I just began a seminar called Being Extraordinary: The Art and Practise of of Living from Possibility. The first assignment? Discover where you’ve been being ordinary. Boy. Have I been ordinary.
If you take the addiction model of obesity, I’m in relapse. If you take the medical definition, I’ve had a flare up. A recurrence. If you ask the little voice in my head, it will tell you I’m a failure, once again I couldn’t lick this thing and, worst of all, I did it in front of hundreds of people with this blog. Set myself up for a massive public humiliation and leapt with gusto into an epic face plant. What a joke.
Of course, that’s not the ordinary part. Losing and gaining as much weight as I have in the last year or so is actually rather out-of-the-ordinary, for most people. It’s the fact I’ve been hiding from you that’s ordinary. Predictable. Fearful. Proud. Ashamed. Boring. Ordinary. I’ve only told you half a story. The good half. The impressive half. The admirable half. The half that makes me look good. Trouble is, it’s only half. And half a story is just that. A story. A lie, really. And telling a lie that makes me look good is ordinary. Shrinking into the wallpaper when things aren’t going so well is ordinary.
I’ve been pretending I’m busy or there’s nothing going on. Move along, nothing to see here. Just another failed attempt at impressive, extraordinary, amazing weight loss. I’ve been telling myself I can’t write a post if I’m not ready, willing and able to start again. To make some grandiose new promise. I’ll do it this time, guys, I swear! “We’ve heard it all before,” says the voice. “And we’re sick of your bullshit,” says the voice. And so, I hide – from the very people who were so supportive of me. Ordinary! I’ve made your love conditional on my weight loss. Ordinary! I’ve had thoughts of avoiding seeing people so they don’t know I’ve gained weight again. Ordinary! I let the voice tell me how to feel. Ordinary. I’ll post pictures of myself in scarves that hide my double chin. Ordinary! I feel guilty and ashamed if I feel guilty and ashamed. Ordinary! I am not expressing myself and I am not connecting with people I care about. Ordinary and ordinary.
So what can I create that gives me expression and connection? I can write. And speak. And create. And ask for help and tell the whole story – no matter what it looks like that day. Because something else has occurred to me just now: the story is not over. There is no “And then she failed. The End.” Even death doesn’t finish our story, really. So, my commitment, is that I continue to tell the story. All of it. It may not always be inspiring tales of fat girls conquering mountains- but it will be complete and authentic. I hope you’ll tell me your stories too. Even the ordinary ones….maybe especially the ordinary ones. God knows we can find some comfort in knowing we’re not alone out there.
Love and light,