The Wait Is Over


Over the summer when I was focused on weight loss and looking my best I discovered a gym that was opening in my neighborhood. It seemed right up my alley. However, they were struggling with the city and permits to get the gym opened. They had all kinds of gimmicks to keep people interested in them while they waited. Each month that has gone by they have teased and tempted us with the opening that was “coming soon”. This past Friday they sent an email that indicated they were now open and classes were beginning the next day. Just like that. The prize was just over the ridge for five whole months and then, SLAM…in your face!

I feel so many things in my life have been like that. It is almost like we are in love with the waiting more than the receiving. We love to fantasize and dangle the idea of something in front of us to give us motivation, to tease us into action. However, the receiving is sometimes surprising and sometimes not as welcome as we’d like. For example, I had made it a goal many times over the years to reach a certain weight. It was the weight I was at when I got married when I was 21. It has been my ideal weight for as long as I can remember and I only got below it on one season after I started having kids, and I happened to be very sick when I did. It was a lofty goal for me because I struggle to lose weight when it was really only 25 pounds, I reached that goal in August. I look great. I got into a swimsuit I’ve had since I reached it many years ago when I was sick. Go me!

Another example is wanting to leave my husband. I started making plans to disconnect from him in 2014. Before that, I was resigned to staying married but secretly hoped he would suddenly pass away allowing me to be free. I think divorce is a more healthy thought, don’t you? Over the course of the six years between wanting to leave him and actually leaving him I came close a couple times, but it was freer to think about leaving him. Once the gauntlet was almost down I got scared about what my life would look like on the other side, so I stayed. Until I didn’t. One day (after a lot of circumstances) I woke up and just knew it was time. I told him, and I moved out shortly after. No more doubts, no more fears, the time had just come. The wait was over.

I think the important thing to ponder is what is it that we really want and will the goal we’ve set get us there, or is it just that we think it will? I think losing weight and looking good was about being “enough”. I had it in my mind that I would not be attractive enough until I weighed a certain weight. What I found when I got there was that I didn’t look much different. Sure, my love handles were smaller, but my losing 25 pounds wasn’t all that noticeable until I got into that swimsuit. That meant I didn’t look that bad before, it was all in my head. My issue is that I’m 5’9″ and have big hips and broad shoulders. I’m proportionate, but compared to other women I’m larger (super-sized!). My trainer at that lovely gym I was waiting for said I could lose another 15 pounds to be at the “ideal” weight for my height. However, I now realize that achieving that just means I start to focus on my sagging arms (I am 48) and the loose skin on my belly from having three kids. If that isn’t enough I’d have to lipo this that and the other thing and then I’d start looking like a freak from all the surgery. When does it end? When do I just accept myself as I am?

The goal with my ex-husband was a different goal. It wasn’t about me being enough, it was about being in alignment. I could feel that we did not belong together, but my stubbornness and my commitment to my family were more important to me. That isn’t a bad thing. Most people would commend someone for staying to provide a good environment for their kids. My ex and I didn’t fight, we were kind to each other until the end, so there was nothing really wrong with staying together for the concept of marriage. Except. . . (there is always an exception) I taught my kids that they should give up their happiness for security. As if we can’t actually have both and need to choose. I made that choice. I gave up being my true self to fit the role that I chose. Until I didn’t. Now I have the alignment I desired and the security I need. I can’t say I regret not leaving sooner, but it will be interesting to see how my kids perpetuate that decision in their lives. What will they give up in their lives because they think they can’t have two seemingly opposite desires?

The theme of my life now is authenticity. Not that I have been a glowing example of that. In fact, I could point out several examples in the last month or two where I have fallen flat on my face in manure, but I won’t because that isn’t the lesson. The lesson is that every time I have fallen short I have realized that it doesn’t pay to not be authentic. It hurts myself and others around me to pretend to be someone I’m not, to not tell the complete truth, or not just accept both the good and the seemingly bad together. I feel almost dirty and definitely depressed, and very, very unhappy when I chose not to be authentic and fully present. I read a book a long time ago called The Me I Want To Be (which was inspirational). However, I want to live the title The Me I Accept Myself To Be. I have, time and time again, over the last couple of months been reminded that I have a design. I chose this life. I am stuck in this body, for good or for bad. I have to be me to the fullest and most unapologetic way in order to actually live my purpose and have the people that belong in my life around me. To not be truly authentic is just hurting me and forcing me out of alignment.

So, I am not joining that gym. It is almost poetic that when I came to the conclusion that I am meant to be happy to just be me, wrinkles and love handles and all, the gym opens. The wait is over, but the prize is self-acceptance. I am finally free to be me.

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