I've been trying to take a few minutes to view a variety of blogs lately instead of the same five to ten I view each week. I've gone back to a few that I read in the past that just kind of fell off the radar or I had lost interest in.
It's been very interesting. I was thrilled to find updates to look and feel of several of the blogs. One blog I had really given up on was now bright, shiny, and full of posts that rang out with refreshing honesty, real life and inspiration to just be oneself. I'm going back there! There are a few who've just kind of fallen off the bandwagon, no posts for months or even years now. You are missed, but I understand when real life takes priority. There was another site where the dear blogger sadly seems to need to check into physical/mental health facility to work through some very serious exhaustion related, emotional and bodily health issues.
All the pressure I saw her putting on her self to succeed was the main reason I stopped visiting this blog initially despite all the pretty things she was doing. It's not pretty, no matter how many gorgeous photos and graphics you package it in to watch someone ruin their health eating very unhealthy food, not sleeping and overdoing it. It's heartbreaking. Sadly for years now I have wanted to just take this sweet girl by the shoulders, give her a big hug and then shake her for a minute, like a sassy grandmother, and tell her to stop it and stop it now. I was deeply saddened to find that behind the colorful blogging facade, things had only gotten worse. So, so sad!
This all tied into something else I have been thinking about a lot lately. We have to be responsible for our own lives and we can't hide it when we aren't. It's obvious to everyone: whether it's your immediate family, your neighbors, your coworkers, or your vast global blog following. If you turn to food to comfort you that 20 pounds is going to show, if you avoid your personal responsibilities it will show, if you let yourself go, it shows. When we refuse to grow in the ways life is calling upon us to grow, it shows. We become frustrated, grouchy, mean-spirited, envious, petty, sickly, weak and unattractive.
The fix is to have the courage to face the things in Life's mirror - the stuff that keeps getting reflected back to us with warning signs. You know the signs: I need to sleep more, I am not eating good foods, I am taking on too much, my kids need my attention, my spouse needs less criticism from me. More signs: I need to smile more, I need to exercise, I need to read a book or do something I actually like doing, I need to get out of this house before I lose my mind.
I include myself in this completely when I say we need to face up to these messages we so desperately want to ignore. Why are they so scary? Why are we so afraid to grow up? We need to keep growing up, we're never done. It's so easy to see this in other people, to a fault, but so hard to own up to in ourselves. I am sure more than once people have wanted to shake me by the shoulders. Every one of us is avoiding facing something important in our lives, if it's our well being, our relationships, our work, our spending, our weight, our need to give our kids more space, or more time, our need to take better care of ourselves and other important parts of our lives.
I'm challenging us all today to lift our heads up, quit ignoring the messages in the mirror and make a list of what we really need to do to grow up a little bit more and relieve any spots of self-created friction in our lives. Then it's action time. Acknowledgment with no follow up is the most foolish thing we can do. Sure we can tell everyone what we need to do, but until we do it, it's a fail. At some point, it ultimately becomes too late: our health fails us, our friends or family leave us, we lose our job or lose our lives.
What do you dare face today, this week, this year? What small actions can you take today to move past those barriers you've created for yourself and get to a new place in your life? And remember, everyone will see it and know it and be inspired. If one of us can do it, we can all do it!