The Not’s

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It’s starting.

The first of my friends from high school is getting. married.

DUN DUN DUN

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So I’m sitting here at the airport waiting to fly back home, where I am going so see my former classmates from high school. Which wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except for the fact that the last time I saw these people, I was 78 pounds and entrenched in my anorexia. So needless to say, I’m feeling some anxiety about seeing everyone again.

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And I wanted to explore that feeling, because let’s be honest, it’s kind of overwhelming. And bottling things up is never a good thing.

I was nervous about having to explain where I am in my life. I mean, the “Big Two” when you’re a young twenty-something are Relationships and Job Titles. Those are the questions you’re bombarded with at cocktail parties. And my feeling of anxiety was tied to my “not’s.” — Focusing on the “not’s” in my life.

And this is something that I think can get in a lot of people’s heads.

Some of my “not’s” are: I’m not where I want to be in my career. I’m not engaged. I’m not even in a serious relationship!

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Examples of some other “not’s” could be, I’m not where I want to be from a health/fitness stand point. I’m not “in” with the “right” crowd. I’m not on the sports team I was hoping to make. I’m not doing how I thought I would at school. I’m not where I want to be in my recovery. I’m not accepted to the school I was dreaming of attending.

Any of those sound familiar?

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We can get so caught up in the negatives. Comparing, in an unfavorable light, how we thought our lives should be.

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But here’s what was put on my heart:

I need to just let all those “not’s” go.

Just take a long exhale and let them go.

Because in focusing on the “not’s,” I wasn’t remembering and celebrating the “am’s.”

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The fact is, I am in a good place in my life. I am healthy. I am in recovery from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. I am working hard at my acting career in a city that can eat you alive if you let it. I am living my reclaimed life and have supportive friends who love me. And I am a daughter of the King, and am loved and worthy just for that fact alone.

Sure, I might not be where I want to be financially yet, and my romantic life may be significantly lacking, but those “not’s” do not define who I am.

And being so caught up in the “not’s,” I have subconsciously been compensating.

All week I have been preparing for this wedding. Getting the right dress, right shoes, whitening my teeth, getting my nails and toes “done,” all to be able to present the “perfect” version of myself.

And as I was packing three different dress options, a hair straightener, hair diffuser, purse, shawl, the “right” bra, blah blah blah…I thought to myself – none of this matters.

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Which leads me to my last point.

Sure, I may have been looking for the “wow dress” to wear when I see these people for the first time. But that is just clothing.

What matters is the girl inside the dress.

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Which I know, is beyond cheesy.

But what matters is who I am.

And who I am is not defined by the “not’s” or the dress.

Who I am is defined by my heart. By my spirit. How I treat other people. How I love myself. What I value and what I believe in.

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That is who I am.

Because at the end of the day, people won’t remember what I was wearing, or what my annual income is. They’ll remember how I treated them. How I made them feel. How I radiated Love.

Nothing defines us unless we let it. What defines you?

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

66 thoughts on “The Not’s

  1. this was similar to me i hadn’t seen my childhood friends since i was 5 half stone a few years previous, they were all getting married and having children I had been sick and trying to get healthy. I was worried about how I looked now being a healthy weight and not being able to have a career due to the illness and was so far behind what everyone else had what any normal late 20’s person has but all they were glad about was that i was still alive I am now graduating from university next year and will find my way in the world least im here to do it.
    you friends will just be glad your there have fun you’ve come so far be proud

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you peanut. I appreciate your encouragement so much! You’re right. We have so much to be proud of and to be grateful for. The important thing is that we’re there. That we’ve reclaimed our lives and are now living abundantly. Thanks for stopping by! Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Relax, slow down, inhale, exhale. Ha, sorry just my sense of humor kicking in again. Now, as an older than you lady I will quote an old saying, “Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.” I think you are doing fine on gettting your life together, just keep up the good work.

