A Girlfriend's Guide to Restarting Below Bottom
Oh man, how many times have you wished that you bypassed an entire life lesson?
I wish I never met that person.
I wish I didn't say that.
I wish I saw the signs earlier.
I wish I stayed where I was.
I wish I never even tried that thing.
I am the Queen of How In The Hell Did I End Up Here?
You can't imagine how many times I wished that I could go back and un-do the things that later brought pain into my life.
And not just pain, but guilt, embarrassment, deep shame, and fear.
I have called in the craziest lessons. Ones that made me want to die. And I mean that. Like literally could not see a way out of the mess I brought onto myself. And sometimes my family.
But I didn't die, and that means I get to share with you the things that I've learned to crawl out of an abyss of hopelessness and shame and so far below zero that I felt like I was ten years behind the starting line in a marathon.
Did you ever hit such a low place that you believed that the only way to get out was by some form of a miracle? A winning lottery ticket? Or being hit by a bus in rush hour traffic?
And I know exactly what it feels like to think that there is no possible solution that can get you out.
I know how fear-filled that feels. I know the disappointment of my eyes opening in the morning and realizing that the Lord didn't take me in my sleep like I prayed. I know the weight of shame that feels like 1,000lbs of dread and unease on your shoulders.
But listen, I also know how to move through that pain.
I know what it feels like to be on the other side.
And I promise that there is NOTHING you have ever done that isn't worthy of your own grace and forgiveness.
I don't care how deeply you believe you deserve every painful emotion surging through your veins, you are loved, you are valued, and you are worthy of another chance.
I wholeheartedly believe that you did and have always done the best that you were capable of at the time.
I also know that you've been running on survival patterns, and where you are heading next, that's not going to be enough anymore.
We need to rewrite a better, higher serving, belief system, un-become who we used to believe we were, and put in the ugly hard work of stepping into our potential.
You are not a mistake.
You are not a disappointment.
You are not a failure.
You may have made mistakes, you may have caused disappointment, your attempts may not have always worked.
But that does not define you.
You are a resilient, creative, loving child of the Universe.
And here on earth, we screw up.
And sometimes we screw up big time.
And our actions have consequences that sometimes don't feel so good.
And we always have more opportunities to feel a different way.
I want you to feel. Really feel. Sit with the messiness of what it feels like from your perspective right now. Notice in your body where you feel the pain. Shift it, if it's a heaviness in your heart try moving it. If it's a queasiness in your belly breathe through it. But acknowledge it.
Pain that is not felt, not shifted, eventually settles into your physical body, and the results don't come back as feelings or emotions, they come back as symptoms or disease.
I know that life hits us like a freight train sometimes and regardless of how much we want to process what it happening it's often blow after blow, making it almost seem impossible to sit for even a moment of reflection. But you must.
Next, and this one sucks, oh God, does it suck...but you have to speak. I don't care who you talk out loud to. A therapist, your sister, the man behind you in the checkout line, but talk. Say the words.
Silence has a way of holding us in a self-built prison of shame. And in shame we want to climb under a rock and hide from exposure.
There is a physical healing that happens when we tell our story. We have no idea who needs to hear that, or what angel may show up with a different perspective to help us get out from our own fog.
There is so much beauty in truth-telling.
So you are already beaten down, feeling like gum on the bottom of a sneaker, and I'm asking you to tell someone?
The sooner you start processing the sooner you start climbing.
And there will be action next. Making amends. Making peace. Moving forward.
And a lot of back-sliding.
That's the way it works.
Two steps ahead. Forty-five backwards.
And you'll wonder why. What's the point? You'll never get out of this mess.
Maybe you'll talk to God at night like I did, and ask pretty please with a cherry on top, don't wake me up in the morning okay? I just do not have the strength to live through this.
And God will nod and smile, and open your eyes in the morning anyway.
Because you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
You shine a light into this world that is only a color that YOU can emit.
We aren't done with you here just yet.
One day, in hindsight this will be a story you tell. This will be exactly what someone needs to hear so that the next day when their eyes open they will have found a small sense of resilience in what you've shared.
You are built for hard tribulations My Darling. You may not choose them knowingly but you are strong enough to endure them.
You'll get through this.
It will change you, and hopefully soften you if you allow.
In case you haven't been reminded yet today...
You can, and you will.