I read a quote this week that said "It's not joy that makes us grateful, its gratitude that brings us joy". I am grateful for so many things, not because it is Thanksgiving, but because there are just so many things to be grateful for despite my hardships. I am grateful for the beautiful colours of the leaves, the crisp air, the moments of sunshine, the laughter of children, the love and support of family and friends. I am grateful for Sheena's Place and for the trust that has been placed in me to moderate this blog.
I am also so very grateful to all of you who are reading this, and to the incredibly brave submissions I have been given over the last year.
I am very excited to share this week's piece with you. It was submitted last year at Thanksgiving and I couldn't share it because there was a delay in the blog creation. I have held onto this piece, knowing that I could share it with you this year. Thank you for your patience Katharine, I hope that reading this and sharing it with your friends brings you joy on this Long Weekend.
If you are spending this weekend on your own, or you are spending it with people who seem to know exactly how to push your buttons and/or trigger you, please remind yourself that you have made it through everything in your life and you will survive this too. Give yourself compassion and treat yourself with gentleness. Remember the skills in your tool box and take advantage of every opportunity to use them. You have permission to practice self-care in whatever form that takes. You have permission to step outside, to go into a different room, to find a few moments to do deep breathing and clear your head. You have permission to say no, and to LEAVE!
You are worthy, you are loved, you are important, and you are enough as you are right now in this moment. Just like you can create boundaries with other people, you can create boundaries in your own head. You can say to yourself, "self, you are not allowed to engage in symptoms. You do not have to engage in anything that harms you. Self, you have an inner-child. Children need boundaries and limits. Children feel safer that way. Children feel secure when they are kept safe. Self, I can set my limits and boundaries without it being rigid rules. I can set healthy boundaries." It sounds ridiculous. And it works. Replace the word "self" with whatever feels comfortable or right for you. This weekend is yours. This weekend is an opportunity to rest and recharge and take care of yourself, in spite of any obligations. This may mean delaying one minute longer than you have before. You have come this far in recovery, you can take one more step this weekend to be good to yourself because I believe from the bottom of my heart that you are worth it.
Take good care of yourself, and remember to nourish your body, mind, and spirit.
This is from Brene Brown,
‘You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.’
I have always been that hustler, that hooker, that looker, offering up my body as a token of my admiration, beseeching her to love me through my trifecta of tools: shame, blame and manipulation.
Always dancing as fast as I can, all the while singing the same refrain stuck on repeat, “Please love me. Please fill me. Please heal me. Never leave me. I will do any thing and be anyone you need. I will make your every wish come true.”
Hoping always that ephemeral, elusive feeling of safety would land on my right shoulder like a butterfly’s kiss, like a benediction.
But that was yesterday. After a lifetime of yesterdays, on this day of giving thanks, I can walk straight into my story, thankful to proclaim my own truth, which is this:
I am worthy of love. I am inherently loveable. I did not need to change my surname to Love. I did not need to lie prostrate on the floor, begging to be loved. I just needed to know, I just needed to feel, I just needed to own that my flawed and broken self has inherent value in this world. And it does, and I do, and therefore I am, extremely thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
- Katherine Angelina Love
If you would like to share your story, or other writings or art, please email your submission to Kmccarthy@sheenasplace.org
If you or someone in your life is struggling with an Eating Disorder, you can contact the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at http://nedic.ca/
If you would like more information or to register for groups, visit Sheena's Place website at www.sheenasplace.org