I’ve been on a home organization frenzy recently, which includes an attempt to organize my photos. As I browsed through them, I started to see some of them differently. Namely, pictures of myself from a year ago. Was that really me? Who was that?
I’ve been on a journey to find myself for some time now. I know I’ve been singing that tune for ages, but it’s different now. Now I see where I’ve been lying to myself for ever, where I’ve disregarded and dishonored the very essence of my self for the better part of my life. Not that it’s been wrong to put others first. I’ve done well for others. I’ve helped others. I will still do so. At my core, I’m a helper.
The thing that I noticed today is that I’m no longer hiding behind denial. I dishonored myself. I let myself go. I loathed myself. I don’t know why. I can’t say. I can’t see. Only that I did it. And even so, when I buried myself so deeply, wherever it was that I’ve been (buried under a hundred pounds of fat), still, there has always been a part of ME, the real, authentic me, looking for a way out, looking for the light of day. She wanted to live. All along, she wanted to break free and see the light of day. So today, with the recognition and acceptance of what I’ve done to myself, I also give forgiveness. Because I love myself. I wasn’t loving myself, but now I see that love and forgiveness go hand in hand. And just like that, I’ve forgiven myself and discovered that I love myself. I’m coming home to me.
I want to clarify that this isn’t at all about being obese, or becoming obese. And it’s not at all about losing weight, either. It’s not about the age old misconception that, oh, if only I could or would lose the weight, I’d be happy. Losing some weight has given me the courage to look at myself, and to see myself. So this is about getting lost. It’s about fear. It’s about hiding. It’s about the emotional, not the physical self. Only the emotional problems had a very physical manifestation. As they do.
There aren’t very many people (and by people, I mean dear friends) who knew me before I lost myself. In fact, I can only think of three –Dindu, Suse, and my sister S. These people have loved me for most of my life (and I them). It all happened so long ago. I don’t even know when. Or why. I know of times and events that caused things to escalate, but the beginning? I don’t know. My sister thinks it started when I had an abortion. She could be right (she’s usually right). She used to say, “Sissy, that’s when you lost your mojo. Where is my sissy? I want my sissy back. I miss her.” She’s been saying that for years.
So I’m coming home to me. Those words stir the memory of a song from my youth. In my heart and in my head, I hear Hosea. Come back to me with all your heart –don’t let fear keep us apart. Trees do bend, though straight and tall –so must we to others’ call. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life. The wilderness will lead you to your heart, where I will speak. Integrity and justice, with tenderness you shall know.
I’m on my way. Home to me. My arms are open. I feel the sunlight on my face.
I’m like the very hungry caterpillar. I’ve eaten my way through the difficult parts of my life, and trapped myself in a nearly impenetrable cocoon. And now, I’ve started to nibble my way through these walls and I can see the light of day.
Some day soon I’m going to find my smile. I’m going to become a beautiful butterfly. And then? Then I will FLY!