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  3. Amen. I’ll pray for you as well! It is so hard to be happy in who you are, and i have to remind myself that I’m not the only one who has those insecurities. So thanks for the reminder–Jesus loves us not for who we are on the outside, but how we demonstrate his love to others. It’s totally a heart thing. ❤️

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  4. I love your perspective and resolve! I’ve learned through life that I can only be true to myself (and God). My life is far from where I envisioned it when I was younger, and it is far from what many people would consider traditional. But it is my life and I love where I am in it and wouldn’t change a thing because it is who I am and I am proud of how God has worked through my life….even if it isn’t what many people would consider ideal! Enjoy the festivities of the day and be proud of where you are in your life, given what you’ve been through. From what I can see, you own or really well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much:) that really means a lot. Yes, remembering how we are seen in God’s eyes makes all the difference. In Him do we find our place in this world. And that’s all that matters! Thank you for your beautiful insight. Blessings to you friend. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing! Although I do not know you, you are amazing! From my own experience (having battled an eating disorder that almost took my life in high school/almost 20 years ago), retraining your brain and turning your focus from the “NOTs” to the “I AMs” is beyond difficult to do, but even more brave. You have a lot to be proud of with those “I AMs.” I was always the friend who did not have a serious boyfriend, who did not go to the college I wanted to, who did not have the

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  6. job I wanted, endless “NOTs” but honestly they all lead me to “I AMs” better than I ever dreamed. Be patient, believe in yourself, and trust in God. I know that you find that too. I am excited that I found your blog and will definitely continue to follow. =) (Sorry I sent the first part too early. My computer is having issues today.)

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    1. Oh gosh thank you so much for this encouraging note. I really appreciate it. You’re so right. Trust in Him is where we find our worth and He helps us to find the “I ams” and Believe them. Thank you so much for stopping by. Blessings friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Anytime… He definitely does help us do that! While my blog is not about my battle with an eating disorder, sometimes I think I need to start another for it. I commend you for sharing your story, it is a story that can and will inspire many. Stay strong and keep trusting in Him to guide your steps.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey !!! when i read this post i was like LORD have mercy on your daughter.. !!! its really crazy. but after 4 years of life..Today i realized i am a very critical person(judgmental) !! also very self-righteous, and not wise at all!! trust me when i say this…but its just so hard to find your identity in christ.. cause i was not always like this.. something changed.. and i thought i was all of a sudden “Good” im just hoping from starting today.. that i spend time.. and get to know my identity..

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  8. I agree with what everyone seems to be saying here and another great post as always 🙂 It is very true that one should focus more on where they are instead of what they are not 🙂 I mean of course, as you imply, we all wish we had more in our life at the current, but in the end, what is really important is what one accomplished as a human being as opposed to lifestyle 🙂 Everything you wrote down in this blog entry about yourself serves as the perfect example 🙂 Again, everything you write is just truly inspirational and keep up the great work as always 🙂

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    1. Oh my gosh John, I am touched and humbled by such encouragement and positivity from you. Thank you. your words are so true- it is who we are as a human that is important. I’ll have to remember that as I’m heading into the event this weekend. It’s so easy to forget! Thanks for stopping by and for your support

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I enjoyed this so much! No matter what type of recovery road we are all on, THIS is what we need to focus on. What is, and not what was ❤ I feel like I needed this right now! I am turning to a more positive and healthy life, but there are those moments. It’s important to reflect and see what is WITHOUT JUDGMENT, and love yourself, and you reminded me of that. Thank you !

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      1. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what other people may think or what we think our lives SHOULD BE like by superficial standards, but we only owe it to ourselves to appreciate what we have and how far we’ve come. It’s refreshing to see others such as yourself that are on different paths of recovery, but yet we are all so similar. It gives a new aspect of hope and faith.

        Thank you! Same to you xo

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It amazes me how many struggles that aren’t physically real yet feel most overwhelming. The virtual world of the mind is an amazing place that lives in parallel with your reality, yet it’s an illusion that doesn’t exist. It is this veil of the heart that blinds you to the truth yet from it your greatest victories and defeats become your realities.

