What Truly Matters

You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.

“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”

For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.

 “And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”

You listen, and respond with a step.

“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”

You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.

“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”

Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?

And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.

If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.

If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!

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You lost someone from your life?

Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.

You faced a roadblock in your job?

Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!

The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.

So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”

You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

7 Liberating Steps To Empowerment

Some days, life can feel out of control. Some days, everything seems to happen while we are still busy making to-do lists.

And some days, we remember a simple truth: life is in our hands! With these 7 Liberating Steps, we can find our way back to a path of empowerment. 

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CLICK HERE to read more of this latest article on Thought Calatog and have an empowered Wednesday!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

#NoStigma: Lessons from a patient

What our patients can teach us…

On Psych rotation, I asked a woman with Anorexia Nervosa, how do you do it? Every day, you fight back. Every day, you bite back. Every morning, you wake up choosing again to recover. And that choice has made you stronger. Every day you grow stronger!

The woman, though, wouldn’t answer. Not immediately. Instead, she took my hand, and she looked me in the eye, and she said, “Dear, I hope you never understand. I hope you never know. I hope Ana never steals the years of your life that she took from me.”

But then, she did share, and described aloud a list of 68 Thoughts in the Head of Someone with Anorexia Nervosa, specifically 68 thoughts from her life as a newlywed, 68 thoughts she shared with her spouse. She told me to process the experience slowly, because it hurts – anorexia hurts – and it’s hard – the isolation is hard – but she also told me to remember: my friend, her joy, is still in there. And boy is she strong, stronger than she may even believe!

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CLICK HERE to read the list that she spoke to me.

(This post was written and published with the permission of all parties involved. Anonymity is preserved to respect the rights of others involved in this conversation.)

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.