A Spiritual Bucket List

I’m going in for a minor surgical procedure in a few hours (and let’s hope this is the last one), and I’m feeling reflective.

I’m scared to go back to the doctor, but I know that this is the last time I will have to deal with this. I’m looking at this whole year-plus long ankle debacle as a message from the universe:

I’ve spent the last 10 years fighting for control over my body, and I’m finally coming to realize that it’s not mine to control. I assumed that I had the right to do whatever I wanted to it, but it turns out that I’m lucky to have been given permission to use it as I have. And, like a rowdy, disrespectful hotel guest, I’m responsible for any damages that I leave behind.

Looking down at my mottled and swollen skin (by-products of the past week’s allergic reaction), my atrophied calf, my bruised and scarred ankle…I’m realizing that I have no choice but to accept the body that I’m living in and to use it only to make a better life for myself. I read an amazing quote in Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney Martin, one that I’m making my mantra: “I will meet my body where it is.”

In order to do that, though, I have to grow. I have to come to terms with the “me” who is not my body. It’s scary, uncharted grown up territory, but it’s time: I’m approaching 26, which always seemed like such a foreign, grown up land to the younger and more naive me, but here it is–and I’ve made it here without a map or stars to guide me. But I think it’s time to stop feeling my way through the dark and hoping I’ll end up somewhere comfortable.

I’ve realized that a lot of my “growing up”–my spiritual growth and my ability to relate to my mental and emotional needs–got stalled and stunted when I began my relationship with ED at the ripe old age of 13. But I’m ready to stop making excuses for myself and to double my spiritual age (from 13 to 26) in a much shorter amount of time than it took to keep it from growing.

So I’ve decided to make a “Spiritual Bucket List”. And I’m posting it here because I want to be accountable. I’m ready to take responsibility for myself. So, here goes:

– I will be honest–to myself and others–about my needs.

– I will articulate my needs.

– I will learn how to communicate without complaining.

– I will stop apologizing for my life.

– I will stand up for myself.

– I will set boundaries and communicate them effectively.

– I will establish a relationship with my higher power.

– I will stop making my higher power food and ritual.

– I will keep in touch with the people who enrich my life and let go of those who don’t.

– I will learn how to ask for help.

– I will seek friendship and fellowship–because the disease thrives on isolation.

– I will stop waiting for tomorrow and start living one day at a time.

– I will stop sweating the petty things (and I will never pet the sweaty things!–thanks Grammy :D)

– I will accept that I’m allowed to be happy.

– I will not engage in negative self-talk.

– I will not play the victim because I have the power to be a hero.

– I will actively work on figuring out what I want from life–and I will go out and get it.

– I will take responsibility for my life.

– I will stop blaming and living in the past.

– I will stop being afraid of success.

– I will take risks and stop being afraid of mistakes–they’re meant to be learned from.

– I will use my talents to help others whenever possible.

– I will stop being afraid to love and be loved.

– I will meet my body where it is, every day.

That’s all for now, although I’m sure the list will grow as I do.

-K.

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9 thoughts on “A Spiritual Bucket List

  1. “I will not play the victim because I have the power to be a hero.” You really do. You’ll never know how many lives you touch–and it doesn’t really matter–because the journey is for you to find your path to yourself. But there will be plenty of people on the sidelines cheering you on that you’ll never know about, who will find strength and inspiration in your courage. Keep on telling your story.

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment–I just found your blog today, and I was really impressed…I think it’s so important to have people out there who are on the front lines making it possible for people like me to find and digest the information that comes at us from all sides…I’m hoping, as I heal, that I can come to be that same kind of voice for others! Keep fighting the good fight!
      Best,
      K.

      • You wrote about hiding out in the house & that schizophrenic relationship with mirrors (don’t look! look!)–I recognize it all from my dieting days. And now the USDA/HHS Guidelines want the entire nation to be on an “eat less, move more” regime, counting up our calories and clocking our exercise time? Where does that leave the young women who will fail miserably at it, or for that matter, as you have so eloquently described, succeed just as miserably? I’m glad we’ve met–I’ll be cheering for you.

      • I completely agree! I listen to my friends and acquaintances talk about going to the gym (two hours on the treadmill!) or starting a new diet (only 800 calories today with no “cheats”!) and it makes me so terribly sad. If only they realized how beautiful they are. I want to be a part of making “health” something that’s more important than “size”…and it starts with my story, but I hope to expand that to include as many voices as I can! I’m glad we’ve met as well, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!

      • I have to say, you came along at the right time for me. I’m trying to figure out how to put some straightforward nutrition/food/life information out there to counterbalance the USDA/HHS stuff, as well as the “snake oil” sellers. I always think of my readers as chubby moms like myself, but it is good for me to keep in mind that frustrating, unproductive (and I don’t mean in the “results” way) relationships with food & exercise come in all shapes and sizes. I hope you’ll help keep me honest.

      • Absolutely! Sounds like a deal!

        And I’m very interested in learning about your RD/MPH path…I’ve been interested in going back to school for an MSW/MPH–I’ve avoided the RD idea, because I figured it would be hard to find a program that allowed for a leaning toward ancestral health. (It’s the whole AH movement that sort of kick started my healing my relationship with food this year…)

        Either way, I’m just glad that there are people out there who can see through the BS (and can communicate it as eloquently and convincingly as you do)…I have hope that, with enough voices, we can finally be heard and provide the help that people need to start their own paths to health and healing.

  2. “You’ll never know how many lives you touch” — too true.

    I printed this out, and will start adding a few items to my own list…. Thanks Kay! xxxx

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