The View From Here

I’m a firm believer that walking can be a metaphor for anything in life. A journey of a thousand miles . . . the path less traveled . . . it’s not the destination, it’s the journey . . . the straight and narrow path . . . two steps forward, one back . . . am I right, or am I right?

I’ve been on a bit of a journey lately, and frankly, I was afraid to take you along. I thought you might jinx it. I felt fragile. Like writing about it might break it and I’d have to go back to the start. Besides, the introvert in me likes to travel alone, and you might talk too much. You might disturb my inner thoughts or suggest a different trail.

Well, I decided it might be good for me, and maybe even you, if I tell you where I’m at, what the terrain looks like, how far I’ve come, and maybe where I think I’m headed.

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The trail is called Intuitive Eating, and there’s a book by the same name. There are many books by other names, and social media pages you can find by Googling Body Acceptance, Self Compassion, Body Love, BoPo, and Anti-Diet. It’s a movement that encompasses bodies of every size, age, color and ability. It’s about inner peace and love, and you know I’m all over that.

I’m not a stranger to beginning a journey. I began anew every morning and by nightfall felt lost. I cried alone in the dark. At daybreak I’d set out again. It’s a cruel circle. I’m talking about dieting. I was a self-proclaimed, out-of-the-closet diet junkie. I’ve described it as trying to stand still in the surf. It’s impossible.

Wading into the water, there will come tides and surges. There is no controlling it, only adjusting to it. And sometimes you need to let the waves carry you in or out a little bit before you find footing again.

Dieting isn’t that. Dieting is willing yourself to stand still. Most of us just end up face-planted in the sand wondering what happened. Then we wake up and try the same thing the next morning, maybe from a different spot on the beach, exclaiming over the roar of the surf that, “Today we will stand!” And expect a different result.

I’m afraid I’m mixing up my metaphors, but let’s just imagine this trail meandered somewhere along the ocean and opened up on a beach. And that’s just it! I’m not sure exactly where this trail is going to go next. But I do know it’s already taken me to some awesome overlooks and some really rough terrain.

unnamed-1So if you can stand the poetic metaphors, I invite you to lace up your walking shoes and join me. If you just want to sit at home and read my posts from the couch, that’s okay too. I’m not a trail expert by any means, but I am an expert on the steps I’ve taken. There are historical centers and information booths I’ll point out along the way, but if you ask me, all I can tell you about is my own experience and send pictures of the view from here.

Peace . . .

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Just The Way I Am

There was a WordPress daily prompt some time ago asking what one would say to one’s 14-year old self.  The prompts make me think, and maybe one of these days I will even join in.

This particular prompt I found very intriguing.  In the days that passed, I found myself thinking more about it.  No answer to the question really moved me, until this morning.  I felt like listening to music, and I set my iPod to play anything it damn well wanted to.  The first song that came up was Bruno Mars, Just The Way You Are.

I was already looking in the mirror, and smiled at myself.  I hadn’t realized how seldom I see my own smile.  That’s not to say I don’t smile, but I rarely do it genuinely in the mirror.  The way my eyes lit up and the lines turned to joy surprised me.  It has taken a half of a lifetime to accomplish, but I do like myself just the way I am.  I thought about my young self, sans the fine lines of the years, with soft, silky hair, stronger, nimbler.  How did that young girl lack appreciation for her beauty?  Where was her confidence in body and spirit?

I thought of singing that song to her . . . and my face turned to sorrow.  I cried for the love I should have given her; for the mental abuse she suffered from herself.  Lastly, I smiled for the long-overdue love I can now give this youngster, residing deep inside me.

Ignore the kissing the lips part, it’s just weird in this context.  And if my two daughters are reading this . . . Girls, you are amazing just the way your are . . .

Oh, her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shinin’
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her everyday
Yeahh

I know, I know
When I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so, it’s so
Sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me “Do I look okay? “
I say

[Chorus:]
When I see your face (face face…)
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile (smile smile…)
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
Yeah

[Verse 2:]
Her lips, her lips
I could kiss them all day if she’d let me
Her laugh, her laugh
She hates but I think it’s so sexy
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her everyday

Oh you know, you know, you know
I’d never ask you to change
If perfect’s what you’re searching for
Then just stay the same
So don’t even bother asking if you look okay
You know I’ll say

[Chorus:]
When I see your face (face face…)
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile (smile smile…)
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)

The way you are
The way you are
Girl you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)

[Chorus:]
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
Cause you’re amazing (amazing)
Just the way you are (are)
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are