Ahhhh. Memory Lane.
It can be a real joy to travel down it, or it can wreak havoc on your emotions.
I found myself wandering through some old photo albums recently. You know the REAL kind that you hold in your hands and turn the pages of? I was prompted to go on this little “side trip” by my youngest son’s 31st birthday. And I loved seeing pictures of my husband and kids from 30 years ago. I loved seeing those mini me’s and laughed thinking about the various stages of their lives from tiny infants to toddlers to “kids”. The birthday parties for stuffed animals and puppet shows flashed in front of me. And I smiled.
I did not, however, enjoy seeing those pictures of my younger self quite so much. I started looking at the lack of gray in my hair and the lack of wrinkles on my face; and I was mesmerized by my thinner, younger self in a two piece bathing suit. I found myself turning from those pages to look at the me of now and wondered, when did I get so grey; where did that wrinkle on the side of my mouth come from; what the heck is that cellulite doing on my thighs; how in the world was I ever brave enough to wear a two piece bathing suit? It’s funny how we can find joy in seeing the “growth” and physical changes of others in a series of pictures, but we view our own growth and change as negative.
I began being curious about why my mind had started such a negative conversation. After all, I am healthy and strong and living a vibrant life. So what if my roots are grey and a wrinkle honors my face. Normally, I am confident in who I am physically as well as emotionally. But that self-doubt, self-judging voice clearly popped up and tried to take over.
I asked myself if I wanted the kids to stay frozen in time? Of course not! I loved being ‘mom’ in all of the various stages, and I put so much love and care into raising them not so they would stay by my side as littles, but so they would flourish as independent adults living their lives fully.
Why then would I want to freeze-frame myself? Why would I want to be forever 20 or 30 or 40 or….? Why wouldn’t I want to embrace all that I am right now in this “stage” of my life and experience it fully? Because, quite frankly, I won’t get this stage of my own life back again. It happens but once in a lifetime.
Part of the dislike of change within ourselves has to do with the pressures we feel from society and media to “not age” and to stay looking young. But does always looking young, mean you are actually healthy? Hell no!
So yes, I look different than I did in my 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. I think differently and act differently too. I embrace growth. And growth means change. And change is not bad, it’s just different. The key to developing a mindset that embraces growth, is taking time to know yourself, to love yourself and to care for yourself each and every day. That means learning to have a healthy dialogue with your body and using the lifestyle choices of diet, exercise and stress management to heal and nurture your health. It means learning to be joyfully and fully present in the now while being able to reflect with gratitude on the past.
What steps can you take today to honor your past self, while being fully present in the you of now?
In Health and Balance,
Owner, Interwoven Wellness
I created my “Design-Grow-Flow” philosophy to help women who are ready to shake loose the negative self-talk and heal and nurture their health in the now.
Curious to know more about my ‘Not Another Diet Blueprint’ way of living? Contact me to set up a 15 minute free Discovery Call and find out if my approach to health coaching might be just the answer you are looking for.