Humanity

Are you ever left in awe, just by the beauty of humanity?

This morning I ran a 10k, mind you this is me the morning of every race… I wake up thinking – maybe I’ll just take it easy and then…

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Yeah, adrenaline is a powerful thing.

Today’s race was great. I am currently in better shape than I have EVER been in my life – largely due to coaching. I ran a sub seven pace for most of the race easily…

But this course is HILLY. At mile 3.5 I had to tie my shoe. (That has honestly never happened to me before in a race.) I did and a fellow runner caught up to me. We proceeded to pace off of each other for the remainder of the race. As we came up on mile six and we were going up [yet another] hill, he waved me on. He waved me on again as we neared the finish.

He finished a few seconds ahead of me, and turned around and gave me a huge hug after I crossed.. (And then puked… But not on him…)

And you see, the thing is all this change, I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself what life is all about… What am I here for? Slowing down and learning to relax for perhaps the first time in my life. (More on that another time.)… has made me stop and think. But when you contemplate the beauty of humanity like I saw in my pacer friend this morning, you see the meaning that life has.

So, no… I’m not a girl who has struggled with an eating disorder that has turned into a running addiction.

My running is in check.

My doctor has approved my running.

My therapist has approved my running. (Okay ex-therapist because I’m on an approved break from that too.)

My spiritual director has approved my running.

And I run as a part of my recovery… because EVERY SINGLE TIME I RUN I discover something more about the beauty of this life, about my own body, about my capacities, about my determination, about team, and about humanity.

Today I learned something through this stranger who paced me and encouraged me. He helped me – not only to complete this race and win first overall for women. He helped me to discover a little by more of what life is all about.

Why We Get Out of Bed…

This post made me stop and think… a lot…

I love her writing and she has a way of saying the right thing right when I need to hear it.

Why did I get out of bed this morning?

After a much needed 10 hours of sleep… After running on a quarter tank for weeks… What is today?

I’ve spent so much of the last (how many?) years running… literally and figuratively… I roll out of bed in my workout clothes, ready to make my bed, grab my bag and head straight to the gym… Looking at emails on my phone as I head out the door… God forbid there be a moment of pause in which all those emotions I fear might creep in…

And so begins every day… panic sets in when the calendar isn’t full… Avoiding myself like the plague… not because of me… but because of what’s inside of me, that constantly threatens to emerge and… what? I don’t even care to know. I’ll just keep running.

This morning was different. I woke up in pajamas. No clear plans until the evening. Having moved on from the job that was my “legitimate” excuse to never slow down, never leave the phone aside, never…

Why did I get out of bed?

Not because of the laundry, the errands, and the home that needs cleaning…

Why did I get out of bed?

Because I believe everything I do has meaning.

Because I know I am worth the still uncomfortable down time.

Because I believe God has a plan for my life and this semi-lonely day is part of that plan.

Because I’m learning not to be afraid of those feelings.

Because I’m learning how to become whole.

Because I want to run… not from the past… but towards the future.

Soul Sisters

For a long time I thought I had a group of friends. Until I discovered that friendships can be toxic. I discovered that sometimes loving people means letting them go.  And I discovered that I was worth letting people go.

And God has filled the void I feared those friendships left behind would leave.

Over the past year I’ve formed friendships with several new people in my life.

Real people.

Flesh and blood.

Flawed people.

Beautifully flawed.

People whom I love because of those flaws.

People who aren’t pretending to be perfect.

And the most remarkable thing is – three of them share my experience of struggling with eating disorders. These souls have opened up their hearts to me, shared their struggle, and across the miles that separate us – I now know people who have fought and are fighting the same battle.

I’ve discovered the beauty of vulnerability.

I’ve discovered that in sharing my weaknesses I can feel support.

My biggest fear for years has been feeling alone. But only recently did I discover that in opening up my weaknesses, my fears, my vulnerability would I find others. The very things that I thought would make others despise me have drawn me closer to others.

Tonight I celebrate these girls, these soul sisters… who  have opened up their hearts, their failings, their weakness, their hurt… and allowed me to do the same… I  love them as they are. And they continue to show me that I’m loved as I am.

The Mouth of Babes

Once again, I have about a zillion blog posts I could write… And no time to do it.

Here we are – a new job, going through some intense healing, transition at work, coaching, and figuring out more about myself every day.

I’ve had the support of an incredible mentor in working through some of the healing.

Opening up the ache of the past.

The pain I’ve run from for years.

The pain I’ve been afraid to feel.

The reason I keep myself busy… the reason I have an eating disorder… the reason I’ve been afraid to be alone… the reason for all my unhealthy coping mechanisms… the reason for many, many things in my life…

It is still healing but it is open now and I’m not afraid.

The healing takes time… and patience… but I trust. I know it will continue to take time.

But today at church I was holding a little one…

I also pray better holding a little one… because the amount of love I have for them… I know God has for me. And as I hold them, I know God holds me that same way.

The little one I held today is a pretty special kid, and he has a very spiritual little soul.

At some point as I prayed, I realized I wasn’t holding him… he was holding me… I wasn’t rubbing his back… he was rubbing mine…

As I prayed I felt Christ ask me, “Will you accept the mother I gave you?” The mother who has bipolar disorder… the mother I never know completely… the mother who is unreliable… the mom who I long to lay my head on her shoulder but just can’t… the mother it hurts to love.

As I prayed, little J lifted his head off my shoulder and looked at me. He asked me, “What did you say to Jesus?”

Yes, little one. I told Jesus, “yes.”