I know at this very moment, MANY, too many, are feeling hopeless and lost, like they are slowly drowning, so desperately wanting a lifesaver with none in sight ! Today, I want to speak to YOU, all of you feeling this way.
First, I want to share my own personal experience before I changed things in my own life so you know that I’m someone who truly gets it. It seems that feelings of not being good enough, have been with me for as long as I can remember, I have always so easily seen the awesome in others never able to do the same for myself. As a young teen up until my early 30’s, I fought low self esteem and as the seasons changed, this became more and more of an issue for me. After years of this, I arrived to a place so low in self esteem that the only feeling left, was the feeling of drowning in my own thoughts. This mostly happened when I was alone in meditation, late at night when I would look over my day and come up with so many things I felt I could have done better as a wife, mother, family member & friend…the outcome always being the same, that I just wasn’t enough, why couldn’t I be more ?? So often, I looked out the window late at night crying, asking God to turn me into who I was meant to be and apologizing for letting him and all that I loved down. Something I want to share along with this, is that this wasn’t (( always )) 100% on the surface to see and in fact, I concealed it well. People think to feel such a way, life must have been awful and the person feeling this way must always show it, but that’s not the truth, I have always been able to see the beauty in life, in others and know that I was blessed. I enjoyed wonderful moments and days because seeing the wonderful and enjoying the awesome in others has never been my issue. The struggle came when I was alone in my own thoughts with deep feelings of my own shortcomings – this was always just below the surface ready to bubble up and the reason I want to share this, is because you may have someone in your life today who you feel may have this going on where you also see them having great days and therefore decide everything is fine. Please go with your instincts and if you feel like someone you care about needs some extra love, care, compassion or help, give it to them 🙂 I am so thankful to God for bringing my husband into my life 22 years ago as he has never had trouble letting me know how much he loves me, just the way I am.
In 2010, I hit a place where I saw imperfection in all I did and when you add in everyday things we’re all faced with like bills and such, I felt like one more thing added on my shoulders would break me and I was starting to get chest pain from stress. I’m a problem solver by nature and find great joy in helping others, I always have, and at this point, it seemed like there was too much going on for me to solve and I hit a wall. I remember getting in the shower Nov 2010 and crying to God for help. I had hot tears burning my face along with the hot water and this time something was different, I wasn’t only asking God for help I was ready to receive the help. In that moment, I felt like all this brokenness was coming from being overweight and so I begged and pleaded with God to allow me to wake up 20 lbs less, I prayed this saying I knew this wasn’t something he really did but if he could make the exception, I wouldn’t let him down and this gift from him, would give me hope to keep going. Of course, God knew better and the moment my life changed forever was when I could feel my reply was ” Sara, you have always had all the tools you needed inside you to reach the goals of your heart and live the life you want ” I found peace in this because it was like (( YES )) I do have all I need, I still wanted help lol but in that shower, I was restored with hope.
That evening, I couldn’t sleep because of a few things running around in my mind. One thing, was I would feel hope and shortly after, thoughts of ” but you have SO much work to do ” would creep in. Ultimately, it ended with me falling asleep having peace in my heart because I remembered a time from when I was a young girl, maybe age 9, when I felt God speak to me out of the blue. I was playing school and correcting papers ( I was the teacher ) and I had this deep sense that God had a purpose for me, that I had something important to do with my life and I remember being so excited about this. Over the years, without knowing it, I allowed the negative self talk, to block out God’s promise but this evening I knew that everything was about to change because I was able and willing to hear again and I knew in that moment that ALL I have felt over the years, was meant for me to feel, was meant for me to experience because with that experience, I could truly help others who were feeling the same. That evening, I began to change my life forever because what I had seen as a huge weakness all these years, just became my biggest strength in living out my passion and mission.
In complete honesty, I didn’t see the full picture in the beginning stages of this journey, I still felt so much had to do with my weight and like shedding pounds was my road to happiness, I also knew that a simple plan of calories in / calories out didn’t work for me and this time I needed to dig deeper and really find out why all my attempts of changing my life previously came up short. After some deep self reflection, I realized that I only saw myself good enough in the future after I changed things about myself so I set out on a mission to like & love who I was in that moment, before any changes came. People will often ask ” Sara, how do you do that ” and the simple answer is, just getting to a place where I acknowledged this, was half the battle. I spent so much time previously trying to find the perfect diet that required the least amount of work and I didn’t want to focus on my inside emotions because fear held me back from that.
This is not a post on how I lost weight so I’m going to skip that portion because what truly saved my life, my heart, my soul, was changing how I saw myself and from changing that, I was able to make all other changes in my life. Please hear me in saying that to live my own best most blessed life, it needed to start with peace and love in who I was at that moment, not down the road when I felt I was better but in that moment, good enough already !
