I figured out something and I am excited about it. I am also a little sad. So many years wasted not having a firm grip on this one thing. Anyways. Can't go back.
So. Where to begin? I was thinking about my own identity and what I anchor my identity in. I think we all do it. Like- "I am super clean person. People know I am super clean and that makes me feel good." Or, "I am service super woman. I can spot a need a mile away and I can always find a way to fill that need." Or, "I am patient-know-my-kids-always-have-enough-energy-to-play-an-educational-game-mom. Everyone knows this about my identity and I connect to others who have this same super power." or, "I am holistic mom. I cook all of our food, we shall never touch our lips with processed anything and we have no need to see a doctor because of my endless knowledge of herbs and essential oils. I connect and have friendships with other moms like me." Or, "I am skinny mom. I not only work out and eat healthy, I teach others how to do so three times a day during my ballet-pilates class! I am so so fit and I connect with people who are like me." Or my personal favorite, "I am spiritual mom! I wake an hour before my hour workout which is an hour before my kids wake up (did you follow that? did I?) and I read my scriptures. Then I meditate and write in a journal. I am always ready with spiritual wells of spirituality because of this. People who know this about me and if they still want to be my friend are probably this way too. How joyful and spiritual"
Over the past few years, the reason I think my world was so rocked by getting sick was because I was anchoring my identity in all of these things. These things were who I was trying to project and be. I thought that the reason my friends were friends with me and thought I was a valuable person was because of these things. I thought they were what made me a good person. I thought they were what made me a respectable person. I thought it was why people would hang out with me. I thought it was why my kids loved me. I thought it was what made my husband value me. It was what brought me inner peace. All of these things were where I anchored my identity.
Well shoot people. I got sick and didn't do any of those things well for like three years.
Oh I would try. But I would sort of half-way suck half of the time. Oh the shame I would feel. Oh the way I couldn't look into peoples eyes any more because I yelled, (yelled!) at my kids instead of calmly explaining with an educational game and possibly a primary song based family home evening. Oh how I cringed to be seen (SEEN!) after gaining around 30-ish pounds and not teaching a single pilates-ballet class attended by 30 people. And I remember lots and lots of frozen pizza. (Holistic mom shudder). I would see a need and just sort of sleep all day. I had nary a spiritual thought provoking study time. How could I go out and let people see me like this? I was a bad, bad, person and sometimes I even swore. I didn't want anyone to see me like this. No one would love me anymore for certain. My anchor ropes were all cut and I didn't know who I was and I certainly didn't think anyone else would care for who I was.
Is that a dramatic enough explanation?
Yes? Let's move on then.
I have posted many posts and if you have read them perhaps you can see that I have slowly been moving beyond these stupid as hell anchors and I am finding wells of personal identity in things more stable. Yay me. I was seriously hanging on to a few cut ropes very lovingly with my chapped and sore hands though.
So I called a friend and had a frank discussion about what I felt I was anchoring my identity in and how dumb it was that I didn't want anyone to see me anymore because I couldn't stop feeling ashamed that I wasn't all of the things named above.
And then I had the thought of all thoughts people. And it has brought me so much darn peace. My gorgeous friend said,
"You know what? It comes down to this. We all know inside ourselves what is best for us."
And then I said,
"Yes. It comes down to integrity, really. If we have integrity, we are going to do what is right for us, no matter how it looks to other people, no matter if we are judged harshly for it, no matter if we lose friends. And the friends we will have will stay because they are attracted to our strength of integrity. They respect that we will always to what is right for us no matter what it may look like to other people. They will respect that what is right for us is subject to change. On a daily basis. We must take care of ourselves."
And that, my friends, is what I figured out. We each do what we feel is right for us, and what is right for us is so damn fluid. If I anchor myself on what is right at the time, I will feel so bad when what is right changes. But if I anchor myself on the fact that I am proud that I am doing what is right for me today, I will always be able to look you straight in the eye. No matter that we have different things that are right for us. No matter. I won't judge you for knowing and doing what is right for you. And we will only be friends if you know the same thing about me.
The world is a beautiful place my friends. Have peace that deep down you know what you need for you. Strive to do that and have peace.
I love all those "moms" I described up there. I also love what I can be day today. I am proud. I have peace. For now. Until the next post and I tell you about another tumultuous time in my life and what thought I had that brought me peace:).