Well, I just finished my book.
I’ll hold for applause.
Juuuuuust kidding. 🙂 Although, it is exciting, and I did a little happy dance last night to some Broadway show tunes to commemorate the occasion.
But it’s been really interesting to have to go back. To put myself back in that place, ten years ago, when I was going to inpatient for my anorexia. Which, wouldn’t you know, upon my entrance, I was in denial that I even had an eating disorder at all, and was adamant that I wasn’t anorexic.
And as I’ve been writing, I’ve realized just how much I am not that girl anymore. I can barely even recognize myself. And I’m not just talking about the glaringly obvious physical transformation. The truth is, I barely recognize my heart.
But it’s been really powerful – and monstrously difficult – to mentally go back and think about what I would say to that girl. What I would say to that girl who is hurting. Angry. Alone. Terrified. Anxious. Exhausted. Defeated. What would I say to her, who is at the absolute lowest point in her life?
What would get through to her? Because honestly, what I needed to hear is not exactly “first date” conversation. It took an intense intervention, with a close family friend getting two inches away from my nose, looking me dead in the eyes, saying, “Do you know what you’re doing to your father?” But that’s a story for another day.
What I’ve come to realize, while writing this book and simultaneously caring for my mom during her stroke recovery, is that I think sometimes, we’re looking for permission to let go of something that is bad for us.
Which sounds incredibly simple.
But I think we all can find ourselves at one point or another with a death grip on something that is – either blatantly or conspicuously – destructive. Something that gives us a false sense of control. A distorted sense of comfort.
Sometimes we’re desperate for someone to tell us that it’s okay to let it go.
Because it’s scary to let go of what’s been sustaining us. Giving up that which has been our way to cope with the world. Manage our fear and anxiety. Give us purpose. We ruthlessly protect it, even if it’s bad for us. Perhaps, especially if it’s bad for us.
We let go, and then what? We’re in a free fall? We’ve lost control. What will become of us? Life will be unbearable. How can I give up that which has been keeping me ‘alive?’
But what we don’t respect, is that all the striving and the hanging-on-for-dear-life we’re doing, is exhausting. We’re desperately tired and worn, but that absolute need for control and fear-management, it overrides that exhaustion.
We need someone to give us permission to let it go.
Because, if we really look inside our hearts, we’ve been looking for that permission all along.
The thing is, I am not the person who has the authority to tell anyone that. Sure, I may suggest it and present the life-changing ramifications of a life let go. But ultimately, that comes down to her and God.
She’s got to trust that He’s going to catch her. She’s got to trust that He will become that life source, that comfort, that sustenance for her. She has to deem Him dependable.
It’s been so interesting to be writing this book here. In this time. During this season of regrowth and renewal for my mom after her stroke in December. Because there are nights when I realize that everything I’ve been writing, it’s as though it were written just for my mom, too.
We’re all recovering from something.
And we all are somewhere in the process of relinquishing the control that we’re clinging to, and trusting that the Father will truly have our best interest at heart.
It’s a delicate balance.
And a maneuver that takes a lifetime to come to fruition.
I’m finding myself still working on that give-and-take, that push-and-pull with God over control. Except this time, it’s not about weight gaining supplements and meal plans, but things like, future plans, not fearing my current place in life, worries about finding love. The things of a typical 20-something-home-assisting-her-mother’s-stroke-recovery.
So what would I say?
Going back to that scared, hurting girl on the precipice of the most grueling and frightening fight for her life?
He’s got you. Let Him have you.
And perhaps, I need to hear that too.
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
Thank you for considering supporting BBB on Patreon! You make this blog possible
Sometimes, what we hold onto – what we’re afraid of letting go – is actually prohibiting us from being free.