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!
A week ago, I wrote about bullet journaling and starting new tasks without expectations of permanence. I stuck with a very basic form of the journal through the week, and as I did I started to feel not only a sense of pleasure at having a new way to stay organized, but also the pleasurable experience of feeling as though I was reinhabiting an old self. It was the self who could accomplish ten tasks before noon, who rose with the sun and…
Q: Gena, where were you all weekend? A: Mad busy! But I missed you all so much, and it feels great to be online again. Thanks to any and everyone who chimed in on my last post. What a smart and nuanced collection of musings on the value of raw foods and raw foodism! I wanted to mention that the blogger who wrote the post that originally inspired mine also wrote a smart and thorough response to me this morning. In it, she…
For a long time, I thought of myself as someone who thrived off of being busy, very busy. At the least, I knew that I tended toward being hyper-productive, which felt sort of like the same thing. When I look back now on my post-bacc years, or my last two years at FSG, when I was working full days, taking pre-req classes at night, and blogging into the wee hours, I’m not sure how I got it all done. Surely being busy must have come…
I’m keeping this weekend reading post short and sweet, mostly because my writing energies have been wrapped up in posts for NEDA week 2019, which begins tomorrow! It won’t be a regular week of recipe-sharing here on the blog, but rather a week in which I take some time to celebrate the recovery process, with all of its challenges and gifts. If you take interest in this topic, perhaps you’ll check in from time to time. For today, I wanted to share my…