During one of my first therapy sessions with my current counselor, I don’t remember the context of a pivotal question she asked: Why don’t you deserve to live a good life?
What I find to be true about therapy, generally, is that seemingly throwaway comments have a way of breaking the dam after a while. This question bothered me because I found it completely unrelated to whatever I was saying that I still don’t remember.
Yet, this third party who just met me – whose work is to help me find solutions to problems – she drilled straight down to an issue I didn’t even know existed.
Then I looked around. I have been underemployed. I haven’t invested in keeping my body healthy. I haven’t handled my anxiety or overcome my transgressions. I can no longer wear my original wedding ring, but I have a gold band that fits but that I never wear.
Possibly the biggest reinvention so far in 2016 is that I ask myself questions and suss out the answers. What if I could give myself permission to be who I am? What if I could ask for help? What if I could forgive my former selves? What if I could stop wanting more or different and enjoy what is right here right now? What if I could be fearless? What if I didn’t homeschool? What if I could be reinvented?
What if I deserve to be healthy? To be loved? To love? To enjoy my life? To wear a ring that represents my worth to one person?
Well, the questions have built over time. And when I slipped my ring back on, I just wanted to know if it made a difference. [It does.] When I quit caffeine and soda, I thought I’d just see if it mattered. [It did.] When I fell in love with my life, I realized I had never fallen out of love with it – I just didn’t remember I deserved it.
Everyone does. Not because of who we are or what we’ve done. We deserve good lives because we are. I want to remind myself, and you, all of you, and everyone else that we deserve good lives, that we are worth all the effort it takes to be ourselves having a good life.
There are times that the darkness collapses all our good efforts. There are happenings that we cannot control. There has been and will be loss and danger and disappointment. There may be dark days so deep we wonder if even ground still exists. There will be highs so high they leave us wrung out and wondering if even ground is still good.
Even ground remains, and it is good. It’s what keeps us from freefalling. It’s what we have to return to no matter what happens, however high or low.
We deserve good lives. Bad doesn’t happen because we deserve bad. Bad happens because we live in a broken world. Embrace the good we do have. Put on the rings we’ve kept off as some bizarre self punishment. Hug the loves in our lives. Trust our skills. See our worth, our inherent worth in our existence.
Let us find help if we need it. Let us be relentless in our pursuit of whatever we need to be and become. Let’s rediscover even ground. Let’s love fiercely, evolve constantly, endure.
Let’s live good lives.