I often hear people saying “I just want to get back to who I was” in the healing space.
I was introduced to a song recently that gave me pause to reflect on this common belief.
The lyrics say “will you love me for who I am, not who I was?” which you can hear as one person talking to another, or it can be you talking to yourself. (Listen to the Chance Pena song below. This is not at all sponsored, I just like his music!)
Part of the healing process, like any transition in life, comes with grief for what once was. Sometimes you can move through this phase quickly, sometimes it takes longer. The opposite of grief is acceptance, and both emotions can exist at the same time.
What you must realize is that with or without the health challenge you're trying to overcome, you weren’t ever going to stay the same person. Every minute, you are changing. You are learning constantly and changing parts of yourself. Your desires fluctuate daily and your dreams of the future change often-- some days you want to travel or try a new career, some days you want to settle down or grow deeper into where you are. While fundamentally you may appear, dream or act similarly to a previous version of yourself, you are really a dynamic variation of that person.
"Love me for who I am, not who I was..."
You cannot "go back to who you were." It would be like trying to be the child version of yourself each time you go back to your childhood home. The paint on the walls is the same, your bed hasn't moved-- there's evidence of the child you were and things you did. You can act and pretend you are still that same child/person, but the truth is, you probably feel different. You know new things, you have different needs and desires.
No matter what you're going through, you're not meant to go backwards. Nature doesn't go back on itself-- it changes, adapts, and moves through cycles. Each year, perennials sprout, bud, bloom, and fade until the next year, except each year is a little bit different. The flowers change their colors a little bit, maybe there is more or less in bloom.
But, the flowers aren't worried about what they will look like when they bloom again. They only take care of their needs in the present moment. They trust the process of focusing on who they are now. The rest follows. The flowers aren't loved for their previous blooms; they are appreciated where they are now. There is curiosity and excitement as they bud, and gracious support from loving gardeners and Mother Nature between their blooms.
You, too, can only be here right now. There are cycles to everything, but ultimately only right now matters.
Can you be fully accepting and loving the You that is right here, right now, in this moment?
Close your eyes
Put one hand on your heart and the other on your belly.
Say out loud or silently: Just for this minute, I accept and love ALL parts of Me.
How does that feel? Do it again.
Just for this minute, I accept and love ALL parts of Me.
Imagine doing this minute, after minute. Then, maybe you can try:
Just for this hour, I accept and love ALL parts of Me.
If you can do it for one hour, then you can say:
Just for today, I accept and love ALL parts of Me.
Slowly, surely you create a new You who is fully present and loving. If your present is full of love, then your future will be, too. Suddenly, "getting back to who you were" is irrelevant because you love who you are now.
You can only affect the future, not the past. Often, the past is used as a reference of the version of yourself because it's the only version of You that is known. Your brain is fearful of the unknown: "How can I know what’s possible ahead is safe and good for me? I know the past was pretty good, why don't I just try to get back to that version of me..."
You can look back at the past as reference points of what you're trying to get back to, which feels safe because it's familiar-- or, you can courageously charge towards a new future possibility that is even better than the past. You are wiser now because of your past and current experiences. If you can trust yourself right now, then you can have faith in your future. Faith is believing in something good will happen in the future, and the future comes to you now. You cannot affect the past. You are the cause of the future. You can become the version of You you are meant to become that your previous Self could only dream of. To have the future you want, it starts now:
Offer gratitude and forgiveness of who you were.
Love and accept who you are right now.
Have faith and trust in who you are becoming, because of who you are right now.
Put a sticky note on your mirror: Just for today, I accept and love ALL parts of Me.
I know this is all easier said than done, especially when working on your own. If you like these concepts, but don't know where to begin, book your free 30-minute Next Step to Wellness insights call with me to discuss more in depth where you are struggling to accept the parts of yourself and move forward.
I love the You that you are right now!
love & light,