Written by: Morgan Blair, Founder and Creative Director of Unpolished Journey
What’s on your mind, causing you constant anxiety, keeping you from reaching your full potential, holding you back in fear, limited your abilities? Whatever it is…
Let that shit go.
It is weighing you down, keeping you from being able to spread your wings and take flight. It is the boulder tied to your balloon keep your feet stuck to the ground. When, you weren’t even meant to be on the ground in the first place.
I think a lot about the image of the butterfly trying to fly while being tied to a boulder. It keeps it low to the ground and exhausted, pulling down and inhibiting the butterfly’s natural born purpose.
We are that butterfly. We let stuff weigh us down all the time. Our past, our anxiety about the future, food, body image, fear, hopelessness. I could go on and on. I know, because I have been there. I have been carrying multiple boulders around with me in a backpack that seems to grow larger with each passing day and, you know what? I’m done. I have decided I am done. I am going to practice what I preach (shout out to Kesha) and let that shit go because it is no longer serving me in any way.
In order to experience true freedom in life, we have to first understand what freedom asks of us. Freedom is not something that you just magically wake up one morning possessing. Freedom is a battle. You have to first win, catch, and hold on to it. Freedom requires work and I think that is what people don’t understand. It’s like the saying of “if you wait until you feel motivated you will never start in the first place”. The same could be said of freedom. If you wait until you’re ready to let things go, to experience release, to live a life apart from fear, then it will never happen. Why? Because, we never feel ready. Readiness is just an abstract construction we have created within our minds to try have a concrete understanding of a concept you can’t possibly tangibly explain. It is a dangerous thing to wait until we are ready for freedom because, in doing so, we may never experience the delicious taste of its blissfulness.
I used to think that recovery was something that eventually would fall into my lap. That one day I would wake up with an intense desire to get better and therefore would never have an urge to use my eating disorder ever again. I waited years for that day. I waited through many treatment stays and many relapses, always believing that my recovery epiphany moment would eventually come.
It never did.
I never had one moment where I was like “wow I’m in recovery”. It was a slow crawl towards health. An uphill battle, which I started to climb when climbing was the last thing I wanted to do. My recovery epiphany looked a lot like training. Slow and steady wins the race. It was months in the making. It was hard to even see the progress. But slowly recovery unfolded and suddenly I could look back and see just how far I had come.
I believe the same is true for freedom. Recovery and freedom go hand and hand. So, in order to obtain freedom, I believe the process looks a lot like recovery did and does. It is slow and hard and complicated. Freedom is an uphill climb with a tired back and sore feet. Freedom is starting from where you’re at and trusting the view at the top is better than where you are currently standing. Freedom is pushing and pushing and pushing yourself to do what scares you so that one day you can look back from the mountain’s summit and say, “I did that.” I climbed. I got myself here. I fought for my freedom. Because, there is nothing more satisfying than fighting to become the person you’ve always wished to be.
If we return to the butterfly metaphor, freedom in the process of cutting those strings. No one is going to come and cut them for you. You have to be willing to do that part yourself. You have to get to a point where you are done carrying around extra shit and are ready to let it goooooooooo.
I don’t know what helped me get to the point of willingness to fight for my freedom, to start cutting the strings connected to my boulders. I think, perhaps, it was simply exhaustion. Exhaustion from fighting so damn hard. It just wasn’t worth it. So I got out my big girl scissors and cut cut cut away all the parts that weren’t serving me anymore. And boy can I fly better and higher than I ever have before. The summit of the mountain climb is near. I can finally see it after all these years of waiting at the basecamp.
I am coming for the amazing views.