The journey continues…
I bought into this narrative throughout my twenties, and with the addition of alcohol, sex, and drugs in my life, my relationship with my body became more destructive. Because men wanted to fuck me, I felt validated. Alcohol and drugs helped me to put less food into my mouth, and temporarily destroyed my feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing. When I was wasted, I was free from my inner critic.
Between the ages of 31 and 32, something started to shift. I was involved in a horribly toxic relationship, and I was desperate for something to happen to give me the strength to end it. Divine guidance told me to run. Figuratively, and literally.
The irony is, I had always hated running, and even manifested exercise-induced asthma in elementary school to keep me from having to participate in that dreaded activity. I now believe that I had resisted it for so long because it had something BIG to teach me. Running taught me that I was capable; that I could move through and beyond the narratives of my childhood, and my self-limiting beliefs. That I could be someone different. Every time my feet hit the pavement, every kilometre I completed, every time my body told me to quit but my mind said “keep going”, my self-worth grew. I became stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I left that relationship and ran a half marathon.
Then, at the age of 33, the universe kicked it up a notch. I walked into a yoga studio. A little more irony here, as I always complained about how much I hated yoga (I did a video once, and it gave me a headache). Once again, that resistance had something to teach me. On my mat, everything unravelled, in the most beautiful way possible. For the first time, I could recognize myself, from the inside, out. I connected to my body in an intimate and loving way, I recognized the power of my breath, and for the first time, I understood that I possessed an unlimited capacity to love.
I quit smoking, I stopped having sex for a year, I became a (mostly) vegetarian, and I drastically reduced the amount of drugs and alcohol I put into my body.
I made these changes easily and joyfully, because they came from within. I found something that taught me to trust myself. I released myself from the madness of seeking external validation. The freedom, joy, and love I had always craved wasn’t hidden in a diet plan or a pair of size 4 jeans. It was right here; at home, waiting patiently for me to arrive into my self.