Liar Liar Pants On Fire, The Truth Shall Set You Free

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“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” 
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When I started writing in this space almost five years ago, my life was going down a very different path. This blog was called The Savoury Soul and it was where I attempted to talk all things health and wellness.  

I say I was attempting to write about health and wellness but everything felt very sterile and forced. My writing was a mix of how to's and unwarranted 'do this and you'll be happier!' advice. 

What I really should have been writing about, what would have felt way more original and authentic, would have been, "do this and this so everyone you know thinks you have the perfect little life.” And under no circumstance whatsoever admit or even hint at the truth.

All I remember was feeling like the biggest fraud and that I had so much to say, so much to share, but what I was writing about was not even close to being it. 

Instead, I spent a lot of time fluffing up my life and pretending I had it all figured out. 

In reality, what I really wanted to share was the truth. I wanted to scream out, "Hey! I have no friggin' clue what I'm doing here and I want out of my marriage but I have everything I ever thought I wanted so why am I so unbelievably sad and miserable? And why is it that when I look in the mirror I have no idea who the person I'm looking at is? And does anyone else out there feel this way?"

That is the stuff I really wanted to write about. 

The truth.

Real life. Real stuff. Real feelings. 

Raw, gritty, honest to God truth.

I wanted to expose the complicated feelings I was experiencing from being married to someone who had no idea who I was nor really even cared to find out. I wanted to write about how I had no idea who I was either but was desperate to find out.

I wanted to talk about how I had everything I ever thought I wanted but all the stuff in the world couldn't fill the ever growing hole inside. I needed to confide in someone, anyone who’d listen, that sometimes I’d dream about telling my husband that I was going to the grocery store and get in my car and drive away. And just keep driving. 

I wanted to tell the story of how on my wedding day as I stood in front of my family and the two friends I was "allowed" to invite, I wasn't thinking that this was my dream day. I was looking around thinking about all the people I wished were there but weren't because my ex made a big stink about the fact that this was his second wedding and "nobody wanted to come to a second wedding."

"How do you think it makes me look Amanda?" He asked. I remember thinking, "But...it's not just about you. Shouldn't we compromise? Isn't that what love and marriage is about? Give and take? Shouldn't you want to see me beaming from the happiness and joy I feel from having all the people I love at our day? 

 Instead, I stood in front of the twenty people in attendance and said my vows while secretly wondering how long it would be before we got a divorced. Instead of being in ah of this person I was committing my life too, I stood there with a fake smile saying some of the most important words to a man who no more then two weeks later met another women on a business trip.

I wanted to share how the first time I learned of him cheating was before we were even engaged. I wanted to leave then but was terrified because I didn't know what I would do. And then he said all the perfect words knowing very well that I would cave from hearing those words. I'm sorry. You mean everything to me. I will be better. I don't deserve you. I love you. 

He promised he'd change. He'd get help and go to therapy. And I was a sucker for empty promises. I was addicted to the love you think you feel from being told that US was finally enough to create change. That you really mean something. That you are worthy enough for them to change. 

I wanted to share that not much about US worked and I wondered if others were living in marriages that felt like living in a glass house. Just one more lie and everything may shatter around you.

 Were others drawing the drapes closed tightly at night to cover the truth of their relationships too? Were others as desperate to keep their lies tightly sealed just like I was?

I wanted to write with such brutal honestly that when I reached the end of the page I would feel empty, cleaned out and purged of all the lies I was telling others and myself. I needed to shed the excess weight so I could stare naked in the mirror and see Amanda for the first time.

But I couldn't. Instead, I filled these pages with boring facts that made me feel inauthentic. All because I knew that once I shared, there was no going back. Once it was out there everyone would know I, Amanda Whitworth, was a big…fat…lier.

So I just kept quiet and kept writing about boring topics because I felt called to write but was too afraid to write about what it was I felt called to share. 

Those thoughts and feelings, those would stay buried deep within, folded into the layers of my heart.

But the truth will set you free they say and freedom was what I was longing for. So once I had a reason that was good enough, once I had been broken and beaten down just enough, I got up the courage to say "no more!"  And I ran 1200 miles away to a little beach town so I could give myself the space and time to finally open up my heart and share what it is I'm suppose to share.

The truth.  

And the most interesting thing has happened with being brutally honest. Every time I open up and share a little bit more of my truth I feel free.

I have given myself permission to peel back the layers and get down and dirty with the God honest truth and it’s become harder and harder to lie to myself. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it really sucks having to referee the battle between my head and my heart and make a decision that I know is best for me but I don’t want to make. Sometimes that decision brings about it’s own pain. 

I’ll tell you one thing though, the feeling I get when I’m honest with myself and take action upon that honesty is almost indescribable.

No amount of sex and drugs or food and exercise or shopping or anything else that temporarily fills those holes and stuffs down those lies can make me feel as high and full as the way the truth does.

And that, my dear, is why the truth shall set you free.

So that you can be.  

When Your Self-Care Routine Becomes a Burden

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Self-care has become a bit of a buzz word. It's everywhere, popping up more and more the further you get into the world of self-discovery and inquiry. But what exactly is it?

To me, self-care is the act and attitude you take to maintain a standard of well-being, health and personal happiness. It's those things that add a richness to your life, that make you feel full, nurtured and taken care of.

