I created a 2018 vision board, and central to the board are two things – angel wings with Freedom written above them, and a quote I just adore.
Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the truths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting before becoming.Victoria Erickson
As I listened in on a webinar for my author’s course this morning, I was once again struck by the parallels between learning about the writing process, and my mental health recovery. It is all about change and transformation.
Every day – every moment – of my life, I change and transform one way or another. My body constantly regenerates – most of it anyway. Some cells every few days, some every few years. And a few important cells in the brain we apparently need to treat carefully as they’re just one-timers. But overall, my body has been changing and transforming since that winning sperm first introduced itself to a welcoming ovum more than 52 years ago.
Emotionally, intellectually and spiritually I constantly take in information – even as an infant I absorbed everything around me. That information shaped me into the person I became, while experiences over the years shaped me into the person I am now. Tomorrow’s influences will transform me into the person I am yet to become.
Yet as Victoria phrased so eloquently, Transformation isn’t sweet and bright – when the transformation is one we actively pursue. Transformation we know we need – be it physical transformation from couch potato to health goddess, spiritual transformation from Satanist to Buddhist, or mental transformation from maladaptive coping mechanisms to healthy ways of dealing with the world.
There are a lot of bodily truths that need to be unraveled – tales I’ve been told and taken to heart since I was knee high to a grasshopper. To expel these truths is indeed a dark, murky, painful pushing. And deep in my spirit are the very demons I created and clung to for decades, now needing a gentle nudge out the door, so my angel wings can unfurl. So I can become completely uprooted and transform into the person I desire to be, not the person I was shaped to be.
Part of this dark and murky transformation, is understanding who I desire to be.
It is not enough to know what I don’t want. I need to know what I do want – the qualities I admire and desire for myself. At the same time, learning to accept I don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I need a transformation to a better version of me – not a clone of someone else.
I am learning to accept I actually have some redeeming qualities – and I need to hug them to my ample bosom and never let them go. Acknowledge strengths I already have, to boost my transformation. To find the humility to recognise what does not become me, or serve me well, and to let it go – with grace and dignity.
As I listened in on today’s webinar for aspiring authors, and we discussed the importance of change in everyone’s life – how we change with so many defining moments: different ages and stages, finding or losing love, money or friendship, consolidating a career, our first kiss, sexual liaison, fight, child, death, loss – we are all in a constant state of flux. Everything changes us. Sometimes transformations are forced upon us, but sometimes it is necessary to force the transformation upon ourselves. And that is my recovery – transforming all the firsts. The first week of eating five regular meals a day without supervision.
The first time I accept my body. The first time I face down severe anxiety with a healthy choice. That is transformation.
Then the second and subsequent times I reinforce the new ways of being, until they shape the new me. And I become the person I desire to be. My vision for 2018 – the Freedom to let go of what I no longer need and to embrace the changes that are swirling around me.