Cheers to New Beginnings

My life revolves around quotes. Each blog I post will probably have some sort of quote that inspires me or just touches my heart in a certain way that day. They remind me that life is an adventure; they motivate me to keep going when I feel like giving up. Quotes can tell mini stories of inspiration or mini stories of heartache. My feelings and emotions are nothing novel though. Everyone has felt sadness, defeat, and loss. Everyone has felt happiness, victory, and hopefulness. At some point in life, I am sure we all have wished even for a new beginning, a redo- I know I did. I discovered “starting over”can be hard, really hard. Sometimes it can be confused with running away from your past or avoiding your problems all together. I quickly understood new beginnings do not erase anything- not memories, not feelings, not even people…

We moved to Dallas, TX in January 2015. My husband and I had just graduated from college, celebrated a wonderful trip to South America where he proposed, and were to “begin” a new life 500+ miles from our college days. It was mainly my idea, but Jordan agreed to move far away from the college town that brought us together, along with many great memories (and then some not so great ones).  I thought moving far away from the “issue(s)” would magically disappear my pain, negative thoughts, stress, and perhaps, even erase the issue(s) all together. I learned fast though, distance did not remove anything…in our case, it only intensified them.

“Before Alice got to Wonderland, she had to fall.”- This quote reminds me how it is okay to hit rock bottom. During 2015, I knew I had hit rock bottom- multiple times. Each time I tried to get back up, or at least pretended to be fine, I would fall even further down, wondering if this time I had finally struck ground. I was embarrassed. I had no one to talk to or anywhere to turn. My identity all my life had been swimming- I was a swimmer. I would give my emotions to the pool- my safe haven. With becoming a recent “swammer”, I did not have the quiet time between the black line at the bottom of the pool and my thoughts anymore. I was not prepared…

With that being said, over the last two years, I learned to live with an unfriendly past. I still have days where I allow the negative feelings and memories to consume my thoughts. I discovered moving away each time life was not all I wanted it to be was a poor answer. Running from conflicts and issues was unhealthy, nor possible these days with social media everywhere we look. The only way to truly have a new start, a new beginning, was forgiveness. Forgiveness was the answer…and it was not the answer I liked. I had to (and still trying to) let go of anger from others who did me wrong, intentionally and unintentionally. During my time in Texas, I learned you cannot start new without letting go of the old. My problem exactly- I was not letting go. I admit, I noticed how the stress was taking affect on my mind, my body, and my soul early on, but I still allowed the negative control in for two+ years. I was a prisoner in my own head, a prisoner of an “issue” I hated. With anger, hurt, and confusion making a home in the back of my mind, exhaustion hit…which led to repeated memories of pain and, worst of all, negative self talk. My self-esteem took a nose dive into an ocean of pessimism. I judged myself hardcore. I stopped loving the person I saw in the mirror, and all I did was compare my flaws to everyone else’s “perfections”. How was I ever going to start over, or at least return to the old me? There it was again, forgiveness- Of others and myself.

Forgive as the Lord has forgave you.- Colossians 3:13

Forgiveness was (and still is) difficult for me. I am still learning to let go of past mistakes and betrayals, but without letting go, a clean slate can never happen. Along with forgiveness, I had to relearn trust. You will never know if someone (or even yourself) will hurt you again- actually, they probably will, it’s human nature, but you have to trust and hope for the best, not for them, but for you- for your own happiness. I lived for too long of always being on the fence, which was draining.. sometimes, you just have to let God worry for you…

So, what does all this have to do with Mind, Body, and Wags? What does forgiveness and letting go have to do with health and fitness? Everything. In order to truly begin a new journey to self improvement or to whatever your “new beginning” may be, you have to forgive and accept the past- forgive and accept what caused you to fall off the path in the first place. My mind was still filled with negativity even though I had moved to Dallas in hopes of starting over. I was still putting myself down, abusing my self-worth. I was not seeing the beauty my husband saw. I still do not, but that is something I am working on. Without a cleansed mind, my body can not achieve its’ full potential. A clear, positive mind is gasoline for an energetic, motivated body. It all connects.

Lastly, if it was not for my Dobie Enzo, who could see through my dark chocolate colored eyes, realizing I was struggling,  I am not sure how life would have turned out. Enzo was always there, he comforted me, barked at me when I was being dramatic, he listened to me in the amazing way that dogs do. He quickly became my black line at the bottom of the safe haven.

So, cheers! Cheers to forgiveness and new beginnings that contain affirmative self talk, motivated bodies, and wagging tails that always place a smile on our faces!

Take Home Thoughts: (Pinterest)

7 Keys to Life:

  1. God First
  2. Love one another
  3. Never hate
  4. give generously
  5. live simply
  6. forgive quickly
  7. be kind always (to others and yourself)

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