#AugustMoon15: Day Five

augustmoonlighthouseEight years ago, I was incredibly unhappy. I hated my job, my body, myself. My life wasn’t working and I didn’t know how to fix it. I was lost and didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to do something different. Something had to change. I started therapy, which led to practicing meditation and yoga — however, at the time I was meditating to deal with stress and anxiety, and doing yoga to work on the flexibility and core strength of my body. I was still focused on fixing myself, thinking the problem was that something was wrong with me.

Then six years ago, an encounter with grief woke me up. My first dog and a dear friend were diagnosed with cancer. Nine months later, he died. Six months after that, she did too. It became clear to me that life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal, that we lose those we love too soon and it’s too sad, and bad things will happen no matter how hard we try. In the meantime, we have to live the crap out of our lives, love the shit out of ourselves and each other, and practice like our hair is on fire.

I started a life rehab. I made my last New Year’s Resolution ever, to be a better friend to myself. I started a daily writing practice. I read books and blogs like they were food and I was starving, took ecourses and classes, attended workshops and retreats. I worked with compassionate and wise teachers. I found a tribe, a sangha of generous and gentle people. I started writing this blog. I could see a light in the distance but I wasn’t sure if I could make it that far.

6 thoughts on “#AugustMoon15: Day Five

  1. Kimberly F.

    This post made my eyes sting with tears, Jill. When I was in a similar place four years ago, I sought therapy with the intention of fixing myself as well. I was determined that I was broken and that I needed to pay someone to help me understand all the things wrong with me, so I could be a likable person who wouldn’t experience so much conflict in my life. The therapist I worked with gave me the best gift she could have ever given me by refusing to join me in that goal. Over and over and over again, she pushed me to accept myself and be OK with myself, EVEN when others tell me I am not OK. It was a hard lesson for me to even begin to learn, and I have to practice self-acceptance daily, but now, at least, when I tell myself things like “You care too much” I hear her voice as well, saying “And that’s who you are.”

    Thank you for this. This, like so many of your posts, was such a lovely reminder that I’m not alone.

    Reply
  2. Rita Ott Ramstad

    It’s so hard not to confuse “something wrong with me” with “something wrong with what I’m doing”–because (for me, anyway) we so often define ourselves by what we do, or we perceive what we do to be expressions of who we are. Your writing is prompting a challenging set of questions for me to ponder: Who am I apart from what I do? How do I even know? How do I “be” who I am in ways that have nothing to do with what I do?

    Reply
    1. jillsalahub Post author

      What great prompts. I was challenged a few years ago to go an entire day without doing or giving anything — I have yet to be able to do it. I have a deep belief that I have to earn the right to be here. I’m working on it though. ❤

      Reply
  3. Alana

    Your last New Year’s resolution ever sounds like your best New Year’s resolution ever. I love this, especially this – ” In the meantime, we have to live the crap out of our lives, love the shit out of ourselves and each other, and practice like our hair is on fire.” YES.

    Reply

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