Sometimes going backwards is the only way I can find myself enough to get footing to take a step forwards. I’ve gone back into old relationships. I’ve gone back to old childhood dreams to try to make them come true. I’ve gone back on my own word to find brighter days. And I’ve gone back to jobs that I knew in my heart were over.
But there is a piece of me that didn’t know how to deal with Over, Done, Goodbye. I am notoriously not great at moving on.
Furthermore, if moving on meant fully embracing where I am now that would mean embracing death/loss/grief (nope still don’t want to) and life convergences with a family history of relationships that run so deep I just don’t know where to start to wrap my mind around it.
And so my heart feels the weight again. Energetically. A feeling as if those 150 lbs are instantaneously right back on me in a flash. (Read up on my transformational weight loss story here).
I can’t talk about it.
I shouldn’t talk about it.
It needs the time and space in between to breathe.
But the problem that I’ve uncovered is that I can’t breathe without embracing what is, without owning up to what has happened or what I have done. Or, what it all seems to be, to me.
My Life Changed in a big way.
My Dad, my provider, my unconditional supporter, my head chief of security in a Life that I had lived up to 2010 passed away. But, he didn’t leave me empty handed. He didn’t leave US empty handed. In fact he left while passing on more than I’m sure he ever imagined.
Family Property somehow got tangled with my Father’s passing.
A place that he and his siblings grew up on. A place that my Grandmother protected with all the wits and might she could muster. A place that goes by a name, ‘The Ranch’.
It sounds like such an easy transaction. One thing was passed from one person to two others. To make decisions about, to hold to a cleaner vision, to take care of and cherish to the best of their ability. But there are so many facets and layers of interconnected webs of people being affected by the situation, by ‘The Ranch’ that… it has always left me speechless and searching for answers.
Why did this happen?
How did this happen?
What can I do to change it?
How can I make this better for EVERYONE?
Why are WE involved in this? What can We do?
These are the questions that ride underneath the surface on the daily. But on top the main question is not a question at all, it’s a cry, ‘I miss my Dad’… And the heartache parts the seas of any questions previously noted as I ride the throes of grief to a very solitary island, again.
This island has provided refuge. Time and space for me to write through the cries, to take a look at the wounds with words, to be patient with myself and others, and to witness my very apparent shortcomings.
I don’t fight the grief anymore, I don’t even try to engage it in the way that I tried during years 3, 4, and 5. I thought if I dove head first into grief, into ANY pain I was feeling, then maybe Truth would surface to Heal it. And while a great many things have been healed I am not so sure that poking the bear just to get the attack over is the best form of action these days. Now without being egregiously proactive or repetitively reactive I just let the grief happen when it arises in it’s own space and time. I honor it. But that doesn’t mean I like it.
And through these parting seas, these tears that come out full of manuscripts, through all these different perspectives here’s what I have come to know:
When I looked at things that were or that happened, memories, lives lived, relationships, good and bad, broken hearts, healings, toxicity, health…
I got caught in a trap of fixing all that I saw as broken. All that I saw as needing healing. Everything that seemed like it could be ‘better’. And so I missed the beauty of it all, of the imperfections, of the contrast. Of the broken relationships not of my doing, and therefore not needing my healing, involvement or proactiveness.
Through the grief my main perspective on life became broken because I so deeply identfied with a ‘broken heart’ so I inadvertently focused on things that I thought needed healing or fixed. Because ‘fixing’, ‘healing’, and ‘helping’ is a very rewarding action in this life.
But there comes a point where one must look beyond the cracks as being broken and needing fixing. Just like the Leonard Cohen song Anthem says, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” . . . Or, Out.
Whichever way the light is moving, In or Out, I have learned that I cannot move forward in my life by stepping backwards first or by looking at the cracks within myself, about myself, around my relationships or my life that need to be “fixed”. Maybe just maybe, even though these cracks induce pain, trigger old memories, or are just plain out Uncomfortable, maybe these cracks are where the light moves In and Out of US.
So without looking back to “fix something” and without looking forward to “change something” or “make it better” I am often left with breathing and listening to the present moment. And when I am here in this present moment the only things I can change are what I embrace in this here and now.
If this Family Property came my way, our way, then it will be passed along again.
It’s not something I have talked about too much because how can someone talk about something they don’t understand? Something they perhaps may not even like? Something that the circumstances of life seem to outweigh any instance of destiny or desire…
And so, I am back where I started. I am 350 lbs, I am the person who lost 150 lbs, I am the personal trainer who helped others lose countless pounds and regain their lives, their freedom, their opportunity to have healthy relationships, to Live ALIVE, and I am also the person who never gained any of that weight in the first place…
She seems to be the one who is around the most these days. The one I was always too afraid to Listen to because she didn’t speak loud enough.
The one who was too scared to pursue her dreams as a teenager because she believed she wasn’t worthy enough to have any and so pummeled herself into destruction with unhealthy habits like too much food, too much alcohol, too much shopping and too much inactivity. The one who always knew what was best within but was never strong enough to stand up and say it during years of sitting in a church that told me I was wrong for being gay and I innocently believed it. The one who never knows what is happening tomorrow but was too scared to admit it with an honest ‘I Don’t Know’ because the knowing of the very real reality of hell I was convinced to believe in overcame any thoughts of a life well lived, a life lived Alive. The one who doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. The one who doesn’t question her inherent connection with the Divine. The one who is here now.
And so, it is a combination of destiny and fate this life I live. Fate seems like an adding up of the circumstances of situations that have been directed my way. Almost like conditions playing out as stories, as myths, as ‘The end’ because that is what they are supposed to do.
