There is a scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where Harry awakens in limbo after Lord Voldemort tries to kill him. As the scene progresses, elements solidify as if out of mist until Harry determines he is in Kings Cross Station in London. This image, of things slowly forming, has been a very powerful one for me this year. One that I have often gone back to for reassurance that the mist would clear and I would know exactly what was stretching out in front of me.
The choice of Kings Cross was not arbitrary for JK Rowling — for it represented choice and change and motion. I have come to realize that image, of all the things I have read and seen in 41 years, was not arbitrary for me either.
If you recall, a year ago I finally admitted that I had hit rock bottom around my shopping addiction. And today I am proud to report that I have had 375 days without debting.
It has been quite a year.
I have been tested in every way a person can be tested. But 375 days later my marriage, my relationships, and my sense of self are all light years ahead of where they were in July of 2016. And as the 7th month of 2017 fades away, I feel the spark of excitement rising…
The spark lit from that moment of change and desperation has added such extraordinary light to my life. Two lessons in particular from this strange fog of a year have changed my perspective on almost everything.
1. Each of us are inherently and wholly lovable and NO ONE can take that away. We are NOT our mistakes. We make mistakes. And we move forward. Worth is not measured by the number of miles we run or the weight on a scale or the grandeur of our homes or the behavior of our children. We are worthy. It does not come from other people. It is within us. And here is the trick… That worth can only be respected by others if WE set boundaries.
2. Everyone is doing the best they can at every given moment. Going into situations with that mindset has been challenging and hard. I had not thought of myself as a super judgmental person, but guess what – I was. And when I started believing that other people were REALLY doing the best that they could, it changed the way I treated them – externally and inside my head. It also changed the way they responded to me. And I found something I had longed for – peace. Because I stopped trying to control everyone and everything.
So what does all of this have to do with fog and Kings Cross Station and Harry Potter? And what about running and fitness? Isn’t this a running blog?
Well – here is the thing, my friends. I am irrevocably changed by the past year. As the fog has lifted and shifted and cleared, I have found a new well of joy hiding under all that messy stuff.
Here is the hardest truth of all… running has been filling a void for me and I want it to play a different role in my life.
I want to be healthy and strong and have goals, but I no longer want to be obsessed with races and beating times or beating people. I want to fill my time with a myriad of things to help me grow and spend time with people I love.
Running will always be a part of who I am, but it’s time for the other facets to find light too. To know that peace of mind is just a mile away is the greatest gift I have learned from running, but it is just one tool of many.
Because the joy is there in the mess. I just have to be willing to find it.