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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shedding the Emotional Weight

In an email this week, my aunt used the term "emotional weight" when describing what I've been lucky enough to accomplish this year.  I never thought of it that way.  I mean, I know I've changed so many things about my life.  I feel like a new person in so many ways.  But, emotional weight -  That was a new one and it made me think, in a good way.

You might be thinking to yourself, what does she mean by emotional weight?  Well, for me, I think it's all the negative things I've focused on in my life for so long.  For so many years, I never thought I could measure up to my brother and sister.  Don't get me wrong, no one ever told me I had to "measure up" to them.  But, it was, and always has been, a pressure I put on myself.  So, part of shedding that emotional weight for me was realizing that I am my own person and that everyone in my life loves me for who I am.  I would say that, in the last 5 months or so, my ability to shed that part of the emotional weight has become visible to those around me.  I smile all the time, I enjoy sharing stories about my family but I now feel like I have things to say about myself.  I used to just talk about them all the time because I didn't think anyone wanted to hear about my life.  I didn't feel like I had anything important to share.  Finding that confidence in myself has allowed me to shed a huge part of the emotional weight I've been carrying around for so long.

There's nothing wrong with being an individual.  Every person on the planet is unique in one way or another.  That's what makes life interesting.  My brother, sister and I wouldn't be the great friends we are with our differences (and similarities).  How boring would it be if we were all the same?  Plus, if I was too much like them, no one would ever remember anything (including birthdays and anniversaries....).  Love you guys, but you know it's true!

Another part of shedding the emotional weight is learning how to laugh at myself.  I used to never want to be part of anything that caused attention to be on me for any length of time.  I preferred to sink into the background.  I still don't like crowds much but I am much more willing to put myself out there.  I'll make a fool out of myself (in front of certain people) and not even care.  Hard to believe, but I used to think everyone was staring at me when I was doing something silly.  I was so scared of looking like an idiot.  Now, for the most part, I don't care.  If people look at me, I just laugh.  I was telling a co-worker that this week and she said, what a gift!  It's like a freedom that's been given to you in ways you never could have imagined.  She's so right.  

It's so fun to have so many people cheering for me.  And losing the emotional weight has been almost as crucial as the physical weight loss.  Yes, losing weight makes you skinnier, healthier and feel better.  But, if you don't fix what's broken inside, you'll never be a completely happy, whole person.  I know that from experience.  I finally feel content and like a whole person.  It's an unbelievable feeling.  Now, if I could just figure out how to cook, life would be great!  I think that's ways off...

"With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift.  Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you away from growing.  You get to choose."

I'm finally choosing to seize the opportunity and grow!  I put this together this morning and love it so much, I just have to share it.  The pic on the left is from July 2012.  The pic on the right is from a few weeks ago during our family pictures.