I want so badly to write, and I have so many things to write about. I have avoided doing this, as I almost do not know what to say that doesn't sound repetitive and almost giddy with blessings. I am so thankful to be pursuing something as important as what I am doing. I am so thankful to finally, FINALLY have a place in my heart and in my life with so much purpose and clarity. I struggled bitterly for so many years of my life, fighting inwardly and outwardly, with a kind of inner anger over my lack of direction and lack of fulfillment. I guess the world moves in its own time. I have so many deep regrets, but so many vivid lessons to counteract them. I learned and I am so much better. A better person. A better wife. A better mother. A better friend. A better caretaker of myself.
I have now lost 110 pounds. The person I see in the mirror continues to startle me with this physical transformation, with the wisdom and acceptance in my own eyes when I see me unawares. This place of self love is new....brand new kind of new. My inner image really doesn't match what I see in the mirror, and every day it is fun when I get dressed. I still feel the familiar anxiety when I pick up that pair of pants that was too tight and put them on and the butt is so baggy that it is probably indecent and frumpy to wear them. I love that it no longer hurts to move, and to feel that lack of pain on both a physical and an emotional level. I still get fretful when it comes time to shop; I suppose it will take years of unconditioning to accept that I can buy regular clothing in regular sizes. It will take a lifetime of Joe telling me I am beautiful and reveling in the hope that maybe I really am before I probably ever believe it. But interestingly, this place I am at spiritually comes with less demand for physical perfection. I am far more concerned these days that people see me as kind...or strong....or focused.
Last week I got to care for a patient who was dying of cancer. Rather, for this patient's family, who were coming to terms with the very likely possibility that for this individual, their journey on earth was drawing to a close. They were a loving bunch and I had opportunity to face many personal demons. What I found though was that rather than monsters waiting in the shadows of my mind to take me over, I had instead places of deep, abiding peace and understanding. I had not much to give other than a sympathetic presence, but it mattered. And knowing that saves me inside. There was speculation that the patient had not been getting sufficient care at home - a statement that sounds full of judgement, with implications of neglect on the surface.... until paired with a disease so universally all encompassing. Then you realize - not sufficient care can have many meanings, many implications, from the pure exhaustion of a caregiver in that role for so very, very long to a lack of resources, be they financial or emotional, for any number of reasons, from any series of angles. I faced my calling head on last week and heard it echo back to me a cry of otherworldly voice.
My home and my heart are happy. I continue to struggle against a fear of loss - it is hard not to. But I now believe that perhaps that too in time will mellow and change, forming through the span of my years into something else that yields yet more wisdom. Hard won lessons to be sure, these bits of self I have acquired, these pieces of forgiveness and purpose found sparkling among the rubble.