And This Is How I Will Find The Woman I Once Was

woman's face
Seth Macey / Unsplash

I am longing for something that I don’t even know what is, something that I don’t yet have words for. I’m waiting to feel something, anything. That’s the good thing about pain, at least it is an indicator that you’re still alive. Abandoning yourself, the essence of you is a betrayal that happens slowly, over long periods of time. It happens as you pour so much of yourself into everyone else, you lose yourself altogether. I think feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all. Maybe.

I don’t even know the woman that claims to be me. I catch a glimpse of her in a mirror every so often and she looks a little like me, until I look in her eyes, then she’s a stranger. Over the years there isn’t anything left that even resembles me on the inside. I still look like myself to those who don’t look too closely. Maybe a shell, like one of those Easter eggs that is decorated beautifully on the outside, but has been emptied of the egg inside by someone blowing through a tiny pinhole. The outside looks fine, normal, average. It’s the inside that is cold and as empty as an abandoned well. That’s funny, I don’t remember giving anyone permission to blow my soul through a pinhole.

Like a chick fighting to break free from its shell, or a butterfly struggling to emerge from her cocoon, there are but two choices; keep fighting or give up, and I am not willing to admit defeat.

I’m physically here, present, blood pumping, lungs breathing, but I am not here with them, everyone around me. Their voices are muffled like a television in the next room. I hear the sound, but not the words they are saying. But what I can hear is a voice in my head that sounds like a stranger talking to me because it’s been so long since I’ve really listened to her.

I think it’s time to listen to her again. It’s time to quit fighting life. It’s time to accept everything that I am, and accept myself for everything that I am not. It’s time to show myself the compassion I show everyone else. It is time to make decisions about how I will live these next forty years.

I will go on more walks and listen to the birds sing, the wind in the trees. I will listen to the frogs chirping in the evenings as if they are whispering my future.

I will take more time to rest and I will make an effort to turn off my phone, my t.v., my mind. I will be true to my inner self.  I won’t make myself small just to keep from offending anyone.

I will listen to my body, stretch when I need to, and feed my body healthy food. I will show myself love by taking care of my skin and getting the rest I need.

I will say no to things that feel burdensome, and I will walk away from people or places that feel heavy in my spirit.

I will let go of guilt and shame and forgive myself where I need forgiveness while no longer expecting perfection from myself.

I will sing more, and walk barefoot in the grass every chance I get. I will smell flowers and take their picture. I’ll make it a priority to watch more sunsets and express gratitude for everyone and everything that brings me joy or teaches me a lesson that helps me grow.

I will draw in the sand with my toes and collect feathers, pretty rocks, and leaves that call my name from the ground where they lay waiting for me.

I will dance when I feel like it, and I will make time to pray because I have ignored myself for so long.  I have felt so alone not hearing my own inner voice.  I promise I will never ignore her again. Amen. TC mark

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