I remember high school vividly. Growing up in Phoenix, we would wear shorts most of the year, something that I wasn't fond of when it came to sitting in desks. I was known for sitting one of three ways in my chair: (1) perked up high on my toes, almost as if I were wearing high heels; (2) cross legged; or (3) slouched down as far as I could with my feet propped on the bottom of the desk in front of me. The common denominator between these three positions: they all prevented my thighs from resting comfortably on the seat of the chair. My slim-fitting shirts were stretched out to casually lay flat over my belly rolls, and I spent much more time worrying if anyone in class noticed me doing these things than I did listening to my teachers.
To say that I was self consumed would be an understatement.
You see, I was a cheerleader. You know, the one's who are supposed to be popular and admired. My transition into high school cheerleading from all-star cheer threw me into a world where your skill at the sport was ignored and your skills in the bedroom made you the star of the team. I never understood that standard. I never understood why the way that your uniform fit was more important than how many back handsprings you could do across the field or how high you could toss your flyer but, for some reason, it did. Slowly though, I learned from the older girls how to pick myself to pieces and sell myself short. High school was the beginning of my abusive relationship with my body. The torture, whether words or actions, all started there.
I'm not sharing this to find sympathy. I'm sharing this because it is the beginning of my story of redemption.
My four years of high school and first two years of college were plagued by these paralyzing thoughts and self-destructive desires of the heart. It wasn't until I discovered what faith was that I truly began walking the road towards recovery. I found my Higher Power, for me, a God who I had accepted much earlier as my personal Savior. I believed that my Higher Power existed all along, but I didn't really know what a relationship with Him was like until I realized that I can't fight the battle of health alone.
Friends, you need something bigger to live for. It doesn't have to be a religious figure, but you need to see that something in this universe is powerful and worth living to your full potential for. You were made for so much more than worrying about your flattened thighs or tummy rolls. You are a MASTERPIECE. I spent so many years trying to wrap my head around that concept and I couldn't until I stopped trying to put the pieces together myself and just handed them to my Higher Power. Throw them into the universe and let the currant lead you into the deepest of oceans. Have faith that things in this world are worth optimism and that you need to be true to yourself when the odds are against you. However you choose to do it, whether it be through God, your own Higher Power, or the universe itself, find something bigger. It changes you. It heals you. It strengthens you.
Finding an anchor for my soul lit the path towards healing. It healed my deep anguish and hatred towards myself and led me towards greater horizons. I believe that it has the power to do the same for you.
Find something big to live for today, then go chase it relentlessly.