Transformation Tuesday: One Chance A Day

I reflect on the past year, seeing where I am today compared to where I once stood. It seems like so much has changed-internally and externally with me. It is weird to wake up every morning and look in my bathroom mirror to see a very different reflection than the one that stared back at me yesterday. And I know that tomorrow, it will be different again and different the next day. How do I know? Because I made a promise to myself that in order to change my life and myself, I am going to change something I do daily. The secret of my success will be found in my daily routine. I am not going to experience any different results if I keep doing the same thing over and over. 

I ask myself every day, “Is what I am doing today getting me closer to where I want to be tomorrow?”  Is skipping a snack going to help me in my quest to help others on a broader scale? Is weighing myself in the morning going to contribute to complete acceptance of myself? Is pointing out my flaws in the mirror going to enhance the unconditional love I have for my body? Is acting on urges going to get me to learn to always follow my heart? Is continually reverting back to safe foods or safe clothes going to help me to embrace and learn what I actually like? Is letting fear stop me from driving going to help me gain independence so I can live my dreams?  Is denying what makes me smile going to help me on my quest for internal, eternal happiness? Is suppressing my tears allowing me to get in touch with my authentic self? Is engaging in this negativity via a television show or people or behaviors going to give me a positive life I can be proud of being a contributor to? Is just talking the talk going to bring me to a life where I am able to walk what I speak? All my behaviors today impact tomorrow. 

Now this is a new thing for me. To be very honest, often in the moment it is not at all enjoyable. It is a struggle. I am fighting against my instinct, habits, and the desires of the OCD. I used to be able to tell you exactly what I would be doing at a certain time, to the second. I had specific days for everything. I had a very detailed schedule of my day (mostly surrounding eating). I did not do well with a disruption or unwelcomed event in my day. It would throw everything off which left me with great anxiety and fear. I had this belief which became my absolute truth that if I did something differently, something bad would happen. I had to keep routine to keep the status quo. It was safe in a dangerous life. It was giving me predictable in an unexpected world. It was giving me control in a world where things happened without my say. I relied on the familiarity and the stability. Even if it was keeping me trapped in a life where my dreams were out of reach, where I was wearing a mask, and I was living a lie, at least I knew I could wake up and know what was to come.

It has been not days or weeks or months but years of doing the same thing; engaging in the same behaviors, having the same thoughts replay, acting robotically with my emotions, ignoring my needs. This was not just a leap of faith to start changing. This was being shot out of a cannon with the hope that something is below me to catch my fall or that I grow some wings. I say this figuratively of course but I write this soaring high in the sky, flying to where I have dreamt myself of landing one day. Each new change adds strength to my wings to move me a little bit farther. I am not where I want to be, but I am so thankful I am not where I once was. And I am in this place because of the commitment I am making to take risks, to make changes, to live a moment a day outside of my comfort zone.

I cannot become what I need to be by remaining what I am. It is I who will get me to where I want to be. I have to accept responsibility for my actions that are deterring me from that place and that person. I was unhappy with the girl who was trapped in the disorder and entered into treatment. What I was doing had me moon walking away from my goals, gradually and seemingly gracefully slipping back so people would not notice the true magnitude of what was happening. There was no way I was going to leave treatment as the same person who went in and return to the same way of life. That would equal a quick relapse. The only way to make that happen was to make changes and do so continuously. I had to wake up with a goal, a plan in place to actively challenge my routine and the Jenna with eating disordered thoughts within me.

I had to take at least one chance every day and still do now. I do not want to live with 'could haves' or 'should haves'. I want to know that I did all I could in the day and utilized my potential to enrich my life. I make the choice to no longer wish my days away or wait for my dreams to come to me. I have to go after them and make the most of every day I have on this earth, every precious second that I have been given as a gift.

The chances came out in different forms. No risk looked the same. Some days it came out in feelings, letting out a new emotion. Other days it was trying a new food or eating at a different time. Some days it was sitting somewhere new or listening to a new artist or trying a new hobby. Other days it was in letting someone into my world and sharing my story or struggles. They all were different, but they shared the same purpose; moving me towards authentic living.

Taking a chance is about overcoming fears and putting faith in yourself and the situation. I feared what I could not control. I found myself holding back and making the choices I did because I was scared of the unknown outcome that I would experience doing something differently. I knew what my repetitive behavior would bring and where it would lead me. I could walk the path blindfolded. But the other path leading to recovery and living instead of just existing was foggy in which every step would have to be based on faith. That was a scary concept…daunting really. I had to rely on the hope that my heart’s desires, which were what those decisions were based on, would not lead me astray or betray my trust. I had to hope that it knows what was best for me. I had to trust that it would bring out authentic Jenna. I had to have faith in my life, believe that I was not brought this far, endured such great pain, and survived through it all only to live with even more difficulties. I had to trust the pain had purpose. I had to believe in myself and that I had the strength and the capability to live in health and that I, Jenna Laird, deserved to have a fulfilling, love filled, happy life.

And you, you beautiful reader of this, do too. Whatever struggle you are going through to transform you into your full calling and being is going to be worth every single second. The pain you are feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming. Keep stepping out with blind faith. I will be here to support you through it all.

Love, light, and bravery, J.L.