    1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

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    1. Oh how I love that quote. It is so beautiful. And so true! Thank you for your comment. I loving hearing your wisdom! Thank you for your insight. It really resonated with me 😊👍 hope you’re having a great weekend. Blessings friend

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes yes yes. This can be so difficult, especially when we have struggled and have had to take time away from our dreams to focus on our health. I try to remind myself that I have always been working, always been learning, and always moving forward. Everyone’s journey is different. Just because I have a “I am not” doesn’t mean I don’t have an “I am.” From a fellow actor who IS also working hard at her craft, thank you.

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    1. Amen, sister! I appreciate your encouragement. I always have to remind myself that health comes first. And that is such a hard but important thing to remember. Thanks for this wonderful insight, friend. Blessings xx

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  12. Hi sweetie.💕 I have been following you on instagram for a while. But I admit this is the first time I actually visited your blog. Shame on me! Darling.💟 This post was so beautiful. You are so brave to put your feelings out there the way you did. Even though I am well past my 20s I can definitely identify. Your post was so inspiring. Thank you. You are really lovely.

    Debra
    stylewisebydebra.com

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear fellow blogger,
    First, let me say I love the name of your blog and I don’t know how you did your header but as a newbie blogger, I think it is clever and creative. Second, let me say how much I enjoyed your post. I loved the little inspirational quotes and appreciated your honesty. I also think you show a maturity in Christ that is an example to others (certainly to me!). Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts and tussles.
    I dropped by because you’d ‘liked’ my recent blog post. Thank you. I praise God for you, precious daughter of the King and for the wonderful witness you are.

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  14. I love this post because it is so true. I’m only just reaching this point myself and i’m 36yrs! But i’m finally starting to see what really matters, and it’s not my weight, it’s not how amazing I look, how expensive my dress is, what car I drive, what career I pursue, but the person I am. And as soon as one can lay down this façade of having everything just so, and presenting the vulnerability and honesty of life, it provides the freedom for others to be able to do the same. Even those with all the latest gadgets and expensive possessions experience humanness like the rest of us. Material things simply do not matter, we all just wish to feel loved and accepted, and that is a gift you/we can give if only we live this gift ourselves. My authentic attempt at recovery from my 20+ years of an e.d. is what is opening my eyes to all of this finally- the heart of what really matters. Much love to you for having the courage to do this much younger than I did xx

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    1. Thank you so much Sharee. I appreciate your thoughtful and encouraging words. And thank you for your insight. You’re so right – it’s who we are that matters. I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Blessings friend xx

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  15. This post is amazing! you go, girl! I went through all th same insecurities for years before going through some very difficult personal challenges that made me let go and be happy with who I am. I let go of what other people wanted to be in order to be who I wanted to be and it has been life changing. I’m so glad you’re doing the same, because the bottom line is, if you are happy with yourself, everyone else will be happy for you too 🙂

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  16. “Because at the end of the day, people won’t remember what I was wearing, or what my annual income is. They’ll remember how I treated them. How I made them feel. How I radiated Love.”

    That is a wonderful last paragraph and a perfect “sign-off” for all of us. Right now I am not employed. I’m 57 and people I know are judging me for my decision to leave my prior job and wait out the right opportunity for this “later” stage of my life. They can’t understand why I left a “secure” employment situation…that whole “Job Title thing” never stops hovering over your head no matter how old you are…if you let it. I don’t. I’m comfortable in my own skin and know God will call me to serve again at the right time and place regardless of Job Title, Income, etc. That has how I have always tried to live. If we are truly happy we radiate LOVE…and that’s really what our full-time job should be, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right. Radiating love is what is truly important. And that stretches in so many different directions – love for others, love for self, love for God, love for the environment — love is so important. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you’ve been following your heart and going where you are called.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You are so brave to share your life with us and I really admire that!!! I think you are right sometimes we do get caught up in the nots. Especially when we are in our 20s because now a lot of people aren’t where they want to be in their careers and relationships.

    What is important is what is now! You seem to be on the right track and I look forward to reading your posts just know you are an inspiration to all! What kind of plays are you involved in? I have a lot of friends who are in the acting field as well.

    http://www.bfitbyou.wordpress.com

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      1. oh nice!!! Good luck in your film acting. I don’t know if you are in LA or NYC, but my friend is actually a make-up artist in LA for movies and commercials. You should check her out Ann Beckette 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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