I just got back from an amazing weekend at the Canada East Crossfit Regionals. All my fears and my doubts were squashed and my only regret was all the time I worried about my performance. Oh well… onward and upward.
I learned a lot this weekend and I realized that there were three distinct things that make my life complete. Through the years I may have been missing one or another… but as I get older I realize that when I have all three I am sublimely happy. I am going to attempt to explain them all one post…
I believe that connection to people and community and a strong sense of self are really important to my happiness. Let me explain.
We as humans are born to connect. From birth until death we are made to connect with others. Some of my darkest moments and times in life were times when I felt alone. After I had my first kid and no one else had kids… I didn’t know what to do, my family was far away and I was living in Farhaven i.e. suburban hell when all my friends were still downtown. Once I started attending mom/baby groups, going to the park and meeting other people like me the fog began to lift and I was not alone.
We come from a hunter and gathering society where the men went out together to hunt while the women of the community helped to gather food and watch the young. Fast forward to our culture now. Families are far from each other, and we are trying to raise our children on our own, without the help of family, and while working full time. It’s not easy when you are on the go all the time and you have no one to share your experiences with or rant about your stresses etc.
Even people without kids. Connection is so important. People are moving towards social media and we are having less and less human contact. Eye contact. Real laughter and real tears with real people. Hugs are underrated. In my opinion there is no better feeling then a real human connection, a good conversation where you feel like you can stay up all night to talk. Laughter. This is what life is all about.
I do not belong to a set religion. I do not want to start on my opinions of religion but I feel that having a community that you can relate to is a key to a good life.
Like people with the same sets of beliefs as you that you connect with on a deep level. For some its a church, for some it is other groups. For me it is my crossfit family, my gym.
The gym has been my church for many years and finding a community in a gym was a key to my happiness. Our goals of being healthy and active are mirrored in what we do. Some may argue that it is cult-like and extreme but I am ok with that. Finding a community with the same values as me makes it easier to live within those guidelines. Before when I was “on my own” I would lose my love for the gym and go for long periods eating like crap and not exercising. I know now that it won’t happen again. Because I am surrounded by positive people who remind me of my goals and won’t let me “fall off the wagon”.
I have spend countless days trying to get “there”. Skinny, strong, six pack or whatever… It was never enough. I was striving for perfection. Then something switched. I started to accept myself for who I was at the present moment. Love myself for who I was no matter what size or shape I was. I found peace in my body and how imperfectly perfect it was. I focused on what I could do with my body rather then how it looked. I realized that I would rather have a beer and cake once in a while rather then have a six pack. Funny thing is that once I found peace with myself I stopped beating myself up about food or the size of my jeans. Every time I look in the mirror I see love, not hate. I still have my moments and that is ok. I am a work in progress. As long as I live by my values, and even if I slip, I know that in the long run I am better off loving by body then hating it.
O.K. so this became a bit of a rant.
But my point is that if you love yourself for who you are RIGHT NOW, and surround yourself with people with like values that you connect with, it is amazing how great that feels. A sense of pride, of belonging and deep love… not only for others but also for yourself.
You are not alone. Love is within you and all around.
Love and inner peace to you all.