February 19th, 2013
One of the most difficult processes I have found on my journey of recovery is stepping out of the ED self; quieting the critical, distorted thoughts running like a constant radio through my head; and redefining and learning who I am as a healthy self. This is why if you were to ever visit me, you would find affirmations, poems, quotes, vision boards, even brightly collaged bookcases full of inspiring words, reminders of hope. During rough moments, this all helps me approach recovery as a journey and affirms that I do have a purpose, — a purpose and identity that does not include an eating disorder!
I have traveled and moved a lot in the past couple years. Since I can’t take my two best friends (Modge Podge and scissors) to your house to create you an affirmation board, I did the next best thing. I chose some of the quotes and excerpts that I’ve lovingly toted around state by state. By lovingly, I mean continue to carry even those that have developed water stains, corners the dog chewed, and many tape and push pin holes. You get the idea This first quote is from one of my many “quotable cards,” and one of my favorites, because I always feel like I’m climbing a humongous mountain where there is no plateau. It always seems that just as I get over one thing, another barrier comes my way, which turns up the volume on my internal negative talk radio to LOUD!
Souza’s words are a good reminder that there is more out there. Happiness is a journey, not a destination…I can definitely identify due to some life events that a moment is a moment, so keep them close.
“for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.” – Souza
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I discovered Kellie Rae Roberts about two years ago at my local hospital gift shop where they carried some of her artwork which is inspiring & thoughtful. The presentation was right up my ally in the way she wrote and language used, so I immediately fell in love. This is just a short example, but I love the simplicity! Each phrase is a powerful reminder in it’s own. If I had a no fee credit card my house would be full of her crafts!
“Tell your story…believe in healing…honor your intuition…take the journey back to your self…wear more skirts…begin today…embrace vulnerability…do the thing you didn’t think you could…quiet the inner critic…” - Kellie Rae Roberts *Read her story, more quotes, and her art online!
The excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s speech is a powerful reminder that yes, I am here for a purpose, and yes, it’s okay to be self-confident: a mixed message that society sends us. When my inner critic gets going, I will read this, and it’s always a good jolt reminding me that continuing to listen to the negative self talk is serving no helpful purpose nor is it honoring my Higher Power. This watermarked, chewed quote has traveled with me for seven years!
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And when we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech
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The mind is strong and surrounding yourself with positive, inspiring, and encouraging messages can have a great effect. Sometimes, I bypass the quotes around the house or will vacantly read them and negatively shout, “Yeah right!” Thankfully, more often than not, I will walk around and mindfully read them, and I have noticed I have gained more ammunition against the negative thoughts.
Plus, never underestimate Modge Podge, scissors, and magazines! It’s quite cathartic to make these sorts of inspirational reminders, and there have been moments where I probably could have collaged anything that stood still!
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”- Christian D. Larson
Just a few books I’d recommend:
The Time Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. Even if you are not spiritual, this book is amazing. It’s a true reminder of hope, having a purpose, embracing each moment. I couldn’t put it down and have actually given it to a few friends.
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. This is a great daily read for people going through the recovery process.
Power Thought Cards by Louise L. Hay. This is a fun little box of beautifully decorated cards with affirmations on them. Some days I’ll just sit and go through the entire deck reading them.
Jesus Today (focuses on HOPE) and Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – If you have a Higher Power these devotionals are amazing! I’ve been going through Jesus Today which is more focused on hope, and I can’t believe how each day is just what I need to hear.
The Creative Journal by Lucia Capacchione. Even if you’re not an artist, this book has great exercises that explore the self and help rebuild your identity
-Faith (Guest Blogwriter)
“I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world!” -Kellie Rae Roberts