Wednesday, July 6, 2016

as the sun goes away, i have more to give

One of my heroes is Kelly Rae Roberts. Gosh, it was after I had come home from my mission and I think before I had moved into my apartment - so roughly sometime in 2011 - I was hanging out with my dear friend, C, and as we walked out of a little store, this caught my eye:

I immediately went back in and bought it. It spoke to me. I think it was one of the first pieces that had ever spoken to me - something I connected with//believed. It has been in my home/room ever since.

She is fabulous! I love following her on Instagram because all of her posts are real and uplifting. She calls herself a "possibiltarian" - and I don't fully understand what that means to her, but to me it means things are possible! Life is possible! Dreams are possible! And I love that positivity. She is darling and I really enjoy being a part of her journey.

She is speaking at the Brave Girl Symposium this year (I am BEYOND bummed to not be going - because she is speaking and my FAVORITE author, Richard Paul Evans, is speaking too! Seriously bummed I'm not there...) and before she left she posted this question on Instagram:

Can we love our most agonizing and fearful life experiences?

Wow. What an incredible question. She is going to speak about this and answer the question - which I totally wish I could hear - but since I can't be there to hear her answer, I thought I'd answer it for myself.

Simply, yes.

If you had asked me this when I was 15 and starting college and scared to death/had daily crying jags before class/went with teal finger-tipped veins - I would've said no. Absolutely, no.

If you had asked me this when I was 18 and trying to decide which school to go to/what to major in/how to navigate my new school/trying to make friends - I would've said no. Really, no.

If you had asked me this when I was 20 and got a rejection letter for graduate school/had to quickly re-evaluate what the heck I was going to do/started working full-time - I would've said no. Just, no.

If you had asked me this when I was 21 and left for what I thought would be an 18 month mission/came home 6 months later/was having seizures - I would've said no. Ha, no.

If you had asked me this when I was on my way to inpatient (either time)/going through 6 months of testing to figure out what was "wrong"/going to weekly therapy and doing incredibly hard homework (for years and years and years) - I would've said no. HELL, NO.

These events were TOO agonizing - TOO fearful - for me to accept, let alone love.

But I have g r o w n so much this year. The skills I have been learning and practicing for 3 years is paying off as I do Prolonged Exposure Therapy and face the trauma. In the beginning, I hated the traumatic events. I was angry at them for causing me so much suffering. I didn't want to face them - I wanted to avoid them. The choice has always been mine - so really I could've continued to avoid them if I wanted. But it was time for healing. And healing has come from looking my demons in the eyes, studying them, learning about them, understanding them, and finally, letting them go so I could move forward.

At this time, I may not fully love each experience but I have compassion for them. I have increased compassion for myself. Compassion for the girl I once was who was frightened/alone and did her best to be true to herself with the limited skills she had.

And I believe compassion is the first step to love.

One day, I will look these experiences fully in the rear-view mirror and I will think, "Wow, I did it. I lived that. I survived that. I overcame that. And I am awesome for doing so."

Friends, I feel in my bones that that day is soon. (...which makes me really happy...)

I have made myself and a few friends "Personal Reassurance" shirts. I'm going to make more. And maybe one day sell them.! How cool would that be? This is my "possibiltarian" thinking - and it's because of the heroic examples of Kelly Rae and Brene Brown and the Brave Girl Club and HopeHealInspire that I believe I can be one of them - I can change my little part of the world. I can!