So back to today and me reaching out to you….. Since that evening in the shower I have had some roadblocks, I’ve been faced with all the things people are faced with in life like in 2012, losing our only working vehicle, living in the country with no transit buses or taxis for over a year. I won’t share all, but I do want to share a few big challenging moments along the way, the first huge challenge was my beloved grandmother passing away in Sep 2012, my grandmother means too much for me to even begin to express and her passing was not something any of us who loved her could prepare for. I had been training to run my 1st half marathon that October and was tempted momentarily, to just skip it and go the following year..however, I knew nanny would want me to and I also knew that my new life, my new way of living life, meant dealing with things in a new way which meant not being dependent on food but yet feeling what I needed to feel and moving forward the best I could. That October, with my amazing husband by my side, I ran my first 1/2 marathon…only months before, I had a hard time walking a block so this was huge and as I did this, I had every facebook page friend from www.facebook.com/SaraBown/ in my heart, beside me all the way. You can visit this link to see a video I made shortly after completing this 13.1 –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5awjRtHZ7c.
Nov 2013 I had our 3rd son and was on low activity rest the entire pregnancy, pregnant at 36 I was considered older and right away was being looked at more closely and just like with my other two sons, my blood pressure was a big concern so I went from running, weights and constant activity to low activity not allowed to do anything strenuous. His birth was my 3rd c section and a long recovery as my doctor corrected something from my previous c section making my incision extra long and painful. After all this, I was absorbed in being a mommy to an infant again, knowing how fast that precious time passed and wanting to enjoy every second, loving every moment with our 3 boys. Early 2015, I decided I would host a half marathon for free and this would be my second – I had A LOT of work to do to get ready – you can visit the link to see a video I made seconds after I completed this 1/2, here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sh5sNhnFcY I would say this half marathon was HUGE because I was 37, had 3 boys, had put on weight since the first one and still found the dedication and determination to complete it and again, knowing so many of you were watching gave me extra inspiration because I had a prayer that people would see themselves in me and know they can do anything if they would only believe ! I continued my activity strong and in Jan 2016, I started to feel off, it started with pain in my right arm that would go up and down my arm, it eventually moved down into my right leg with my arm joint and knee in the most pain making it often hard to move and this soon moved to my left side in the same order. We had so much flu in our house last winter that I felt like, I would feel better once that was all gone and for months, I pushed harder than I ever had, trying to force myself to feel better but reached a place where my body said no and I realized this summer that things had only progressed and gotten worse. Here is a recent update on this > https://www.facebook.com/SaraBown/photos/a.133277763419830.36395.133231923424414/1202243643189898/?type=3&theater <– I will say even with my most recent health challenges, I have signed up, paid the registration for my 3rd half marathon in October 2017. This will be a walk and not a run and will all going on right now seems like a ridiculous thing to do but I love ridiculous and I love the feeling of taking a chance on myself. No matter what happens, I know the journey will be amazing !!
NOW, back to why I’m sharing this with you all today, it’s not to complain, it’s to rejoice ! I wanted you to know that you are NOT alone in being faced with things you may otherwise choose not to be faced with BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t live an awesome, happy, beautiful, FULL, faithful life. THIS is the work I love helping people with because the most amazing thing is, as I type this today, I feel awesome inside, I know who I am, I know I’m a fighter and I am able to sit here and see ALL the beauty and awesome around me. I know that because I am facing my health struggles full on, I’ll also be able to work towards my plan on how to rock my health moving forward. See all those years ago I thought being smaller would make me happier and since changing my life in 2010, what I came to realized was that what I really needed was to find a way to love myself just the way I was, to know that as long as I give my all, that I show up each day with gratitude, joy & kindness, that my cup overflow and that no matter WHAT, I’m made in HIS image and I am enough in HIS eyes and therefore, I am enough in my own. This doesn’t mean challenges no longer come, they do, it means I have implemented a way to fight and overcome my challenges…the same challenges we all face every day.
In closing, as a wife, mother, family member, friend, speaker, coach, I DO want to help others reach their top life goals and it brings me great joy in doing so, however, my main mission in life is helping people find the value in themselves NOW because once we find a way to love who we are now, just they way we are, ANYTHING and everything can be accomplished !!! You may think you’re not enough because of life goals you haven’t reached but the truth is, you really feel not good enough because it’s a decision you made about yourself a long time ago…let me say that again… (( You make think you’re not enough because of life goals you haven’t reached but the truth is, you really feel not good enough because it’s a decision you made about yourself a long time ago )) and until YOU decide to see yourself for all you ARE, letting go of all you think you aren’t…you wont be able to rock your best most blessed life! I’m sharing with you, what I needed to hear so many years ago with a prayer that I will save you some time. YOU have all the tools you need to live your BEST most blessed life, you need only decide to make them happen with action and that begins with knowing who you are today in this very moment, is enough. As I always say, this moment is a blessing, we can never know how long we have so waiting to be happy some day is like playing russian roulette with your life and making people you love do the same, because they are just waiting for you to embrace who you are, who they love already so you can be with them in the moment happy and free, able to to truly receive. I also want to be crystal clear that loving yourself for who you are now does NOT mean to let go of goals and dreams or to stop fighting to be your best most healthy self. This simply means be honest with yourself, acknowledge those inner feelings…don’t cover them up with a calories in / calories out plans that you hope will save your life. YOU must save your own life and the moment you take back your own power, the moment you give power to God to be the captain, you’ll be able to reach all your goals and dreams because you will have laid down the needed foundation. So many years ago, I didn’t start a weight loss plan, I started to build my strong foundation which is why I can sit here now with excitement, joy and gratitude in my heart. There’s a reason, straw homes blowdown when the wind picks up and brick homes withstand the storm. You are the builder of your own foundation, build it strong my friends !