Two quotes have found their way into my existence in the past 24 hours. They carry the same message. So instead of me writing about me, I’ll share these with you. These two quotes embody the essence of what I’m trying to accomplish. I don’t want to settle for mediocrity. But I also realize that my life is my life. Instead of trying to fight the body or life or trials I’ve been given, I want to embrace them and learn from them and be grateful for what I have. I want to LOVE ME, no matter what. I feel that these quotes say it better than I can. Enjoy.
And from Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating:
“There are people you meet everyday, your friends, your loved ones: they’re here, they’re walking around. But they haven’t fully agreed to be here. Meaning: “Ugh, I don’t really like this life; Ugh, I hate this body; Ugh, I wish I was a man/woman, I wish I was taller/shorter, I wish I was richer. I hate dogs. I hate cats. I hate war. I don’t like Republicans/Democrats; I don’t like Jews/Christians/Muslims”…whatever it is…we find ways to sour our life. Now, truth is LIFE IS HARD. It’s hard to be a human on planet Earth. It really is, it’s not easy. But we don’t fully agree to the whole mess, because it is messy being alive. You get sick, you get disease, you gain weight, you don’t know what to eat. You lose your money, lose your house, your friends leave you, you get betrayed. War happens, stealing happens. It’s hard. And we often find ways to “check out” of life, so we’re walking around but we’re not fully here. “I haven’t agreed that this is my body. I haven’t agreed that these are my parents.” You might be 50 years old and have lived 50 years of your life and you still don’t like your parents or this journey that you’ve been on. Look, I’m not saying it isn’t hard. I’m also not saying that there’s a lot of pieces we’d rather erase and have it done differently. The point is, our life is our life. At some point we have to AGREE that “this was my life.” You don’t have to agree to love it. But there’s a level of acceptance that allows us to be here and to be here fully. If we don’t fully agree to be here, then we’re not fully invested in taking care of ourselves. “Why should I exercise, why should I be in my body, why should I look inside myself at the broken pieces and try to make it better? Eh, it’s too hard so I’ll just settle to “get by.” And it’s because we haven’t embraced what Earth life really is….and therefore people are just apathetic.”
Welcome to a journey of joy. A journey of mindfulness. A journey that I’ve run like a hamster on a wheel just to realize I was in the wrong cage. For years I’ve looked at what was wrong with me, what needed to be fixed. And yet, here I am…still broken. Still yearning for better days. Still expecting to wake up one morning to the surprise that the old me has returned and this version of myself has gone out the door and let it hit her on her way. That, however, begs the question: Who is the old me? Was that really me at all? Do I still want to be her?
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If that is true, then I most definitely am that. Because let me tell you…what I’ve been doing up to this point clearly is not working, and things need to change. I will tell you, however, that “insanity” has also brought something that I never could have acquired on my own. A realization that I’m not a completely different person than I once was in the “innocence” of my youth or even five years ago. It’s just the obstacles coming out of me…an opportunity to let the real me out of her shell like Debbie Reynolds bursting out of that cake in Singin’ in the Rain. (If you have not seen that movie, please stop what you are doing and go watch it right now. Really. Right now.) What if I started with a blank canvas? Who would I be? What would I do? What would I wear? While some of these questions may seem trivial and unnecessary to some, I’ve spent most of my life not really knowing the answers. What I have done, over the past thirty years or so, is become quite good at hiding. When I was young I might hide behind the chair, behind my mother’s leg. I hid with horrendous haircuts or the inability to stay the night at most houses that weren’t mine. As I’ve grown older I’ve chosen different forms of hiding: frumpy clothes, way too much weight, unrequited love….I sometimes even hide by using humor. I had a friend point that out to me one night several years ago. I can’t remember the conversation, but I remember her saying “You use humor as a defense mechanism you know” all nonchalant-like. No, I didn’t know…until all of a sudden I did. It’s true what they say: You don’t know what you don’t know. I had a roommate in Salt Lake who randomly asked “When are you going to stop hiding from yourself?” I was standing in the kitchen, suddenly struck dumb and immovable as I ran that question over and over in my head. Well guess what, I really don’t want to hide anymore. I’ve said it before but I mean it this time, enough to do something about it. So let’s get to work shall we?
ReJubilance is my project of discovering just who I am by finding my joy. Jubilation is a much more fun way of saying joy, isn’t it? And that’s what I want…fun, child-like joyfulness. I want to find it in the small details of my day. I want to find it in big, triumphant breakthroughs that shake me to the core and help me reclaim my life-force energy. I want to find it in the stories of others. People who have stared into the eyes of very tough demons and come out a victor. This is my joy school people, and I’d like you to come along for the lessons.