The theme of the blog this week is restoration. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the topic, but I've been learning a whole lot more about it as of late.
I’ve been known to be legalistic and self-disciplined. I’m committed to yoga 5 times a week. I'm in bed at a decent hour so I can get a good night's sleep. When you ask me what I want to eat, I always respond with "something healthy." For a while, I ferociously chased the idea that a life full of all these things would really bring me happiness and value- that if I had a body like a Victoria's Secret model I'd be "good enough"... whatever that means.
Fast forward through a season of over the top self-discipline, followed by a season of extreme grief, and I found myself weighing significantly less. I stepped on the scale a few weeks ago and realized I had even dropped below my “I’ll be really happy when I weigh ____” weight. And you know what happened? I still didn’t feel very happy.
The good news is, I have been happy lately. But it didn’t come from a number on the scale. Yes, it’s great to be healthy and eat organic and go to bed early so you can wake up early and sweat and feel productive. I know all of that first hand, and a dose of that genuinely does bring me happiness. But I also know that sometimes it feels great to down a bottle of champagne and eat an entire bag of jellybeans and stay up til 3am watching Netflix. Or to have 4 margaritas on the porch with your friend while you smoke cloves and sit in the sunshine without sunscreen at 2pm. Or to cancel on your personal trainer because you were up all night and closing down the bar and laughing and taking shots and catching up and having the best time in a long time.
A refreshing green juice is wonderful, but so is Jet’s Pizza with turbo crust. So is eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s half baked in one sitting. Yes, a life of nothing but sweet will rot your teeth and your soul, but a life of nothing but discipline is no life at all. For me, restoration the past few weeks wasn't about a juice cleanse, a diet, or bumping up the gym regimen. Restoration for me has been to return myself to it’s original condition of living a really joyful life.
I’m learning that restoration doesn’t look one way for everyone. Some days I need to go out to the bar to meet my friends so I can laugh and let loose and have fun. Some days what I need is to shut the door at home, be alone with Jesus and spend some time in prayer. Some mornings I need yoga, and some mornings I need more sleep. Some days I need spaghetti, and some days I need to get back on track and pretend I’m just as happy with kale. But wherever I am, I’m learning to give myself grace and let myself be there. I’m learning that forcing that much discipline on yourself isn’t worth it. And neither is judging someone else for what they need today- because maybe on Monday you need kombucha but I need vodka. Whatever we each need, that's okay.
This week I want to encourage you to listen to what you need, and to not worry about anyone else. If you’re aware you need rest and your friends are all going out: let yourself rest. If you’re at lunch and all your friends order salad but you need french fries- for all that is good in the world, order the fries. Personally, I'm coming off a week that was full of cheesecake and wine and tons of sleep and margaritas, so restoration for me right now was joining Shakti Power Yoga's "Fully Committed" program of starting everyday with yoga and a smoothie. But I'm making that decision because it's what I want to do not what I should do, and that makes all the difference.
This week, love yourself where you are. Give yourself what you need. You are a multi-faceted human with complexities and that makes you fascinating. Don't wake up and bury yourself in expectations. Just wake up and be awesome.
This week let's focus on returning to our original condition of being a whole, happy person. Rather than living a life of excessive discipline or excessive frivolity, let's find balance. Let's treat ourselves with kindness. Let's restore.