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October 10, 2021

How we can finally stop wishing for a Life Do-Over.

 

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We might try rituals.

Or writing down things we should release. We meditate and memorize mantras.

We scrawl meaningful quotes on paper and on walls, and even frame some. Each time we read something profound, we think, “Yes! That is what’s going to change things for me.”

We find love and lose it, over and over, each time learning some new, hard lesson. We do the same with friendships. There is birth and death, regrets, and accomplishments. Things we wish we had said, many we wish we hadn’t. Sometimes, there’s a lot of hiding from who we really are.

After devouring pages of self-help filled with glossy pledges of healing and health, we make weighty promises to ourselves. We feel resolved. We demand inner change, yearning silently: This time, will it finally take? We search for that feeling, that moment, when we’re certain we’re fixed, enough, healed, whole, worthy.

But sometimes while we’re busy attempting to “fix” ourselves, to reach the finish line and be—what, perfect?—much of what is good in our lives is pushed aside and forgotten. We try to change ourselves using anything we can grasp onto, completely disregarding the person we are now. It’s a total absence of self-love until we’ve deemed ourselves worthy enough to receive it. In the process, we shove away all of our precious, present moments, the “now” where so much beautiful life is contained—for what?

We keep telling ourselves that this feeling of “broken” is wrong and chase what is actually impossible. Because there’s no white satin ribbon strung across the road that we can cut through when we’ve made it. Life’s rough and it’s beautiful, wounding us one moment and exhilarating us the next. Things are going to heal, and then more things are going to break. Some things will grow us and others will decay us—and there’s no guarantee how much of each we’re going to get.

And we can’t discount those unsettled, disheveled pieces of our lives as if they are worthless. These bits are our lives, they make up who we become. Living is transition, each thing blurring into the next.

~

The Spanish word estar means “being something only temporarily” and that is exactly what our lives are.

The years within a lifetime, the moments within our years—we are constantly shifting.

And those darker transitions are when we need to hunker down and get grateful that we’re even here to begin with. We must love ourselves even while we’re working on healing those broken parts of ourselves and our lives.

We can still try new rituals, learn new mantras, and squirrel away that next life-changing quote any time we read it. We can still work on the parts that call out for repair and rehabilitation. We must understand, however, that that life is a series of transitional stages. Whether we are dragged from one to the next by my our hand or by circumstance, they continue—there is no fresh start, no perfect future, no etch-a-sketch magnet to wipe it all away.

Let’s all do ourselves a favor and start recognizing and honoring these hard, messy, transitional moments, all of the gorgeous life contained within them, and ourselves as we move through them.

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