You want to hear something crazy?
There is one month left in this entire DECADE.
Yes – decade.
I mean, I remember when Y2K was a thing back in 1999. People were preparing for doomsday with canned goods and generators and bottled water. Meanwhile, I was just playing NeoPets on the computer, listening to Blue Da Be Dee on repeat.
But that was twenty years ago. TWENTY YEARS!
And now, we’re one month away from 2020 — the roaring twenties. And so now is the time to go for it. If there was ever a moment to take a shot, to burst out of your comfort zone, to do something a little crazy — now is the time!
Gosh, this past decade — it’s been quite a journey. I’ve truly solidified my recovery from anorexia. I’ve learned how to take care of myself – mind, body and spirit. And I’ve been working to create a meaningful life.
I’m not going to bore you by looking back. But I thought I’d take a minute to share what I want to take with me going forward into this next decade.
Because after all, hindsight is 20/20 – HAH! But for real – maybe the hindsight from this past decade can be a blessing this next go around.
1) Cherish Time with Loved Ones
Life is fragile. I’ve seen this with friends. I’ve seen this with my mom’s stroke. You just never know what is going to happen tomorrow. So put down the phone, be present with the people you love, and really savor every moment. Living far away from the people I love most in this world is really difficult. And quite honestly, it has me reevaluating a lot of things. But one thing I know for sure is that I will never EVER take a single moment we have together for granted. Life is too short.
2) Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself
This past decade was full of highs and lows for my health. Recovering from anorexia aside, battling such a severe Ulcerative Colitis flare in 2012 — which left me on bedrest for 11 months — truly forced me to have to learn how to care for my body, and quite honestly: kick any lingering ED habits I was still holding onto out of my life once and for all. I had to get serious about my complete spectrum of health: mind, body and spirit. And one of the biggest things was balance. If one of those areas was off: no bueno.
Which leads me to….
3) Trust that Setbacks are Actually Set Ups
Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be grateful for that year of bedrest from my Ulcerative Colitis. I mean, I was in a show in New York, I had to move home and live on my parent’s couch for a year as a fresh twenty-something! My world came crashing down. It was the biggest setback — aside from the anorexia — I had ever faced.
But you know what? It was actually the greatest set up of my life. Because I gained the greatest perspective and season of personal growth, that I could have only gleaned by going through such a tumultuous time. I learned perseverance. Faith. Trust. And — I finally kicked my unhealthy addiction to exercise, and adopted a three-meals-a-day lifestyle, that up until then, I had been skirting, due to lingering ED habits.
Not to mention, I loved getting to spend that special — albeit excruciatingly painful — time with my parents, and reconnecting with them as an adult.
God never lets our pain be for nothing. It will never be in vain. He uses it all, and will create something positive from it. We can trust that with our whole heart. And even though, in the midst of the suffering, it’s nearly impossible to see, God’s goodness will ultimately prevail.
4) Create an Environment Conducive to Blooming
Adopting recovery from anorexia can be challenging, because when you return to “the scene of the crime,” if you will, there will always be a shadow that follows you around, reminding you — and others — of your life in the eating disorder.
Memories are a powerful, powerful thing. And one of the most helpful decisions I made was to change my environment to be pro-recovery. I moved to New York. It was the clean slate I needed to create a life that was not overshadowed by dark memories from a destructive past.
5) Say YES to Life
This last one here, is the best, in my opinion. And one that I’ve really adopted here recently. After spending years in my anorexia isolating myself, and closing myself off to love and relationships — saying YES to life, to love, to adventures, to spontaneity, to FUN — it is amazing what it can do.
God created us to live life to the FULL. An abundant life, in every aspect of the word. A life enslaved to an eating disorder — where everything is stifled and suppressed, and closed off — it kills the beautiful part of our spirit that was created for community, and joy, and vulnerability.
Giving myself permission to feel those things has been the biggest game changer for me. And it all starts with the little word: YES.
We always ask God to show us His plan, and to change our situations — we need to allow Him to do so — and it starts with opening the doors that He presents to us. SAY YES!
So there ya go! This coming decade, I pray that we all can live in the beautiful, life-affirming abundance that God created us to enjoy.
The truth of the matter is that we are loved beyond our wildest imaginations. And the sooner we accept that, and then love ourselves in that same way, the sooner we can live FROM that joy that only He brings.
I pray that for me, and I pray that for you, my friend.
May 2020 be the year of living out 2019’s 20/20 hindsight!
What are some lessons YOU want to bring with you in 2020??
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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