But there’s another layer, and this is where I feel destiny. I’ve always felt that destiny was more about feeling than arriving at any one place. When I lost that 150 lbs it was a feeling of who I wanted to be and who I wanted to stand next to and what I wanted to be able to do that got me to move. The thought/visualization/and belief of Becoming that version of La created One spark of a feeling, a moving desire, destiny in action, that fueled every single pound lost.
But now that destiny and fate have intertwined I find myself at a very pivotal moment which I would actually like to take a lot of the seriousness or focus off of… Now that I have lost the weight, now that fate has occurred, and now that I’ve had a taste of the feeling of destiny how do I combine the wisdom to actually Allow myself to dream again? To create something better than the circumstances of fate might add up to?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been trying to dream my way into destiny again every day of every single one of these last 8 years. If destiny is a feeling then can’t I just get back into that feeling? Or even find a new one?
I haven’t found it yet.
Parts of me think that I am too scared to actually allow myself to dream again. Parts of me think I should just be happy with what is and take life as it comes. Parts of me want to keep proving myself. And parts of me want to shut it all down and spend the rest of my days on that very solitary island.
But I have done all of that before.
And I can’t walk away without trying again, something new, something different, and maybe something very basic.
I haven’t come this far to succumb to what the supposed fate is now. It’s almost like my mind keeps trying to tell me ‘It’s over. It’s all over.’ As if this is what my life is and this is what my life will always be so I better be grateful for what it is now otherwise whenever something else happens or I lose someone else then I’ll really be sorry.
So I conjure the gratitude. I write the pages. I breathe the breaths. I do the stretches. I make a move. I fall down to fail. I stay down for a day, a week, a month or longer until it all gets too uncomfortable. So I get up and conjure some more gratitude. I try a new route. I meditate a little more. I visualize a little deeper. I read better books and listen to better podcasts…
But. I’m. Still. Here.
The only space where I can really get a glimpse of the feeling of destiny that I tapped into 11 years ago at that sheer and desperate space of being 350 lbs is when I actually live my day in a way that is the next step for who I’ve really become.
I have to say that again, “When I actually live my day in a way that is the next step for who I’ve really become.”
And owning who I’ve really become is always embracing exactly where I am.
This feeling of destiny has become the very deep and intrinsic art of Listening to who I am and where I am.
Which fully encompasses all the decisions I’ve made and the consequences they add up to (fate) and also where I’d like to go, what I dream about now, and a new visualization of a new life (destiny).
But without putting boundaries or expectations on this identity of Becoming some days it’s hard to discern if there is any progress at all.
I am afraid to dream again, because I am afraid I will have to let go again…
Of the way I thought things would be.
Of the way I envisioned this new found life looking and feeling like.
Acceptance of the way things really are can be easily pushed to the side or glossed over because sometimes I don’t want to listen to the “Truth”. It’s either too painful, or I am afraid of it because I don’t want it to influence fate, destiny, or dreams. Sometimes when I am feeling less than inclined to Show Up to Life I only look at and hope for the way I want things to be, the way I wish things to be.
I’ve been writing consistently and angrily and joyfully and haphazardly in journals, through keyboards and on notebooks since 2013 when I decided that my only route through grief was going to be looking, discovering, and journeying within.
I needed to find out how things operated on the inside. I wanted a better understanding of how to operate as a fully faceted human being. Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Spiritually intertwined. The whole circle.
Through this naturally Hyper-Empathic nature that’s been cultivated, the within, the Inside, can get quite confusing. I’ve had to learn to discern the difference of thoughts going through my head. Where those thoughts are stemming from. Feeling or emotions traveling throughout my moods and actions. As well as foreign sensations that are cruising above and below my skin in ways that are completely new in discovery to me. I never felt like empathy was an attribute because I never knew how to work with it.
Empathy is a social and emotional skill that helps us feel and understand the emotions, circumstances, intentions, thoughts, and needs of others, such that we can offer sensitive, perceptive, and appropriate communication and support.
-Karla McLaren, The Art of Empathy
So how do I link it all together, to really make a change to Live Alive again? To change my state. To change my vibration. To attract something better. To contribute. To be of service. To be productive… How do I know what I’m sensing, feeling, or even thinking is what I should or could be pursuing?
In my mind this answer is easy. It’s joy. It always boils down to joy.
But joy can be a very empty word if there are no direct associations or connections to a person’s positive, unbroken identity of self in this life to have direct experiences of joy. Or alas, a very real and penetrating belief that one may not be worthy of joy in this Lifetime because of what “Joy” was taught to said person so long ago…
I question it all.
I let it out.
Joy could be surfing, but if I don’t know how to surf, then surfing will not be joyful for me. In fact it could be quite an anxiety ridden traumatic experience. Or, it could be a new experience full of joy.
And so I suppose we stand at the crux of discovery when we limit our own definitions of what joy is and what joy can be in our lives without fully embracing the encompassing totality of the unknowns of discovery of where joy can be or where joy can miraculously show up in our lives.
Holy shit, maybe surfing might be joyful for me! I’ve never really consistently tried…
All in all there seems to be this space where I want to have a little bit more control over the joyful areas of my life and what that joy might feel like, but if those joys are still yet unknown or are to be discovered, then at this point I am trying to control a joyful ghost.
So what can I really control?
Placing myself in positions where joy can happen.
A surf class.
A coaching session.
I don’t necessarily know what will happen on these adventures but the hope is that fate will add up to a joyful experience, but that also the experience will feel more like a destined occurrence and lead to more inspired destined occurrences on a trail that can be followed so that we as a whole don’t feel so damn LOST on this journey.
Is this fate or is this destiny?
I’m really starting to feel like Life is Both.