Just in time for Fat Liberation Month (May), I am releasing my latest book, Embracing Awkward: A Collection of Writings on Life, Love, Body Image, Fat Liberation, Sexuality, Vulnerability, and Standing Strong. This book is fat-positive, sex-positive, contains some profanity, and the last chapter is sexually explicit in parts. It’s not for everyone, but some of you might love it!
So, what do we do if we find ourselves feeling trapped in our own minds, stuck in our lives, too tired and overwhelmed to move forward? Well, first of all, being evaluated by a doctor or mental health professional to rule out physical causes is a good idea. Beyond that, though, what can we do to help ourselves shake off the doldrums and the lethargy that have us unable to move in directions that get us closer to the lives which we want to be living? We need to reach for MORE.
Maybe life is just life – and we have the experiences we are meant to have regardless of whether we ask, pray, affirm, or otherwise request what we want. I’ve had too many synchronicities and signs to believe that I’m not guided or that there aren’t angelic messengers or some kind of Spirit Guides or organizing force/s at work in my life. I’m just questioning my ability to have much influence on what happens. I’ve had many good times and many bad times in my life – and very little to no control over how it was going. I’d like to say I’ve had control over my attitude – but even that is barely true. I’ve tried to keep a positive attitude as much as possible, believing that was the “right” thing to do – but I’m starting to wonder if that isn’t another toxic belief that prohibits us from a full range of necessary and appropriate emotions. Maybe we all need to spend a little more time with our anger. Maybe we need to not let things slide, not look on the bright side … but rather fix the shit that is going wrong and is unacceptable. Maybe we need less civility and more social justice, less programming (religious, spiritual, social, cultural) and more authentic passion and expression.
I think and write quite a bit about “trust your path” and “pay attention to the signs” and those sorts of philosophies. And yes, for the most part, I do believe in those basic concepts. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I nearly always believe them at least on some level – but that sometimes (frequently?) I resist them anyway. Trusting is oftentimes much easier said than done … particularly when I feel like the Universe just isn’t listening to WHAT I WANT! (LOL) … Life has got me feeling like I’m dangling on this precipice, about to drop – and I’m not sure how far I’ll fall or how/where I’ll land – but what if Life is just stripping me of all of the things that are keeping me from living the authentic, loving, connected life that I really want – that I’ve always wanted?
I’m not really sure how to talk about this, but I am sure that talking about it is likely to help someone feel less alone – and may even help – so I’m just going to jump in. I’m just coming out of a dark night of the soul. I’ve had a few in my life. They just seem to happen from time to time – I’m not even always sure why. Sometimes life just seems overwhelming and/or hopeless, no matter how much optimism I try to inject or how many affirmations I say. The masks fall away and there I am, feeling alone and broken and like my life will never be okay again.
I just need some space – away from thoughts and feelings and expectations of who I should be and how I should think, talk, feel, and act. I want to stomp around a bit. I want to stand strong in all of who I am. I want some silence in my mind. There’s a whole lot of things that I want in my life. I’m no longer relying on positive thinking, attracting, manifesting, or “allowing” – coupled with my hard work – to get them. They’ll happen or they won’t – but it won’t be because I was or wasn’t good enough or worthy enough or spiritual enough. It will be because that’s life. And shit happens. And good happens. And life happens.
Girls and women generally aren’t allowed to enjoy or embrace our sexual power, pleasure, and/or play. Female sexuality is commodified and used to sell everything from toothpaste to cars to vacations, but it isn’t allowed to freely and openly stand on its own. Real life versus media life is such a bizarre dichotomy we all (mostly) put up with or endure. Fairly strong social expectations and strictures keep most of us “in our place.”
This spiritual/human journey isn’t all joy, happiness, faith, and miracles. It isn’t all positivity and “manifesting” every good thing you dream of. It is not all peace and zen, “love and light.” It certainly isn’t all “The Secret” or “The Law of Attraction” and holding positive feelings and intentions. Have you noticed? I’m trying hard to not use profanity here, but I want to acknowledge in the most clear and real way possible, that sometimes it just f-ing sucks!
Our ability to move forward despite our imperfections, our willingness to embrace our imperfections, and our determination to live our full lives and share our imperfect gifts – are all steps toward healing. Allowing ourselves to be imperfect is a step toward healing.
Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to go. Many times, our plans, hopes, and dreams get disrupted. When that happens, we can choose to look for the gift(s).