. A series of events, disappointments and hurt left me feeling “less than”. My ego took over. I listened to that voice in my head again. The voice that I wasn’t good enough. And I started to believe it.
I started my new job. I “got busy” (side note – I don’t like the glorification of the term busy). And with that ego voice getting louder, I started to mindlessly pull away from the practices that lit me up. I felt lost. I felt completely disconnected.
My blog went quiet. My journal gathered dust. My mediation practice was non-existent. Self-love had become a thing of the past. I pulled back from my purpose.
“You’re too fat to be working in an active wear store. Who do you think you are?”
New habits formed (or should I say, old habits returned)… I started to emotionally eat again.
I have been an emotional eater for as long as I could remember. Back in the day, it was a binge and purge situation. When I was able to move through bulimia in my 20s, (you can read about that here), I actually felt a huge weight lift (physically and metaphorically). Although while bulimia no longer controlled me – I still turned to food in times of emotional unbalance.
Food felt comfortable. It was a distraction. It allowed me to procrastinate and turn my attention away from the real issue (whatever that was at the time).
Now overeating hasn’t actually been an issue for me since my big self-love journey. Until the last few months. With self-love feeling neglected, the little girl inside me tried to avoid the issue the only way she knew how – through emotional eating.
I’m no longer a dirty chocolate, McDonald’s and ice-cream kind of girl. Instead I overeat. Too much dinner, too much of what my body doesn’t thrive on (bread, carbs and raw desserts). I eat when I’m full, and then I’ll eat a little more.
Months went by, we went overseas, exercise stopped, motivation dropped – and suddenly – I felt it.
“You are so fat again.” “What on earth have you done to yourself you disgusting person?” “You know how to be healthy, what the f*ck are you doing.” “You are an idiot”.
She’s so nice that ego of mine.
The difference between me now and me 10 years ago, is that I now have the tools to get myself through this.
Sure, I didn’t get it at first. And I wallowed. I felt sorry for myself. I sought comfort in food. I listened to my own BS. But that lasted months. Not years.
Feeling this way for months may sound like a really long time. But when you’ve spent over 20 YEARS feeling that way, a few months is nothing.
And the fact I’ve been able to pull myself out of this, means everything.
Now for the lessons. Because there is always a lesson. And I believe that it all happens for a reason. What has this taught me?
+ Never lose sight of who I am inside. The real me. The kind, compassionate, beautiful soul who seeks to leave a positive impact on the world.
+ Never let the opinions or judgements of other’s run the show. Their opinion doesn’t matter. I can’t control it. It’s nothing to do with me.
+ Never let the ego run the show either. Listen to it. Sit with the feelings, and respond with love.
+ Make my own spiritual practice a priority. Journal, meditate, exercise. The secret sauce to my own inner joy.
+ Make self-love a priority too. When those negative thoughts pop up, acknowledge them and choose again.
+ Listen to my body. Eat mindfully and with loving intention. Enjoy my food, and feel satisfied when I am full. My energy comes when I nourish my body with the food it thrives on (plus some incredible superfoods!).
+ Tune out the “noise”. I have for so long immersed myself in the world of growth, spirituality and personal development. I’ve soaked up so much information. But I never took time to sit with it all and see what actually works for me. Where does this information sit? Authentic, honest living all the way.
+ Accountability rocks! Thanks to snapchat, I have been able to record my daily workouts. I’m not sure how many people actually see it – but it feels good to put it out there and keep myself accountable. (On another quick note – I LOVE snapchat. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s fun. It’s beautiful. I thought it was all about teenagers sending random d*ck pics, but it’s actually the most lovely, inspiring, funny online space to be. It’s warts and all. And I freakin’ love it. Are you on there? I’m @ameliamw84 – and I share my daily workouts, snippets of my day, hilarious filters and random “in the moment” musings”).
For me, it’s important to remember that sometimes we fall down. That’s ok. It’s all part of how it is supposed to me. It’s what happens after we fall down that counts. Do we stay down, play the victim and let our ego run wild? Or do we get up, dust ourselves off, and when the dust settles – get back into it?
I feel like this has all happened exactly as it was supposed to. The BIG lesson. A lesson in practice. A lesson in self-love.
Because it is all one big practice. The practice never stops. Will I fall down again? Probably. But next time, the fall may only last days, instead of months. And each fall will feel less and less painful.
Finally, I want to share with you something I wrote in a blog post a few years ago. When I read these words this morning, my whole body felt alive, connected and intentional. JOY.
The message I want to spread is one of health, happiness, wellness and love. It’s a message that will be refined, and altered at times, but it will always be one that comes from my heart.
My goal is that I want people to live a happy and healthy life. To look after their bodies, to be proud of who they are, and to leave that angst and negativity behind.
And as I learn all those things myself, I will share them. Because this is just as much of a learning experience for me as it is for anyone else.
That is what it has always been about. And that is what I want to come back to. Creating, sharing, learning. Health, wellness, self-love, joy, abundance.
Back to my purpose. Back to me. Back to love.