Yesterday it rained for what seemed like 24 hours straight. A mixture of misty drizzle and heavy downpour continued from before I arose to well after I went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, still hearing some patter of raindrops on the skylights above my bed, I was curious to see what it would look like outside. What I found was that the rain had washed away much of the snow that had blanketed our yards and streets and finally revealed the grass and ground that lie underneath. It felt like a perfect metaphor for my cleanse. I have washed away some of what had been covering up the person within me. When I got dressed this morning, gearing up for the gym, I was marveling at how much had been melted in just two short weeks. Gone are the tight clothes and discomfort and what is left behind is fresh and energetic. Make no mistake, two weeks has not healed years of abusing my body but it certainly helped to reveal a me that I have not seen in a year or more.
What I consumed:
- Cleanse Shake with strawberries, bananas and pineapple
- Sweet potato
- Chicken with lemon, garlic, olive oil and shallots
- 2 clementines
- 19 gigantic supplement capsules
- 64 oz water
How I felt:
Sleep problems are continuing which is frustrating. I fell asleep at around midnight last night and was awakened at 3am. When I started stirring, I instinctively knew it was way too early to get up and groaned when I looked over at the clock and saw the numbers flashing 3:00. I suspect this has something to do with the fact that I have been having very vivid dreams, some good and some disturbing, that are pushing me out of my restful slumber. I did manage to fall asleep for a little while longer but, by 5am, I was up and ready to go. I also had a splitting headache today and some dizziness that are unexplained. I don’t think it had anything to do with what I ate since my diet has been pretty consistent over the past few weeks. Perhaps it was atmospheric.
55 minutes on the elliptical doing a really tough mountain climber workout. I was so tired and sweaty at the end of the program that I could not do anything else!
Today at the gym I had to pause my workout in the middle because I had an intense itch on my leg. The pause caused my machine to restart and I realized that I wasn’t sure how much time had already elapsed. It didn’t really matter, of course, except that I feel an overwhelming responsibility to accurately track my time because I am reporting it in my blog. The precision that I require seems silly but I am unquestionably truthful to a fault. This is rooted in my childhood when my mother branded me a liar because I would sneak food and shamefully lie about it. I was humiliated every time I was caught and felt dirty and disgusted with myself for my dishonesty. My mother would proudly boast her moral superiority as she admonished me for my untruths. Ironically, as I grew older, I came to learn that much of my mother’s life was rooted in lies and that she opted to skip the little white lies and focused her efforts on the big fat destructive ones. Realizing her duplicity was jarring for me and broke any trust I had formed with my mother. It also made me begin to question everyone around me.
I have become very sensitive about honesty – both my own and that of those closest to me. Deceit is very hard for me to tolerate and, when I learn that someone close to me has been lying about anything – even something minor – I struggle to not feel a betrayal of my trust. As an outcome of my relationship with my mother, I keep close track of everything that people tell me and I’m always checking to see if their stories hold up. I am on the lookout for the lies and praying for the absence of them. Naturally, I know people lie – everyone tells little white lies. Unfortunately, I am so hyper-vigilant about the truth that I typically catch even those little ones and then am challenged with how to deal with that information.
My measurement of honesty, as it relates to my own behavior, goes far beyond the things I say and extends to how I live my life, from a holistic standpoint. For instance, yesterday, I was looking through the old text messages between me and my best friend again. I wanted to spend more time studying the dialogue on my end in an attempt to recapture my state of mind during that period of time. It was a difficult time for me, both personally and professionally, and I was reassessing many elements of my life. Knowing that, when I looked at the content yesterday, I found my words to be very inauthentic. It appeared that I was creating a persona that was not truly reflective of who I really was. The texts were all very upbeat and funny (with some darker moments), filled with way too many exclamation points. I was trying too hard. What I am unclear about was whether I was trying to shield my friend from the darkness lurking beneath the surface or if I was actually that far out of touch with myself. My guess is the latter. In contrast, when I look at how he and I communicate now, it is much more aligned with the realities of my life. The way I show up today far more authentically depicts the truth about my life. I am much deeper in the trenches and more openly dealing with the difficult and ugly matters in my life. There’s no doubt that, back then, my words felt very authentic but I don’t like the person I was then as much as I appreciate and value the person I am today. I am more serious and focused. That woman seems silly and immature while the one I see before me now is far more of an adult.
One of the things I have uncovered in the past year is that I have spent much of my adult life in a suspended state of adolescence. Because I didn’t have the opportunity to evolve in a natural and healthy way, a lot of my emotional maturation got stunted in my teens. I grew older and exhibited adult behaviors like getting a job, getting married and starting a family but, on the inside it never felt genuine. I was always frightened because I never felt equipped to take on the real responsibilities and expectations of an adult. Most of this was not apparent to the outside world because I did an excellent job of covering my vulnerabilities and came across as emotionally sophisticated. It was all a facade – a big lie. Only I had no idea I was lying. Until I did. Another one of those bells you simply can’t unring – and I had to do something about it. Three years ago when I was exchanging those silly texts with my friend, I was in the throes of avoiding adulthood. My life was filled with parties and drinking and hanging out with my friends and I thrived on this for a while until it became clear to me that I was not living my authentic life. I needed to mature, evolve and find out who the adult me really was. I was living a flat out lie.
So, I became a grownup. I turned inward and took the time to grow up and get to know myself. My friend was a great help in this process when he challenged me to look at myself today rather than focus on the dogma of the past. I learned my truth – I am a very serious person who needs to live a wholly honest and authentic existence. I don’t actually love those big parties – just intimate gatherings with my closest of friends and, mostly, would prefer one-on-one time to focus in. I don’t like drinking to excess but sometimes find it incredibly liberating. I have a life filled with more responsibilities than I can sometimes manage and burdens that overwhelm me more often than not. I am a product of my mother and father – two people who were incredibly fucked up and made the big mistake of getting together and procreating without thinking through the responsibility that entailed. I get angry, I get sad and sometimes I am just plain content – but that is less frequent than I would like and something I am striving towards. I suffer from envy, wishing that I could live other people’s lives because sometimes mine is just too hard. I have self-pity and feel frustrated that no one can rescue me from my own life. And then I remember that this is my puzzle to solve, not anyone else’s – and I don’t always mind that because I know I am the only one who can really figure things out. I still struggle with intense insecurity and, conversely, sometimes I fumble from overconfidence. I’m stubborn and fierce and strong willed and also gentle and calm and incredibly loving. I am one of the strongest people I know and equally one of the most fragile. My heart breaks easily and often. I am, for sure, one of the most complicated and challenging people around but I am worth knowing because I enrich the lives of those around me. I’m not ashamed of my dichotomy or my weaknesses and am most proud about my intense honesty. I am living an honest and authentic life.
And that, above all else, makes me happy.