There were so many times in my life, before stepping on this path, when I never started things. When I meant to make better choices, different choices, healthier choices, but didn’t feel like I had enough information to start, or it wasn’t the right time, or I thought I should wait for a bigger sign, when really all I had to do was just show up. There are always excuses or reasons not to start something, or show up for someone or yourself, but all that is required is to show up, to do the best you can and figure it out as you go. No one has all the answers. No one. There isn’t some magical guide out there with the right way to do everything. Well, I guess there is, but it’s not something you can hold in your hand, it’s inside of us. Each an every one of us has that magical guide, it burns inside of us and when we connect with it, and listen to it, it shows us, not only by the way we feel, but it will show us in ways we can see, hear and touch. We just have to be open to it.
When I was living in the dark I had turned off that inner guide. My mental illness told me I knew better. that I didn’t need to listen to it, or that it wasn’t actually there at all, but it was, I had just stuffed it down, piled a bunch of stuff on top of it and had numbed myself so much I couldn’t hear it anymore, or feel that it was there. That’s exactly where my disease wanted me, so it could tell me things that weren’t true. It told me that there was no use in starting something new because it wouldn’t work, or I wouldn’t be good at it, or no one would accept me. And since I had turned off my inner guide and wasn’t sharing these thoughts with anyone, I believed it. I watched opportunity after opportunity pass me by and each time I did, I sank deeper in the darkness. The only opportunities not taking those opportunities gave me was the ability to continue to knock myself down and tell myself I wasn’t good enough, that I was too much of a coward to start something new or try to live a better life, or that I wasn’t worth showing up for. It seems so simple, looking back, that each time an opportunity did come up all I had to do was show up to make a difference, to change the pattern I was in, but I stayed where it felt safe, where my disease wanted me, until I had to make a change to save my life.
I can’t say what exactly happened to make me finally show up for myself, I just knew that I had to or I would no longer have a choice. That little bit of light inside of me shined that night as bright as it could, but it was enough, it was enough to ask for help and to finally show up. When I did, I had no idea what to do next, or how things were going to go, but I was there, I was present for me, and I asked for direction from those who had stood where I was, and I kept just showing up, each day, and each day I got stronger, I got better, I started to shine brighter.
You don’t have to know all the answers, or the path you need to be on to change your life. Just show up. Be willing. Be open. Just be. One of my favorite quotes is by Zig Ziglar, it goes “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.” Just start, because that in itself is great, and if you show up each day ready to start and take on whatever may come, one day you may just realize how great you really are. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you stop yourself from starting something new or something you know is good for you? Why? What’s stops you? What do you tell yourself that stops you? How can you get around this? What should you be starting that you haven’t? What can you do to start? How will starting help you? Focus on the good SLAYER, focus on how showing up can help you grow, help you to move on, and help you to move forward to where you are meant to be. I know that can be scary, walking on a path you’ve never walked, but trust that you are there for a reason, and know that there are many of us walking that same path who will walk with you. You are not alone. Just show up. You’ll see us there.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you
2 thoughts on “Just Show Up”
Man, I needed this, today. I’ve been pushing a very specific start-date back, further and further, and the more I push it back, the more plausible it feels that I can just go on without changing anything.
I noticed, yesterday, that I rebel against myself. When I set a goal for me, sometimes, I stare at the clock, mentally counting out how long I can put something off until I just won’t have the time to complete whatever the task is. Then, I get angry at myself, and at the very last second, I rush around trying to stave off the insults that happen in my own mind.
Suffice it to say, it ain’t healthy.
I had almost talked me into just letting go of the whole idea of my recent goal, when I read today’s SOS. Here’s the really groovy thing about your advice: You never beat us up. You never aim to make us feel ashamed or like we’re failures. You just approach these difficult topics from an angle of compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and grace.
You could, if you wanted, tell us to get off our lazy asses and DO THE THING. You could point out how much better we’d feel if we just ‘stopped…’ whatever harmful things we’re doing. Instead, you use the language of progress, rather than digress. Meaning, you use positive language, rather than negative. “Try this” instead of “Stop that”
“You will be” instead of “If you keep it up, you won’t…”
This language of progress is motivating and helpful in a tangible way. It gives hope and energy, instead of shame and blame. You consistently ask us to forgive ourselves for our past missteps, and look ahead. You even give us the image of a trusted friend, leading us out of the blackest tunnel, with her torch held high enough for us to see. Even when we feel like we’re at the back of the line, miles away from safety.
Carrie, you have given me courage and strength, today, and I am so grateful for you. Thank you, so much.
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Mel, I speak from the heart with compassion because I have been to all of these places myself, my blogs are my experiences, and I know we all beat ourselves up far too much already, that’s not what we need, what we need is a gentle nudge in the right direction from someone who has been there and a found a way to change.
My hope, always, is that when you find yourself in a place of resistance, that you remember that I am walking right along with you, as are many others, to help you take that first step, or perhaps today, just show up.
SLAY on my friend, you are not alone.
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