In When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron writes that “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
I realized the truth of her words this past week. Something important—a lesson I keep thinking I’m finished with—returned to me. And without wishing to enfold the story in neat endnotes, I can say that I think I may finally have learned what I needed to know. A big chunk of it, anyway.
There’s more to this: lessons in healing, boundary setting, and getting free. I’ve learned about staying truthful and becoming a more fully realized version of myself. But what’s stuck with me is the fact that we can continue to encounter familiar struggles or wounds and still be moving forward in our process.
I sometimes greet the resurgence of an old challenge or hurt as a “setback,” but it doesn’t have to be. Not really. Instead, it can be an opportunity to face a familiar trigger in a new way.
When I was in ED recovery, I often found myself confusing recovery, or healing, with the inability to be triggered anymore. I was wrong. It’s not about being immune to triggers so much as feeling them as vividly as ever, yet finding new and more adaptive ways to handle them.
So here’s to facing the things we face, for however long we need to face them, and approaching them with just a little more clarity, honesty, and self-compassion each time. However maddeningly slow the process might feel, no matter how much patience it demands, it’s growth. And it matters.
Happy Sunday. Here are some recipes and reads.
Vibrant and refreshing Mediterranean collard wraps with pesto.
A simple masala curry that’s perfectly doable on weeknights.
I’ve made various iterations of rice that are inspired by my Greek heritage, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recipe for Prasorizo, or rice with leeks, before. I’m excited to try this!
Speaking of rice, Deryn swaps farro for rice in this tasty fried farro dish with spinach and edamame.
1. An interesting discussion of how technology can make us more and less empathetic.
2. I’m really excited to read Lydia Denworth’s new book on the biology of friendship, and this review piqued my interest.
4. Confessions of a hermit crab rescuer.
5. If you didn’t happen to see the video this week, the Washington Post reports on now viral footage of an unlikely allegiance between a badger and a coyote.
Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing the chocolatey, just-in-time-for-Valentine’s-Day treat that I meant to share this past week. Stay tuned!
For all of my (probably very irritating) talk lately about how much I heart winter, I can’t say that it wasn’t a joy to wake up this morning, step outside, feel the sun on my face, and realize that it was nearly 70 degrees in New Orleans. I’m here in Crescent City visiting my bestie, Chloe, and her husband, Knud. My trips here are always really special–not only a chance to spend quality time with people I love, but also a chance to…
Happy Sunday, and thanks for welcoming Elizabeth’s brave and open Green Recovery Story to the blog this past week. I so appreciate the comments and supportive words, and I’m sure that Elizabeth does as well. It’s been an interesting week. It began with an unexpected obstacle–something I didn’t see coming, or didn’t quite accept as it came. It has been a long time since I handled curveballs with grace. For me, struggling with anxiety means having to work very hard in order to access feelings…
Today’s the last day of NEDA week 2017, and this weekend reading roundup places special emphasis on ED stories, research, and reporting. Maybe it’s just the fact that I spend more time looking than I used to, but I feel as though the ED narrative has expanded a lot in the last few years; media is taking interest in the whole spectrum of EDs, rather than focusing exclusively on anorexia/bulimia (though we still have a long way to go), and first person voices…
This whole business of self-compassion is most definitely a practice, which (for me, anyway) means days that come easily and days that don’t. Yesterday was a difficult day. I forgot something relatively important, which I should have remembered (and had set numerous reminders to myself about), which set off a spiral of anxiety about feeling unproductive, disorganized, etc. This is a typical cycle for me: giving myself a break, often because I’ve gotten sick, and then undoing a lot of the gentleness with…