artwork by Ali-Nia
Embrace the glorious mess that you are. –Elizabeth Gilbert
Why do we feel so discouraged? Why do we think we can’t do it? Because we feel afraid. That is usually the answer to why you feel powerless. When you are on the verge of something new, you often compare yourself to the old ways of being.
I know this so well. As a survivor of a brain injury, I used to have a gifted brain. I used to be so fast. I used to be so quick, witty, and clever. Now I fear that I am not who I used to be. What will my identity be? Who will like me? It is hard not to be discouraged. Because when I compare myself to the old self, I fear I will come up wanting.
Somewhere deep inside of me I know that I have made progress, enormous progress. But I am afraid to embrace the new me. I don’t know her that well and I don’t trust her that well, either.
The way she is now seems slow to me. She seems not as capable of thought. She seems physically slower in her body movements and in her mind.
The better part of me knows that for my own healing to occur, I must let go of the old self. And I must embrace the new self. But it is hard. A wise spiritual teacher told me that I would do well to have a ritual, where I wrote down what I used to be. Then when I really felt the disappointment and anger at my body and my brain, and when I am done weeping at the loss, she advised me to burn it. And let it go. And then, I would be ready to embrace the new me. I would see who she really was, without judgment, no expectations at all.
And I just might like for her. For who she is, not who she used to be. Is there anything that you need to let go of for your ultimate growth and empowerment?