Friday Night Lights.
If you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing, and watch it on Netflix. All of it. I’m not kidding. You’ll thank me later..
Truth be told, I watched the entire series in one huge marathon, otherwise known as binge watching. Side note: as someone with an ED history, I hate that term with a passion. Anyone else?
But I digress.
Friday Night Lights, if you don’t know, is an iconic football drama that centers around the Dillon Panthers, their incredible Coach Taylor, and the players that come in and out of his life.
They win championships, they lose championships. They face injuries. Adversity. Transfers. Bad refs. Division. Supporters and Doubters. But every time before they take the field, they chant “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Can’t Lose.”
Clear eyes, Full hearts: Can’t lose.
That motto struck a chord with me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I knew that it was a great saying, but I couldn’t exactly pin point why.
That phrase, my friends, is recovery. In one phrase, Coach Taylor divulged the secret, not just to winning football games, but to recovery: “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: Can’t Lose.”
Recovery is going to take a lot of things: Courage, determination, endurance, hope, will power. But one of the biggest things, is having a vision of where you’re going. You’ve got to have clear eyes to see that you have a promising future in front of you. That is incredibly cliche, but, dammit, you have something to offer this world. You have something to live for. God’s got a plan for you, and there is nothing that can stand in your way from going after it. You’ve got to be able to see past ED’s blinders, see beyond any obstacles he throws in your way, see through his lies, and keep your eyes focused on the goal: full recovery.
On the flip side of that coin, you’ve got to have clear eyes to be able to look back and recognize the destruction caused by ED. Looking back with clear eyes means that you recognize all the havoc and pain ED caused in your life, but that you truly know you have been forgiven of it. Looking back with clear eyes means that you’ve let go of the guilt and shame you may have felt, and can see that you’ve grown from the pain, and that you’ve become a strong warrior that is not burdened by a haunted past. You have clear eyes for both past and future.
And lastly, you’ve gotta have clear eyes to be able to spot ED and his lies. You’ve got to be able to recognize the THIEF for who he is and be able to decipher the Truth from his lies.
Love. It’s all about love, people. Loving yourself. Loving God. Loving others. Letting other people — letting God — love you. And accepting it. It’s all about love! Seriously. It is the hardest aspect of recovery, and also the most crucial. When your heart is so full of love — from yourself, from Jesus, and from others — there is no room for ED. When your heart is filled to the brim and overflowing, ED literally drowns and cannot torment you anymore. You…
And this is it, folks. When you combine those two things: eyes that can clearly see your past for what it is and your future for what it will be; with a heart that is full of love – from self, Jesus, and others – you can’t lose. When your mind and heart are aligned and on the same team, recovery is inevitable. It is certain to happen.
Your brain will no longer be abusing you with regret and guilt and shame about your past, because you will know that you are not your eating disorder. You will accept that yes, it was a painful time in your life, but it was just a season, and there are big things ahead of you. Things that only you can do, because He’s equipped you with the precise skill set for the job.
And you will be able to crush ED to the ground, because you can see his games and see his lies for what they truly are: lies. And you’ll be able to shut him down because your heart is full of love from honestly believing that you’re worthy and enough and loved.
When those things happen, you can’t lose. Or rather, ED can’t win. Because he won’t have access to those two entry points to your mind: your heart and your eyes.
Every time the Dillon Panthers would take the field, they would always chant that phrase as a way to “get up” for the game. And not to give away too much of the show, but Coach Taylor was known for taking “lost cause” players, and turning them into champions. In that way, he was an allegory to God. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure felt like a lost cause once or twice in my past. But part of Taylor’s success in winning year after year after year, was that he lived that motto. He believed it. He practiced it. And they were his fighting words. He didn’t give himself any other option, but to win.
Just like Taylor, you’ve got a championship to win: recovery. And you take the field every morning when you wake up. So give yourself a locker room pep talk beforehand, just like Taylor.
Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.
** A note about my Instagram fiasco:
As many of you know, today, my *former* Instagram account, @anorexiarevealed2 was falsely-reported as a “pro-Ana” account, and shut down by Instagram.
Yes, they can do that.
But it breaks my heart because, as you know, my #1 goal is to share hope, positivity and encouragement to #EDwarriors and girls (and boys) struggling with eating disorders. I’ve been through that darkness, and I want to be there for these strong souls. I was just absolutely devastated that my account, which had nearly 1000 followers, was just – *poof* – snatched away and shut down — all because of a FALSE ACCUSATION. I mean, I am 1,000% pro-RECOVERY! I poured my heart out into making my account meaningful by creating over 200 original pieces of “quote art” that have all since been lost. And what disappoints me even more than the fact that I lost all my original art, and all the followers, is that Instagram never even sent a reply email when I let them know that it was a false accusation.
And here’s what I think: Hurting people hurt people.
Someone, who is in a dark place right now, wanted to thwart the positivity and encouragement and hope that I have been working so diligently to promote through my Instagram and my blog, so she lied to Instagram and reported me as a pro-Ana IG account.
And to be clear, I’m not disappointed that I “lost followers,” as though it’s a popularity contest and I’m superficially sad that I don’t have good “numbers” anymore. What breaks my heart is that those followers were being exposed to the hope I’ve been trying to spread. Not that I think I’m going to save the world, or anything. But those were 1000 people that were getting a little soundbite about God’s love for them through my Instagram photos. So I’m not sad that I lost “notoriety” or lost “popularity” — I’m sad that those people that were being exposed to love are no longer receiving that message.
And all because a hurting person lied to Instagram that I was promoting eating disorders, and then they deleted my account without even checking to see if it was a factual accusation or not.
So I’ve literally had to start from square one again: Adopt a new name (@beauty.beyond.bones — if you search for anorexiarevealed it will take you there), remake all my photo art, and start rebuilding a community from the ground up.
And to be completely honest, I was completely discouraged. Devastated. Defeated.
I had literally poured out my heart into spreading love and nurturing people through an outreach that got wrongly snatched away from me.
But I have to just pick myself up and carry on. I believe this is God’s will that I’m doing, and I will not let an obstacle take me down. That’s what the enemy wants.
I will be RELENTLESS in the pursuit of my purpose.
So I invite you, to please join me at @beauty.beyond.bones with a follow, and together, we’ll carry on in this journey.