As you may know, I’m not in NYC right now. I’m filming a project out of the city, and am so grateful to be able to pursue my dreams. (I’m an actor)
The show I’m working on has a good sized cast. And if you haven’t worked in the entertainment industry, people get close — fast. You bond. Become fast friends. You literally spend 12+ hours on set together every day: working, rehearsing, hanging out when you’re not on, eating together, getting ready together – they’re not kidding when they say you become a family.
So you get to know everyone.
And here’s what I’ve come to find:
Everyone has a story.
Every single person has had some event in their past that has shaped their life: Cancer. The death of a sibling or parent. Being adopted. Homelessness. Abuse. A life altering diagnosis. An eating disorder.
Every single person that you meet, no matter how “put together” they may seem, has something in their past that has greatly impacted who they are today. And I’m not talking about winning the lottery. It is usually something that has been painful.
This is your story. You are living it. You are going through it. And you will come out the other side braver, and wiser, and with an assurance and depth to you that can only be achieved by overcoming this adversity.
This is your story. And you need to claim it. Own it.
Because your overcoming this disease — that victory will inspire others. It will offer hope and encouragement. So don’t ever be ashamed of it. Was it a painful period? Yes. But your triumph over an eating disorder that could have taken your life is something that should truly be celebrated.
Let me be one-hundred-and-fifty-percent clear: I am not saying that the eating disorder itself should be celebrated. No. Not at all. I’m saying that the fact that you’ve chosen life — that you’ve chosen recovery and have overcome the darkness — that should be celebrated.
And here’s the final thing I’ve learned recently:
Everyone’s story includes brokenness.
We are all broken.
We all have things in our past that have left scars, or holes in our hearts that we’ve tried to fill unsuccessfully with different things — money, power, alcohol, sex, designer shoes, a perpetual state of being busy, drugs, success, an eating disorder — all these things that we try to fill that void with, can never and will never be able to.
Because there is only one thing that can fill it.
The common theme among everyone for what was “filling” their void was “spirituality.” — “Finding peace through meditation.” “The power of envisioning.” “A zen meditation retreat.”
Okay, those are all great and good. Sure, finding a respite from the chaos is wonderful. But they’re all missing one thing:
I don’t care how “zen” that retreat is — how many sun salutations you do, or “power of positive thinking” books you read — they will always fall short, because they’re missing the only thing that can truly bring you peace: God.
And I never want to be preachy, so I’m going to just keep this short.
The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He refreshes my soul.
“Spirituality” is missing something:
❤ LOVE. ❤ God loves you back.
Yoga is wonderful. Meditating is beautiful. Positive thinking and Envisioning your future are terrific motivators. But they cannot mend the brokenness. They cannot fill that hole inside that you’ve tried and tried and tried to fill with this and that. Because at the end of the day, it’s just you. You open your eyes from the meditation or shavasana, and it’s just you. You’re still alone. Momentary peace, yes. But here’s the thing:
God loves you back. And loves you through your brokenness. And loves you in spite of your brokenness. And loves you because of your brokenness.
And lastly, with Him, you are never alone.
Your story is yours. You are not a failure because of an eating disorder. You are not a disappointment or a lost cause. You are not disqualified from love because of it. No. You are a warrior for rising up from the ashes and reclaiming your life.
You don’t have to do it alone. You’re not abandoned. God will see you through. Because He loves you.
The question is, will you let Him?