You all know I'm a big fan of Hal Sparks. I think he's brilliant (talented, smart, sweet, etc) and he's been a big gift to my life. Not because he's famous, but just because he reiterates things that I need to learn on this journey.
Case in point, today. He does these Q&As for his fans periodically and offers insights on what he thinks, believes or experiences. This is very cool for a famous person, not too many fit fan relationships into their busy schedules. He does, which makes him special in my book.
Anyway, he said something today that just resonated with something I've been struggling with. I've had a lot of sweet people write me over the last few days saying my journal is inspiring to them. I have felt, quite honestly, like a big ol fraud.
Because I haven't inspired myself for a really long time.
Truth is, I've been coasting. I lost X amount of weight and thought I deserved to take it easy.
The journey has suffered for it. I have suffered for it.
As much as I want to believe I'm evolving past this, my self image is still way caught up in my body image. I bitch and moan that society has brainwashed us all that you have to be thin to be worth anything as a woman, but the sad truth is I keep perpetuating the myth every single time I beat myself up for not being thin.
And I do. I have issues with how I look still. I have issues, serious issues with not wanting to pursue the things I want to do even though I really want to do them. What it has led to is giving myself "breaks" on what I eat and how much activity I push myself through.
This is just plain honesty here. I've denied it for a long time, making excuse after excuse. But the fact is, I'd given up. I was posing.
Which is why all these great emails made me feel like a fraud. It wasn'twhat you have written to me, that's all wonderful and I love hearing how this journal affects other people. I just need it to be doing those things to me, and I haven't.
I felt because I wasn't doing things perfectly, I wasn't a good example for anyone.
Then I read this today on Hal's Q&A:
"The only standard I try to maintain is to stay on mission in my life. I truly seek to know myself in this life and the only way you can do that is to actively live at the boundaries of your comfort and push the envelope of your fear. If people don’t like what I do, how I do it… or whom I do it to for that matter… I can’t allow myself to care. If I did I would never do anything extraordinary. I fail all the time and sometimes lots of people get to see it. But that means they also get to see me dust myself off and try again. And maybe… just maybe… that’ll help inspire them to try a little harder and not fear failure so much. There will never be another me…. Or you"
This is something that God's been whispering in my ear for weeks now. I couldn't get past the whole, "not living up to everyone's expectations" thing enough to get on my feet and press forward. I keep getting up and sitting down.
I'm never going to get anywhere this way. I let myself get a little too cozy. I've been rewarded with stagnation.
I realized today, thanks to Hal - God's little brick to get my attention, that I need to find my value in me just being me.
My value is not dictated by what I do or do not do. It's certainly not dictated by how I look or do not look. If there was a hundred dollar bill in the gutter, covered with dirt, slime and dog poo, most people would still pick it up, clean it off and keep it. Despite how it looks, it still is worth $100.
No matter how I look, I'm still a valuable human being. I don't need anyone's permission to be, God granted me that already. And I'm a gift. I don't need to reach that unattainable standard of perfection to be valuable to someone else, I just need to be brave enough to reach out and connect with them.
That's always been hard for me. Again it comes to living at the boundaries of my comfort.
So my challenge to all of you who follow this journal, who are on the same type of journey to wellness, that you find your value in who you were created to be. Like Hal said, there will never be another you. And I believe God created us all for a specific purpose. Therefore we need to value our value. We need to celebrate our being rather than continually beat ourselves up for not doing this or that.
We are not human doings.
We are human beings.