I say this often but not often enough: Kayla Danelle, thank you, friend! Thank you for posting this picture of your lunch because it changed my life:
I’ve always loved New Year’s. To be honest, sometimes my ideas are too big, my plans too complicated. I doubt I’m alone when I say that by December, I’m ragged, sorely disappointed and hell-bent to be better next year. On New Year’s Eve, I gorge myself on crap with the intent to be better tomorrow and inevitably, I fail. So then I say, “Well, I’ll start again next Monday” because who starts anything on a Tuesday? No, I don’t use the time I have; I just gamble time away. And I resolve to be less; less fat, less messy, less of a disappointment to myself.
Not anymore. In 2012, I made myself less and less until I ended up stuck in bed for three weeks, eating applesauce and pureed bananas until a surgeon found time to cut an organ out of me. I apologized too much for my limits and pushed them until my body broke under the strain.
I’m sorry I couldn’t call you back right away…
I’m sorry I missed your email…
I’m sorry I have to bother you, but, could you check on my paycheck…again…
I’m sorry I didn’t get to fold the laundry while my toddler was scaling the walls…
I’m sorry I didn’t have the extra money to send Christmas cards…
I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. I’m doing my best.
That last one was repeated back to me by my toddler. We were driving and she was mad because she dropped her toy. I couldn’t turn around to pick it up safely so I said to her, in utter desperation, “Sis! I’m sorry, I’m doing my best!” and she said it back. Over and over.
I sorry. I sorry. I sorry!
I won’t teach my daughter to apologize for having limits. I absolutely can’t pass that on to her.
So how does that plate of food represent a change in me? Abundance. Rather than living abundantly, I spent 2012 rationing myself out until I had nothing good to offer anyone.
I didn’t wait until New Year’s to change this time. Before January 1st, I had lost 25 pounds, started sleeping regularly and made an effort to slow down. I have eaten good, solid food-REAL FOOD. When I choose to eat genuine food, I feel like I am allowing myself to feel worthy of genuine food. When I’ve been stressed or upset and have wanted to go back to my old ways and turn a bag of potato chips inside out, I’ve found the strength to stop myself. To be honest, I feel like I had gotten so low last year that I was using food to punish myself. I didn’t feel worthy of taking the time to make an omlette with fresh veggies. In my head, the only thing I deserved was what I could grab with one hand because I was falling too short to take time for myself so I’d start each morning with a cookie in one hand, a Diet Coke in the other, as I rushed through the day yelling, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”
When you say “I’m sorry” too much, you start to feel not sorry-apologetic but sorry-worthless. And I’m not sorry-worthless. I’m better than that. We all are. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, too precious to be sorry-worthless.
As a mom- heck, as a woman- I am so guilty of looking at the lives of other women and feeling like they are doing it better. They are better because they are well-dressed or their hair curls prettier, they have cleaner kitchen counters, better-behaved children, more attractive cleavage, whiter teeth, a career. They’ve published more, flossed more, traveled more. They’ve screwed up less and haven’t pissed off quite so many people. When we think like that, we make ourselves smaller, and smaller, and smaller. We stop watering our own grass because we’re too busy peeking over fences and sooner or later, even the best parts of us, the parts we weren’t so ashamed of, get dried out and warped, too.
This year, let’s embrace abundance. Let’s celebrate the harvest. Let’s feast on whatever grows and worry less about the things that don’t thrive. Let’s believe that we’re worthy of genuine things, whether that be true friends or true food or a true appreciation for who we are today.
How are you embracing the abundance of your life?