The Mess

It gets dirty.

I’ve never made any positive changes in my life without getting dirty. Gritty and slimy, wading through garbage piles that creep up past my hips. Digging. Finding what’s buried in the mess. Un-burying it. Taking a long look – no turning away anymore.

Losing weight? A filthy, unflinching process. First, it meant becoming aware of how I was living, and what I’d become. Acknowledging a way of life that was little more than a stream of constant consumption to make me numb, and to keep me there. It was a way to hide; no one wanted to look me in the eye when I was at my heaviest. Especially me. Secondly, it meant being forced to uncover the why. What was I numbing? Who or what was I hiding from?

Setting up a meal plan and an exercise routine … compared to that? Cake. Yep, chose that word on purpose.

That process taught me a lot of things – one of the most important being that I should expect that change means making a mess of things. It means finding, and sometimes creating, chaos and garbage and being smeared by its filthy remnants as you’re in down in there, digging. The lower the number on the scale dropped, the dirtier things got. Like the scale, it was a measurement of progress. Am I uncomfortable? Is it messy? Good. It’s working.

It worked.

But there’s so much more than the physical piece – as important as that part is. Your body will never contain all that is you.

I’m still making messes. Simultaneously creating and clearing piles of emotional garbage. Wandering through the parts of me that are darker, more complex – and are often at odds with each other. Asking why. How.

I believe, and I do not.

I am my most valiant hero and my cruelest foe.

I am my greatest cheerleader and my most unforgiving critic.

I crave intimacy and connection, but also fear it.

I isolate, then cry out about loneliness.

I want to feel everything, and also nothing. Still numbing.

I want to be noticed and also overlooked. Still hiding.

I create myself and destroy myself. Often.

I’m not done with my soul work – not even close. But I will make progress. I AM making progress.

It aches. I am hurt. I’m messy, and dirty, and tired. That’s how I know it’s working.



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