Seeing Growth in My Reflection

When I was looking for an app for prompts, I collected a couple others for inspiration as well. One of them is a question diary and the other a gratitude journal. Both have been very stimulating so far.

This morning on the gratitude journal I was given the chance to think back over the past 15, 10 and 5 years and take note of the ways I’ve grown, finishing by offering myself gratitude for those achievements. It was quite encouraging and insightful. I’d like to share the excerpts and expound upon them in this post.

I’m grateful that in the last 15 years I have grown from a scared, unsure and self-conscious 16 year old who lied to get out of travelling to Peru and didn’t want to learn to drive, into a confident, self-assured, solo world traveler who isn’t afraid to face her fears again and again!

15 years ago, my oldest childhood friend died in a motorcycle accident just shy of a month before my 16th birthday. She, myself and my friend Kira had all been planning to go on a missions trip to Peru that summer. When the time came to finally leave – after all the fundraising, getting to the ministry headquarters in Texas and even volunteering at that campus – I couldn’t do it. I was paralyzed with anxiety, grief and depression that even manifested physically in my body as extreme IBS that had me in never ending pain and passing blood in my stool every time I went to the bathroom. The lie came into play when I was on the phone with my father who was insistent on my following through with my plans. I told him that “God had told me” I wasn’t supposed to go to Peru. It wasn’t true, God hadn’t said anything one way or the other, but it worked and I was allowed to return home. I remained physically ill though for another year. I was also self-mutilating at this time. I eventually learned to drive, but only with great resistance and trepidation, getting my license when I was already almost 17. I just didn’t want to do anything; I was afraid of everything.

I would also learn later that same year that I have Primary Ovarian Failure, that my body destroyed my ovaries, that I am completely barren, and that instead of going through puberty I had been thrust into menopause before I was 13. I had osteoporosis already, and I was also still growing too. Everything in my life at that time seemed completely out of control, hostile and torturous.

I’m grateful that in the last 10 years I’ve grown from an insecure, self-centered and self-deprecating young woman who didn’t know what she wanted, didn’t care for or love herself, and put up with abuse and manipulation, into an authentic, aware, mindful and passionate goddess who doesn’t take shit from toxic people and doesn’t put herself in toxic situations or allow toxic behavior from herself!

10 years ago I was 21, living with my sister and my convicted felon boyfriend (soon to be husband and then eventually ex-husband) in what could only be described as a party house. I was waking up with my cup of coffee, a cigarette and a bowl of weed. I was filling my days with drama and distractions. I was fueling my nights with alcohol, ecstacy, cocaine and whatever else I could get my hands on. Before the end of that year, I wound up in jail on a domestic violence charge for having punched my boyfriend in the face a dozen times in an intoxicated rage.

I’m so grateful that in the last 5 years I have grown from being a woman who felt undeserving of love, disgusting and completely burnt out emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually while suffering through a painfully failing marriage, flunking out of school for mental health issues and barely getting out of bed, into a vibrant, engaged, inspired healing healer who knows what she believes with conviction, experiences joy and bliss every day, and is blessed continually through her service and devotion to personal mastery and universal optimization!

5 years ago I was filled with self-loathing because I had flunked out of college my very last semester simply because I stopped going to classes. I had made the Dean’s list twice, I had recieved grants and scholarships, but I had also been working 3 jobs to support myself and my convict husband while he was in prison for 2 and a half years of my college career. I completely burnt myself out physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually; couldn’t even crawl out of bed most days because of my severe depression. I went to a therapist, I was put on SSRIs, but I continually spiraled.

By the time my ex got out of prison, I was a shell of a person, and he was disgusted with me. Subsequently, I was made to feel worse and worse about myself by the person I had loved the most. It didn’t help that before my complete collapse I had become progressively more and more reckless. Binge drinking, abusing prescription drugs and even eventually becoming unfaithful by putting myself in high risk sexual situations. I had been honest with my ex, telling him everything before he came home, giving him an out that he didn’t take – and then I was punished daily through looks of loathing and malice until he finally found another woman to take care of him and left me for good.

And yet, I’m so very grateful for all of it. As expressed by the letter I wrote my current self from my past selves to finish the gratitude exercise:

Future Mayryanna, WOW! Or more appropriately, though I don’t know it yet, WAHE GURU ❀ I am pinching myself, I cannot hardly believe that I am you! That I am capable of so much strength and resilience, that I will do so much, that I will become so impassioned and inspired! I am so grateful for you, for me, and for our never giving up! For our daring and tenacity, for our curiosity and authenticity, for our love and grace! Thank you, thank you, thank you – for learning how beautiful and amazing you truly are – for never giving up on us πŸ™ I am honored and blessed to be MAYRYANNA!

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