“So far away/doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore/ it would be so fine to see your face at my door/ doesn’t help to know your just time away” (Carol King. Tapestry)
While I listen to Carole King’s “So Far Away,” I feel compelled and even more inspired to continue the blog series and discuss the topic of patience.
The word patience is a noun. It is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” The word patience gets on my absolutely nerves, because a lot of times with patience comes self- control. When I hear the word “patience,” I feel like the word should be calming. “Zen-like.” For me, “patience” creates anxiety and added stress. It is funny, because I have been in meditation and prayer recently, and I have asked God- how can I learn patience? Clear as day I heard: “buy a plant.” I can honestly say, God threw a bit of shade at me.
Florists and Farmers have so much patience, because they wait on seeds to grow from soil into beautiful flowers and/or food. The flipside is if you do not use patience and do not take care of your soil it will turn into weeds. Weeding requires strength and even more patience to deal with the foolishness you, yourself created in your own soil/life. But, weeding is absolutely essential. Sometimes there are people that need to pulled away from your life so you can re-grow into something life changing. If you sow good seeds, in good soil you will have a beautiful garden. Why do so many of us trip up on this notion? I think it is because we survive in a Miracle-Grow kind of world. We live in a world of quick fixes, iPhones, FaceTime, and fast transportation. Nothing takes time anymore Face to Face communication has dwindled down to Facebook Status changes. In a fast paced world we expect fast results especially when it comes to the journey of our bodies.
I am currently on several LIFE journeys- and to be 100% real, they all get overwhelming. I am: transitioning from single life to married life very soon; I am on a weight loss journey; I am moving my entire life again to now Chicago- this would be my sixth move in less than two years. I am on a journey of bettering my relationship with my mother. I am on the journey to learning to appreciate my body for it is. I am on a journey to learn how to trust God. I am on the journey of having healthier hair! I am on the journey of The Body Image Project as well as my acting career. With all these “journeys” I feel like am still stuck in the same place. I never feel like I am progressing and I feel the steps I take towards accomplishing a goal are never enough, because I have a myriad of other “journeys” to take.
Every time I get on the scale I just want to be at my goal weight already. Nothing is ever satisfying to me. Some people are happy with a .5-pound loss, but as I feel the pressure of my wedding, which is 59 days and counting away, I am looking for big results. I also need to remember that I did not gain 100 pounds in 1 night either, so the weight will come off slowly, but surely.
My biggest fear of all time is to not feel beautiful on my wedding day. I have these images in my mind of everyone being smaller than me, and more beautiful. I think about when I have to kiss my fiancé and if my double chin will ruin the pictures. I wonder if the ring will fit, or will he have to force it on my fingers. When I wave to say goodbye to someone at the reception will the camera catch my arm jiggle? The night before the wedding will a spider bite me, and what if my eye blows up like a balloon and then I will have to walk down the aisle like a bad episode of CHIPS? Will my face be clear enough, or filled with zits? These are the things that go through my mind on an everyday basis. I feel like nowadays since the wedding is approaching I am constantly in the mirror. Looking at every detail of myself with a microscopic lens. I get nervous that my future children will look at our wedding photos and make fun of me. It doesn’t matter how many times my fiancé calls me beautiful, I don’t see it yet, and I will one day. Patience.
Self-love takes an extraordinary amount of time. For some people it may take an entire lifetime. East Coasters, like me, would just say that they don’t have time for a lifetime, they, like me, want life to happen now. The first step in conquering all of these life “journeys” is that I need to rid myself of fear and develop more faith driven habits. How do you stop being afraid- just do! Everything you are afraid of just do it and keep your eyes open the whole time so you can enjoy the ride of freaking out. Freaking out is good so we don’t get used to being comfortable.
This weekend I went to support a colleague of mine in an all women’s Espirit de She Triathalon in Naperville, IL. It was the most life-changing event that I have EVER attended. It changed my life. I saw women who were over 300 pounds participate in the triathlon! They were such an inspiration to me. In the triathlon you do a: .5mile swim; 14.2mile bike; and a 5K run. There were women of all shapes and sizes that participated. There were: mothers; amputees; blind women; some of the women were cancer survivors; transgendered women; women over the age of 70 and many more brilliant females. When watching these women run, swim, and bike; I was so inspired to do something like that one day. My colleague had been training for the triathlon for MONTHS. I call her a superwoman, because not only does this woman have three children; she biked 18 miles everyday to the theatre where we worked; she would swim or run on her lunch and dinner breaks and find the time to make home cooked meals for herself and family. She is an inspiration and I am so honored to have met someone like this, at this point in my life.
She told us after the triathlon, that she suffered some anxiety during the swim and did not think she would make it through the entire thing. She talked about her concerns about feeling as though she ruined her chances in the race, because she had a rough start. If she did not tell us we would not have known about her shaky beginning, because she finished so strong. I say this to say, if you have had a rough beginning in life that does not have to be a reflection on how you end. Use your shortcomings as a testimony and with patience as well as perseverance work hard to change your life. This woman finished the race victoriously as she ran the last mile side by side with her young daughter. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life and it touched me in a way that was breathtaking.
When I got home, I talked to my best friend, who is on a major weight loss journey. She lost two pounds and was discouraged, because she had seen a few pictures of herself and she felt as though she looked “fat.” Her feelings about her weight loss yo-yo between being really excited to just plain irritated. She has probably lost about 30 pounds in total, but she is on the journey to lose 100+ pounds. When you have 70 pounds to lose, 30 pounds can seem like a small win- to some people, not all. The thing that I am realizing is that every goal reached big or small should be a celebration! That is the only way the word “patience” will work. You have to treat yourself well. Now, I am not saying go out on a million dollar shopping spree or to eat an unlimited amount of Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits. What I am saying is that patience, comes way easier when you are kinder to yourself. Take yourself on a Groupon Spa Date or dress up, and go dancing at your favorite place. If you are on weight loss journey: do the exercises YOU LIKE! If you are on a self-love journey shut your bedroom door and dance around your room naked. If you are on a journey to accepting your self as you are- take a look in the mirror and say out loud: “I Love You Body, You are Absolutely Breath Taking. I Have a Beautiful Body that was Crafted Beautifully” Now- I am going to let you know the first couple of times you attempt to do this you might freak out, or start laughing. Try it for 30 days and let me know if it helps.
As for me, due to my recent inspirations, I will be signing myself up for a 5K Race in Chicago in July. I am absolutely terrified of running. I am scared to embarrass myself. Now, I can’t run longer than 5 minutes. I have always wanted to run. I have wasted so much time telling myself there are things I cannot do, because of the way I look. It is so over for that life. i know with hard work I can accomplish this goal of running- I just need a good Beyonce/Bruno Mars/Sia MixTape. As for the wedding body stress: I am over it. I am going to look beautiful and my husband to be will love me now and for years to come. I live in a strong body that has gotten me through a lot of years so far. I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me. I can do anything I put my mind to. I can do anything, because I have an amazing support system of friends, family and colleagues. I can do anything as long as I am patient with myself. Take the time to listen to what you need this week. Plant good seeds, water yourself and take the time to watch your magnificent growth.
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