What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Everything. Every. Thing. This massive hit song was made iconic by Tina Turner as her most successful single, however, written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle….

How can one human being love another human being if they don’t first have it sitting right there inside of themselves, for themselves, like a constant handout or a steady stream?

We have allowed the worries of the day, let alone the future, to literally constipate our ability to love ourselves and others inside of one twenty-four hour window.

As I sit and write to you this morning I have that tangible, sick to my stomach, pit-like feeling. I pretty much function all day with this very real body sensation. Is it worry? Is it fear of the future? Or is it possibly just an eagerness inside of my choice to be vulnerable, open and to share on the outside what happens in me on the inside. I’ve always been an external processor. I have NOT always been on the road to healing, admitting freely now, “I am NOT skilled at Recovery, YET, but I am learning right in front of you. Out loud, not out of pride, but out of pure vulnerability or a willingness to share”. I suppose, my mind perceives this body feeling as angst and tells me I’m afraid. I have many reasons to be. My gremlins of the mind that dictate an Eating Disorder or substance abuse have been aggressively dethroned as of this summer and my trip to Treatment for the Eating Disorder (that I’ve maladaptively held onto to cope with life for approximately thirty-three years). This was nothing short of a trip to Hell. Do I have some residual PTSD? Yes. Am I getting help with that along with everything else? Indeed. However, I learned a thing or two from Mel Robbins, in one of my favorite motivators, the book: “The Five Second Rule“. This tangible feeling, she taught me, is a sensation perceived by the mind, it draws on inferences of the past, and tells me that it’s worry, anxiety, stress, fear of the unknown, “don’t go there”, “you suck at recovery & they’ll see that eventually”, “you’re a broken, broken record”, etc. I have the power to choose to interpret this nauseating feeling one way or another. Today, this morning, I choose to interpret the pit in my stomach sensation as excitement or an eagerness to share, to be known, to be seen, to be heard. We all matter. We all seek validation to corroborate that. We all need a little love in our life. If that love does not come from the inside out, you guys, we are, in full, simply blind travelers groping our way through life and calling it “20/20” vision and hoping no one will notice our defect.

How does the sick heal the sick? How do the blind lead the blind? I. Don’t. Really. Know. What I do know is that I’m willing to raise my hand in a sea of strangers and admit that life is both brutal and beautiful as I’ve mimicked Glennon Melton-Doyle repeatedly. There is always controversy over who or what we choose to listen to. I firmly believe that every human has inherent value and we are the worst at throwing the baby out with the bath water. If we can learn to value our own selves then we can also learn to hear from any ONE PERSON, any THING, any PLACE, and at any TIME. Glennon has been a mentor to me for a solid decade or more despite anyone’s circulating opinion on her personal life choices. She is a leader amongst the Eating Disorder and substance abuse users, survivors, and desperate to change. She has been a life-line for me from the get-go. She admits, untamedly so, that we all lean into vices as a way to cope with the “Brutiful mess” that our lives have become. We all need a little permission to not have to be so perfect, now don’t we?

That said, I pose a question. How well do you value yourself? How well do you listen to yourself first and the voices or opinions of others second? How pervasive has culture’s idea of beauty and worthiness become to you and has that mindset inadvertently been set on auto-pilot like an ingrained habit pattern of thought that begets an action or worse a reaction? Can you look at yourself in the mirror and hear a still, small, tender whisper that speaks to you as you rise for the day saying, “You are simply the Best. Better than all the rest simply because all the rest are not like you. Thank you for showing up to BE inside of today”? I haven’t heard that gentle awakening in a long time, but I am listening for it and when I don’t hear it organically, I say it intentionally. If we do not see ourselves as worthy of this line of thinking or speaking over ourselves….. how in God’s great world will we see others in God’s great world just-like-that? That would be a pretty tough road to hold. If we don’t cultivate an environment of love on the inside… perhaps, we are like famous singers, Tina Turner for example, known for an iconic tune and all the while we are just singing a song that we didn’t even write.

More to come.

I believe in us.

Some days life is super manageable. Some days it’s a crap shoot filled with seventy two triggers that want nothing more than to throw you off your game. Some days are genuinely peace filled. Some days are a big, chaotic mess. Some days there’s huge, beautiful clear skies. Some days there’s a gloomy array of clouds and rain and the heavens seem heavy.

Recovery is like that. Some days you feel good to go and fully committed to your commitments to change. While other days your vices for coping with life stare at you and breathe down your neck like a psychotic, hungry monkey on your back.

In the throws of it all how do you stand firm in the decision to be good to yourself; to honor yourself; to see yourself as worthy? I don’t know much about ALL the in’s and out’s of recovery….. but, I’ve learned to accept this key fact: it’s a series of choices. One choice made after another followed by another and then repeated again and again. The will to change in any given area is simply fueled by… the will to change.

I have learned recently that there is significant power in honesty and surrender. These are two components that are like cool water to an over heated soul. These are two positions of mind that are the gateways to the strength and drive for the long haul of change. Admitting struggle honestly, coupled with the abandonment of perfection, is actually a position that generates more freedom, not less. Surrendering to your weakness’ seems counterintuitive, but it’s incredibly necessary for the way forward. When you admit, or surrender, to your powerlessness over any given vice in your life it tends to quiet that internal drive to be “more”. It creates a pause effect in your grappling and like a gentle friend it extends to you a sense of acceptance for where you actually are. When you quiet the drive to be “more” you can begin to hear the still, small whisper of your humanity that says, “you are enough, as is, struggles and all”. That voice that tells you “you are ENOUGH, as is” is crucial to empowering any form of lasting change. You have nowhere to go but up once you let yourself fall to the bottom of your truth. So long as you hover just above the truth, pretending to be (or convincing yourself) that you’re more than you really are- you miss the opportunity to be honest with yourself. The voice that tells you you’re already enough is often buried beneath a heavy facade. We don’t intentionally bury that whisper, but in order to turn up it’s volume we have to be real with ourselves. We have to surrender our desire for perfection and accept honestly the reality of the way we cope with life.

Recovery, from anything, isn’t easy. It requires a grind, a trunk load of grit, and the will to change. There’s something holy found nestled inside of honest acceptance. There’s something liberating about surrender to our truth.

Be where you are today. I believe in us and the power to recover.