I know you think you’re a failure, but you’re not.
I know you think you’re fat, but you’re not.
Your reality, the one you’re living right now, is perceptive. What you see as truth is really nothing more than a shadow of fact, one that is sifted through the filters of your mind and heart.
In other words, your life is what it is because you choose to see it that way.
(don’t get mad and quit. keep reading.)
According to Plato and his mentor Socrates (I’d love to have coffee with those guys, pretty sure my brain would essplode), most of us live our lives as though we are prisoners in a cave, chained to the wall, facing the black stone. There is a fire behind us, warm and bright, but we cannot see it.
Occasionally, people pass between the fire behind us and our backs, and, for a brief instant, a shadow is projected onto the wall in front of our faces.
Instead of turning around to see what casts the shadows (factual truth), we take the shadows at face value. We believe that the shadows are reality. We name the shadows.
The shadows are flat. Dark. They’re shallow, as are the relationships that we form with them. We can only form relationships as deep as we are willing to look, and we don’t ever look deeper than the surface.
Even if we did, it wouldn’t matter. There’s nothing there. Beneath what we see there is only cold stone, not because the person is shallow themselves, but because what we see isn’t even the real person.
The real person is behind us, but we refuse to turn around and see what’s actually there.
For those who remained chained to the wall, those shadows are as close to viewing reality as they’re ever going to get.
For the rest, it’s time to turn around.
Your life, the one you’re living right now, exists as shadows on the wall. You feel hollow. Empty. Shallow. Lonely, because the shadows don’t talk much. They can’t hold you in a way that brings warmth and comfort.
Face the fear. Face the fear of escape, and what your jailers will do to you when you unbolt the shackles.
Face the fear of the truth, the fear of what you’ll find when you take a good hard look.
Accept the fact that you will be uncomfortable for a while, because everything will be new and brilliant and scary when you turn around, but know that you will adjust.
You are stronger than you think you are.
…you’re strong enough to know that facing a cold wall is no way to live no matter how safe the shackles feel, that being comforted by shadows is a shallow, hollow, empty way to be loved, and that no matter how terrifying it might be, you want to turn around.
I know you’re trying to love yourself, love your life, lose some weight, make some change. I know that.
I know you feel trapped, chained to a shallow life, empty and cold, shivery and goosebumpy. I know you want the warm fire and heat of warm bodies, the touch of true love, strong arms around your waist and small, chunky baby arms around your neck.
I also know that you look at the shadow your body casts on the wall, and you are afraid to look at what is making that shape.
You’re afraid that you’re horribly, disgustingly, worthlessly fat.
Here’s what you need to know:
The weight you carry on your body may change the size and shape of the shadow you cast on the wall, but it is not you. You are outside of that shadow.
You are deeper than a dark shape on the wall.
You are even deeper than the body that makes the shape.
You are the spark inside.
The body you fill is just a body, nothing more.
When you feel completely fat and worthless, when you feel like a failure, instead of taking your immediate impression as your true reality, STOP.
There is a certain level of detachment we must create between who we truly are, and how our physical self exists in this world. You are not your body. Your body is not you.
Your reality is perceptive, based on how you see yourself.
If you see yourself as a failure, choose to see things differently. Set yourself free from failure by seeing it as a lesson learned, a character trait built, an experience that makes you stronger.
When we see ourselves as the shadow on the wall, we are truly trapped.
When we are held captive and paralyzed by fear that what we see on that flat wall is our one and only reality, it is our only reality. We refuse to look deeper and turn around, and so we are stuck in what we see.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
See yourself as the creature that casts the shadows, not as the shadows themselves. Realize that you are free to move. To leave. To choose differently, to be someone else.
We have the choice to find love, leave jobs, have babies, lose weight, and become the heroine of our story, not a chained up victim.
I read somewhere the saying, “If you don’t like your story, change it.”
Change your perspective, and your story will change.
It’s time to turn around.
Find yourself. Embrace your truth. Change your world.