UNEARTHED: MY STORY
I recently had a conversation with someone about how incredible our bodies capability of healing itself is. How our physical wounds are able to scab over and heal themselves from the inside out. I can clearly remember as a child, falling in the playground, scraping my knee and crying like the world was ending - but a little love from my parents, a neon colored band-aid and about a weeks time left me forgetting that it had even happened. No scars. Our bodies ability to heal our physical wounds is one of the clearest reminders that we can heal internal, emotional wounds from the inside out. We hold the answers within ourselves. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of our own strengths.
Unearthed: My Story - is a collection of photos, emotions, words and intentions for the things that have strengthened, hardened and healed me over the years. Raw and vulnerable.
No mask, no denials - just me. This is my truth. UNEARTHED.
It's been almost two decades of blemishes. Since I was 10 I've felt an undeniable lack in confidence when it came to showing up without makeup. Bearing my physical imperfections for all this time made grasping onto my self-worth with confidence that much harder. I spent a lot of energy defining my worth by my blemishes. Listening to labels throughout the years as 'the girl who doesn't wash her face' or hearing words like 'oh, you should try this skin regime', 'stop eating dairy', 'don't touch your face'. It's hard on the heart knowing that others have defined my worth by these same insecurities. It wasn't until just over a year ago when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Eosinophilic Esophagitis that I would understand my blemishes were my body's way of revealing it's inflammation and desire to heal.
For those about to Google EoE, I'll give you the rundown. My esophagus thinks certain foods are poison and decides to have an allergic reaction. Learning to manage constant inflammation, what my 'triggers' are, and trying to educate people that it's not easy being fearful of experiencing the sensation of being suffocated when you're just trying to eat a yummy carrot from the garden (yup, carrots are a trigger) is something I'm working through, slowly - with patience. So why am I telling you about my external wounds when I said we heal from the inside out? Because this is apart of my journey - towards acceptance, nurturing myself, and being able to show up in spaces like these regardless of the inflammation in my throat or the acne on my face. I wholeheartedly believe that with intention, dedication and self love, I can heal my physical wounds.
When sifting through the elements of my self-love journey, what to highlight - what to move on from, I realized how important it is to share my physical heartaches. I've let them hold energy over my emotional being far longer than I would have liked, but now - letting go of that judgement, not from others but from myself, is one of the biggest breaths of fresh air I've ever absorbed.
This is me. The version of me that deserves to be loved.
⋒ some details of my life; staples of my heart. A quote I read every. single. day. Dried roses from my wedding bouquet. Crystals I store on my nightstand. My journal, filled with so many beautiful affirmations of love. And a bracelet, made by a dear friend that says 'I AM ENOUGH'. ⋒
Within the last year I've rediscovered my love for playing guitar. It brings back that feeling of HOME. My Father is a musician so I spent my whole life around music. I used to (and still do to this day) listen to him play and instantly become lost within the sounds of his practice. It's been the most beautiful thing I've chosen to do 'for me' these last several months. Getting lost in something that truly calms my soul.
I've always been a Daddy's girl so the importance of being able to play a guitar gifted to me by the first man I've ever loved is something beyond my measure of words. I just hope I can do him proud with my music on late summer evenings around the fire this summer.
I used to define myself by what I thought the world saw - or what I wanted them to see when they met me for the first time. Like an unread book - I wanted to create the 'perfect' cover story to sell everyone, even those closest to me, on my worth. Oh how I was wrong. I am not defined by the labels, images or perceptions that have been drawn up about me. I am the many, many chapters filled in-between. My story is every changing but the value of my own self-worth is what matters now. To be able to look myself in the mirror honestly, and passionately say the words: 'I love you Megan'. That's where the importance of my heart lies. We cannot give what we do not have. I've learned that the hard way from burnouts and years of pouring from an empty cup. It wasn't until I shifted my energy into creating healthy boundaries with the world around me, and myself - that I realized just how important it was to 'date myself'. To fall in love with the person I am today. Here. Now. The woman that has years of growth ahead of her but can confidently say to my internal soul,
'hey, I see you - I love you, I trust you'.
I am grateful for the gift of my hands. The art they allow me to create, the ability to embrace my son with open arms, to link fingertips with the man I love. I am grateful for the air in my lungs. The sweet scents of cut grass, clean laundry and cinnamon rolls. The beautiful 'rise and fall' in my chest. I am grateful for movement. For my strength, my privilege of adventure. I am grateful for this beating heart. The gift to love fearlessly. To love myself. To feel alive.
I am grateful for my vision. To see others, as they are - acceptance. To see myself. I am grateful for my growth. My fight to get back up even when I'm the one that pushed myself down in the first place. I am grateful.
My role as Mrs. Good. Wife, a protector of another human's heart. My Husband. My best friend and the most incredible man I have ever encountered. The gift to my life that has ALWAYS, unconditionally saw the beauty within me. Amidst all of the self-doubt, he's kept hold of the parts of myself I chose to neglect for many years. He kept those pieces of my soul alive while I was learning to find love for all of me, not just 'the good stuff'. The man I will forever, and ever be grateful for accepting me as I am - since day one. Bryce.
Before I got pregnant with my son, William - I took pictures very similar to these. I wanted to preserve the image of my 'pre-baby' body so I could look back and feel grateful for where I was in that moment in time. Little did I know that I would hold onto those images and feel shame towards my 'post-baby' body for a really long time. After having my son, by cesarean, my body felt foreign. I felt like it had failed me. I had dreamt up an experience of how I thought childbirth would be and completely closed my mind off from any alternative other than 'my dream delivery'. I shamed myself for not being able to naturally birth my own child. I cried and felt disgust over the fact that I couldn't produce the milk my baby needed to live. I hated my physical body - which led to a long stem of beating myself up emotionally. As moms, society shouts at us in so many ways how we will 'bounce back' from childbirth. But there is no bouncing back. Only a slow, gradual shift forward into motherhood, and learning to love the pieces of yourself that somehow feel unknown. We need to learn to give ourselves more grace in these periods of growth. More understanding; a gentler heart. It's taken time, support and an open heart to love the parts of myself, physically and emotionally, that I had labeled 'not good enough'. It's a process. But even in the thick of that growth, there is still beauty. Looking back from the other side of that shift, I can see the strength in the Megan of a newborn baby, the beauty in the woman who fought through her own limitations of self-worth and came out feeling so deserving of all the love there is to give. I am proud of those deep moments, those pivotal points in my life that have now become pillars of strength. I am fearless in this journey of growth. I am accepting of the changes my life will continue to make, and I am now effortless in the love I give myself.
I will no longer shame, judge or ridicule the woman I used to be. Instead I will stand hand-in-hand with the past versions of myself, as allies. Together. To show up in the spaces of my journey as I am now. The woman I am today, and the one I will grow into.
This is me. Unearthed. My Story.
△ The page I flipped to before I began my Unearthed Session. | Baby Steps - Mind Platter
My undying gratitude to my Husband, Bryce - for preserving these moments in time for me.