Thursday, April 11, 2013

WILW (a day?...months late): Gifts, Meaning, Self-Worth

Today I sat reading my latest book obsession...which is quite possibly becoming my favorite book of all time:

Source.
I usually sit there the entire time thinking yes, Yes, and YES...why don't I do more of this in my own life!?!

Then I came across a page that almost felt like a checklist. I read each item thinking "yup thats me. that one too. oh and that one." When I finished the page, I blinked. Quickly went back and read it again. And then thought, "I need to write. I need to write again TONIGHT!!"
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Let me introduce you to page 112:
  • When we cultivate our gifts and talents and share them with the world, we create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives (JH Thoughts: Yes, I agree)
  • When we don't use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness (yup), frustration (yup), resentment (yup), shame (yup), disappointment (yes!), fear (most likely) and even grief (maybe?)
  • Using our gifts and talents to create meaningful work takes a tremendous amount of commitment, because in many ways our meaningful work is not always what pays the bills (YES...but is that a reason to stop?)
  • Our gifts, talents, and meaning are all unique to each one of us (definitely). 
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I have no idea whether other people would consider my writing a gift, or a talent, or even as meaningful...but for me...it IS all those things. I feel alive when I write. Its an outlet, a passion, a place to get lost amidst my words in order to better understand my thoughts and emotions.  Its a place where I can just be ME amidst a sense of peace, joy, and calm.

I still don't know why I stopped writing. But other parts of the book make me wonder if its because I started tying the writing to my self-worth.

If I don't post XX times per week, I am a bad blogger.
If I don't remember this person has a big event coming up or had a big event...and then remember to congratulate them or wish them good luck...I am a bad blogger. 
If I don't post, and then read XX other posts and make XX other comments, I am a bad bad bad blogger. 
If I don't write the perfect post with each word exactly right...I am a bad blogger and the post is meaningless. 

Why and when did it become about these things!?! I don't know. But I do know not writing led me to each of those feelings in bullet point 2...or at least I have a hunch that squashing a passion of mine likely contributed to some of those feelings. 
This winter I felt disappointed in myself, discouraged, unmotivated, lost, lonely, frustrated, and just blah. I stopped worrying about my health, stopped enjoying the outdoors, rushed through the current moment to get to the next...only to rush through that one as well. 

I stopped writing, I gained 1/3 of the weight I worked so hard to lose 3 years ago, I ate whatever I wanted, I rarely took working out seriously, I wished I would spend more time with my pups/friends/family, I felt lost in what my career goals were, etc etc etc. 

After January 2013, I told myself I was ready to recommit. Recommit to ME. I made goals to feel strong and healthy. I started doing more of the things I love again and taking time for myself...rather than always feeling like I had to be busy working on this or that. I opened myself up more to those around me. I worked on appreciating and living in each moment again. 

Today I woke up feeling strong, healthy, and confident. I felt like I was back on track again, and valuing my worth, my meaning, my gifts, and my talents. However, some things still felt like they were missing. I wasn't sure what they were...but I had faith I would realize them at the right time...given I now feel back on the path that feels "truly me." 

At 2:53pm today I read page 112. And thought,  

"That's it. I need to write. I wonder if stopping because I thought it would get rid of all the unworthy feelings actually led to also squashing the meaning I gained from it!?!" 

The answer...I still have no idea. So, I am writing again. To find out. I have no idea what the writing will look like. When it will occur. How it will occur. Etc. But as part of the experiment...I am trying to remind myself...

I write because its a gift. Its a passion. It gives me meaning. It doesn't matter if its not "my real job" or if it takes a few extra minutes out of my day. I write for me. And that is enough.



19 comments:

  1. I saw your Instagram photo this morning and thought to myself how amazing you looked, not just your body, but so happy. I have missed your blog and am excited to see you back. I decided a long time ago that my blog is really just a record for me. If others want to come along on the journey, great, but like you said, I enjoy the process of expressing myself, sharing my pictures, etc. I hope you will continue to find value in sharing. Happy to see you.

