"I want you to be just how you are." Responds my husband when asked by me, "do you ever wish I would drink beer with you?" As he cracked open a beer on a Saturday night. My jaw dropped. What? How can you be so loving and kind? Did I really marry you? Speechless, I left for my slowest run in years. Okay, I may have snuck in a few words before I finally dragged my butt outside, but I finally left to move my stuck energy. It was 4 p.m. and I had the "gremmies" and we all knew it (note, in our house "gremmies" is short for gremlins and it means we feel stuck and cranky and need to move our energy to feel better). My husband and six-year-old daughter were thinking...'send mama for a run!'
I started walking, and then started to jog—one foot in front of the other. I stopped and started and stopped again. Down a hill I went and then I didn't stop. I kept going. This was hard. Should I be doing this? Am I pushing myself? When I push myself like this is it only harming my attempt to heal my hormones? And oh, my thighs are rubbing together and let's not mention the fire in my chest (BAD heartburn) and the fire in my bottom (aka my "v"). Okay, yes it is too much information for some, but this time it cannot be left out. I was uncomfortable and I mean SO uncomfortable. My physical body was screaming at me on this run in many ways.
What happened next is a reflection to me of my journey. I am growing and healing and sometimes I don't even know it. Instead of focus on the thighs or the discomfort of my body and why it's unfair that I have heartburn and an on-fire "v," I instead shifted. I heard the wisdom again of my dear husband. He said to me, "Go out and truly enjoy our neighborhood!"
Ah, such good advice. So I start to look around. I felt the cool fall breeze on my body and it felt so good. I felt my feet hit the pavement each step. It wasn't easy but I was doing it. Wow, I thought to myself, ‘I am lucky that my body is able to do so much.’ And then the lake, it was so beautiful with a blue haze over the lake and big waves. The goodness of life and people were everywhere this late Saturday afternoon.
On my jog there were people biking, running, walking with friends and pushing their babies in strollers. I found their eyes as I passed by and I looked in their eyes for a brief moment and felt their stories. They too, are on this planet for the same reason as I am. We all want to avoid pain and feel pleasure. We all want and need to be loved. I felt so grateful at that moment and each subsequent step. No matter the discomfort or scary moments or joy or bliss, we are meant to be present. In this brief and powerful moment (like many are when I run) I realized how infrequent I truly am in the present moment. And I long for more moments of dropping into to the present moment, so that I can feel the breeze on my face or smell the sweetness of my kiddos or truly see the love in my husband's eyes. On this challenging yet glorious day, I was reminded that it is these moments and the little things that truly matter. And all of these little moments add up to your days, weeks and months.
Let's go back to what my husband said to me. I want you to be just how you are. Read that again but read it like someone you love is saying it to you with all his/her heart. I want you to be just how you are. How does that feel when you read it and feel it? What is going on in your mind and heart? Maybe read it again or maybe just feel and truly think about those words.
What if exactly how we are, our struggles and ailments and all the challenges that come our way, are here to shape us? What if they are here to help us to rise above? What if they are here to help us to make a lot of little and big choices to do something great and to thrive? And I mean really feel every moment and LOVE ALL OF WHAT YOU ARE. Maybe you have a lot of fire like me and you fly off the handle. Maybe you swear too much or work too much or pick fights with those that love you. Or maybe you procrastinate or are always late or watch too much television or...or...or. God knows we all are imperfect. But maybe we are perfectly imperfect like the quote says.
And my friends, as I write this I cannot help but think about how I have been fighting "me" since middle school. This resistance and challenge of wanting to be just how I am isn't something that has come naturally to me. I think back to those intense younger years and I used to think things like, 'why am I the bigger kid? Why am I the most inflexible girl in my class? Why do I have boobs and hips and none of the other girls do? Why did I seem like ten years older when it came to responsibility? Why did I feel like I was okay at everything but not really good at anything? Why did I want to look different?' And on and on? What went on in my head as a young girl was intense (and I am sure I am not alone in this regard). I was sure something was wrong with me. If only I lost weight or told less jokes or, or, or.
Fast-forward twenty plus years and I am starting to get it all. It is starting to come together as I reflect, pause and be curious. Maybe it is time for me to stop resisting and share the feelings that my husband said to me so effortlessly Saturday night. So today I say to myself, "I want you to be just how you are." Perhaps you could say the same thing to yourself, if even just for a day or even a weekend. Stop resisting and honor you, exactly how you are.
In love, light and gratitude,