I am currently reading Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. The book was mentioned in a comment to another blog I was reading and as always I grab my trusty kindle and download a sample so as not to forget the recommended reading.
I’m not very far into it. I have to stop reading it regularly to think. This book has me reflecting, practising mindfulness, navel gazing – whatever your choice of phrase is. This book gets me thinking and I have to follow where my thoughts lead.
I was sitting in the sun before thinking about what I have given up in the last 12 months and where that has got me. A year ago I gave up my job to move up to our farm and stay here full time. I am aware of that some people were super surprised at me for doing it and didn’t have a lot of faith in my ability to make it work. I have done struggle at times, there has been a lot of secret tears, sobbing with such heart brokenness. I was asked ‘won’t I get bored” and in fact I have. However boredom or not is totally up to me and mostly my boredom arose because I couldn’t be jacked to get my ass motivated to do something. ‘Wont you get lonely’ they asked. Well, good question and at times I am very aware of my aloneness but I can honestly say hand on heart that No I haven’t been lonely. In fact one of my life’s ironies is that when I was down the mountain and working full time surrounded by people I was so much more lonely than I am now when I spend 4 days a week by myself.
Almost 6 months ago I gave up drinking. That journey began with total fear, anxiety and terror and I did it anyway. What I have gained from giving up drinking is unexpected and so fantastic that I am full of gratitude for it.
Years ago I gave up on myself, I just couldn’t seem to get it right, I was never good enough, to fat, to dumb, to useless, to hopeless, to much of everything that was wrong. I couldn’t seem to become a better person no matter how I tried. So I gave up.
So when I gave up my job and gave up drinking I found something so amazing, so wonderful, so beautiful. It was so unexpected, I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t know to look for it.
I found me!
Not only did I find me but the me I found is someone I actually like.
I look at photos of myself with new loving eyes and think actually that’s a nice photo. I laugh so much more, feel joy so much more, challenge myself so much more. I feed cattle, throw around hay bales [sort ofJ], I have a pet pig, I lug around pine branches and rocks, experiment so much more in the kitchen with my wood stove, live life off grid, hunt and shoot rabbits [such a major change for me that my husband still does surprise over this one] and now I have to female kids to feed, another first.
I have found the ability to forgive and to feel compassion for anyone and anything, even for myself.
I still do a belief of not being quite good enough and not quite believing people will want me and I still thrill when people are so pleased to see me. But my belief in self metre has gone up tenfold and so it’s easier to pick myself up from the pits. I can see value and worth in myself although I still do affirm that I am worthwhile, I approve of myself, I believe in myself and I am enough.
Giving up takes on a whole new meaning now. By giving up work and alcohol I actually gained. I think giving up those things allowed me to give up the things that weren’t serving me and in turn that allowed myself to reach me, to embrace me and to welcome me back to myself.
I embrace this life, even my struggles and uncertainties and I open my arms fully to envelop the joy I feel so often. If I could I would bottle this joy and hand it out to everyone so they to could experience the bigness and the soul deepness of it. It’s hard to describe how amazing this feeling of joy is and I am in awe of it. I would happily give it away as I know its availability is infinite.
I am not perfect, I have my flaws and insecurities. I also have an awareness that my sense of perfection comes from me and I create those flaws and insecurities and so it is my mission to take each of those and lovingly nuture it into something wonderful that flourishes.
Another challenge, totally. But I’m up for it.
The flip side of giving something up is not loss but incredible gain. Look for it, let it happen, keep your heart open and it will find you and you will find it.
May the joy of life be with you and in you.