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  2. I will say I'm glad your back to writing. You have such a way with words. When I read your writings I feel like I'm right there with you and can feel everything you are feeling. You truly have a gift. So glad I found you on twitter and instrgram. Your running Grandma this year aren't you? That was one marathon I will never forget it was so much fun.

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  3. Happppppppppy you are back. I have missed your blog posts even when thoroughly enjoying your FB posts. Big hugs to the girls!

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  4. I am so happy to see you in my blog feed this morning!! Loved this post. Totally want to buy the book. Love you friend! You're doing awesome and are such an inspiration!!

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  5. YAY!!! You're back!! I've been wondering where you've been (Blog wise) but since we're friends on Instagram I knew you were always there.

    Let me tell you, the gifts that you gave me for my 70.3, the animals are hanging out of the race bag that I was given that day and are on my closet door. I see them every day when I wake up and are a reminder of what is important...and that is dreams and friends coming together! Sharing life's experiences with each other! The good and the bad! We miss ya!

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  6. This makes me so happy to see! I definitely relate and thank you so much for posting about this. You have a talent at finding ways to embrace difficulties as they are - just steps in the process and you encourage others to find ways through them as well. I'm glad to see you back here :D.

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  7. Your words are absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for sharing what you learned because it truly resonated with me. So often I feel guilty about so many things in my life. But when I just quit 'worrying' and start enjoying and living I am so much happier. Write my friend....write because you are great at it and have a way of making simple life lessons so clear through your words. Don't write for others, write for you but know that through your example and words others are learning.

    Love ya and am so incredibly proud of your accomplishments the last 3 months!

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  8. Welcome back pretty girl! You were surely missed but don't worry about not blogging, if you aren't feeling like writing, then don't write!
    I went through those phases wondering the same thing but I just came to the conclusion that it's my blog and I will blog when I want to! lol (kinda like it's my party and I'll cry if you want to)

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  9. I have missed you dearly and was getting ready to e-mail you the other day when I saw you'd posted. Good to see you writing for you again! I always enjoy your insightful posts. I rarely read one without taking a few minutes to think about how it applies to my own life and what I've been thinking or feeling lately so thank you for that!

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  10. Welcome back! That book looks very interesting and might be something I need to look further at. I try to remind myself that it's me I have to commit to impressing, no one else. If I get that down pat, I'm golden with just about everything else.

    Happy writing!!

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  11. Hey girl, I have stopped blogging (and running) for several months. I came across this through instagram and had to click on it. I met this author (such a kind woman) at a blog conference a few years back. She signed my copy and yet....I still need to read it! I just finished my current book about two minutes ago....perfect! Xo, Jessica
    Sweatismysanity@gmail.com

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  12. Hey girl, I have stopped blogging (and running) for several months. I came across this through instagram and had to click on it. I met this author (such a kind woman) at a blog conference a few years back. She signed my copy and yet....I still need to read it! I just finished my current book about two minutes ago....perfect! Xo, Jessica
    Sweatismysanity@gmail.com

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  13. Hey girl, I have stopped blogging (and running) for several months. I came across this through instagram and had to click on it. I met this author (such a kind woman) at a blog conference a few years back. She signed my copy and yet....I still need to read it! I just finished my current book about two minutes ago....perfect! Xo, Jessica
    Sweatismysanity@gmail.com

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  14. I'm so happy you are back. I really really really love your writing. Don't stop. Don't feel pressure to do it all anyone else's way. Do what feels good and right for you.

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  15. Yaaaay! I am so glad you are back! I've been coming by your blog thinking that I'd just missed you. So happy you are back at it!

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  16. Wonderful post Julia! The Gifts of Imperfection is one of my all time favorite books and is one of the very few books that had an impact on me and my life. Have you read I Thought It Was Just Me? Another great!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1592403352/wwwbrenebrown-20

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  17. This is awesome, my friend - and, just so you know, your writing is beautiful and meaningful to me and it has been since I "met" you. I am so happy to see you writing again! I can relate to a lot of what you just said in this post and I think I need to read this book. Thanks for passing it on. Talk to you soon! :)

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I am always appreciative of the comments you leave...bloggy friends are basically amazing :)

Conquer the moments of Pain, Embrace the moments of Pride, and PERSEVERE.