But what happens when you rituals of self-care become too much and start to impede on all of the above? Is that even possible?

I was talking with a client the other day and she mentioned that she was feeling like her self-care routine was starting to feel like a burden. I asked her what she meant by this and she told me how she got up at 5:30am, before her family was up,  just so she would have enough time to do all the things that she felt would add to her happiness, fulfillment and betterment as a person. Except, it wasn't. It was stressing her out and causing her to feel depleted and disappointed when she couldn't get to everything.

I asked her why she felt she needed to include everything in her self-care routine and she replied that they were all things she really wanted to make a part of her life. They were habits and behaviors she valued and brought joy, peace and happiness to others, and thought they would bring that to her as well.

I paused for a moment before asking her my next question. "What do you think you should do then?" I asked.

She continued to tell me how it was causing additional stress on top of everything else that was overwhelming her. When she couldn't commit to something fully then she felt disappointed. She was lacking excitement to participate in them because they were feeling like a chore.

"I probably need to look over my routine and remove the things that don't feel right to me anymore." She replied.

BINGO!

I think this is something that anyone who is aware and committed to adding in self-care to their daily lives goes through. We all know how important it is to do things that we love, those things that make us feel alive and nurtured and well taking care of, but there are only so many hours in they day.  In our ideal world we'd be able to carve out enough time to leisurely go about our day, pausing for 20 minutes here and there to meditate, followed by an hour-long yoga class, and walk outside and come home to a nice warm bath. Maybe some days you can do this but when it starts to impede on your happiness, when you start to look at those things like just another thing on your list of things to do,  it's time to take a good, hard look at your current reality.

I'm a HUGE believer in self-care rituals. I talk about how important it is all the time with clients however, when it starts to feel like a chore, then it's a sign you have taken on too many acts of self-love and you aren't fully able to commit to and absorb their benefits. Therefore, it turns into yet another chore or task we need to do.

I told my client that maybe she needed to write a list of everything she did in a day to promote self-care and cross out the things that were weighing her down and making her feel conflicted and stressed and do those things that really filled her soul with a deeper sense of self-love.

When we do this we are able to really get the full benefits of self-care.

Remember this when you are thinking about your self-care routing; it's quality over quantity. It's not how many things we can fit into our day but how those things make us feel inside.

Reader Challenge -- If you are feeling like your self-care routine is adding more stress than feelings of nurturing and love, reassess what you are doing and remove that which feels more like a burden and invest more into what you keep.

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I Am Beautiful

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I was taking a yoga class last week with one of my favorite yoga teachers. She my favorite because she radiates authenticity to me. She radiates love, happiness, and a deep understand that taking life too seriously is for the birds.

As I was lying there, we started class on our backs, she read something powerful to us. She read about accepting those things about ourselves that to us, seem like flaws, as our uniqueness. As I rested on my back and she spoke the words, something resonated deep within me and I had a moment where I got the biggest smile on my face and quietly to myself I said 'yes!'

I am beautiful.

All those things I've picked apart for years, they are what make me who I am. When we embrace them, our truest self can totally shine and illuminate the world.

Later that week as I was reading in my book, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, I came across this very passage.  It says:

"Often what we think of as the things "wrong" with us are only our expressions of our own individuality. This is our uniqueness and what is special about us. Nature never repeats itself. Since time began on this planet, there have never been two snowflakes alike or two rain-drops the same. And every daisy is different from every other daisy. Our fingerprints are different, and we are different. We are meant to be different. When we can accept this, then there is no competition and no comparison. To Try to be like another is to shrivel our soul. We have come to this planet to express who we are.

I've spent so many moments in my life picking apart all the things that are different, all the 'flaws' that I thought made me less than.

I use to sit in front of a mirror at the age of 4 and try to scratch off my freckles, already at such a young age trying to rid myself of my so-called imperfections, my so-called differences.

When I hit my teens and my frizzy, curly hair was so different then all my friends perfectly straight long locks, I would rise at the wee hours of the morning to begin a long and tedious task of straightening out my kinks.

These things today make me who I am. They are what sets me apart from everyone else and I've learned to not only embrace them but truly love them.

Lately I've been having a hard time with the fact that I, truth be told, am aging. My perfectly wrinkle free skin is starting to show the wear and tear of the years of basking in the sun without sun screen and abusing my body, pumping it full of bad foods, too much alcohol and the occasional harder substance.  Instead of looking in the mirror and noticing how gracefully I am aging, how life has been good to me, I've been focused on the new lines around my eyes.

However, as I was lying in my yoga class listening to my teacher I felt a knot in my throat and tears start to well in my eyes.

I am beautiful...just how I am.

It was a powerful moment for me. For the first time I realized that every single last thing about me is perfect. I don't have to be a certain size, my hair can be what ever texture it naturally is, and the wrinkles around my eyes are a sign of living life and growing wiser.

Sure, I may struggle every now and then in the future with those thoughts but I know I have the power within me to make sure they are only fleeting, passing by and leaving again with the breeze.

I encourage you, my dear ones to look in the mirror and instead of seeing your so-called flaws, see all of the amazing things that make you you. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Suess:

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer then you!

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