Let me start off this journey by telling you how this blog came to be.
I was born on September 28th 1979, but my journey really began years later. On 04-24-2004, when I was 24, I had a stroke. And to even out the symmetry: it happened around midnight (24:00). I have never been interested in numerology, but it was clear that life was trying to get my attention. What it was trying to tell me, took me longer to unravel.
I came out of it relatively well as I can still walk, talk and function on my own, but it left me with about 10% of my usual energy. On a good day that is. To give you an indication: I spend most days by myself, have help to clean the house and still need a nap to get me through the day. Events like party’s are very intense and take me a few days to recover from even though I only stay for an hour or two and I never even set foot in a supermarket.
These past 11+ years I have been on a journey of recovery. Or rather, one of “uncovery”. To uncover who I was without the things I had seemingly “lost”. Not being able to work anymore and contribute to society in a conventional way I was (often frantically) searching for improvement and for what I could still contribute. I devoured books, trying to “find my purpose”. That elusive purpose that I knew in my gut was there, that I always felt was hidden in plain sight, but couldn’t see. And even though I found greater ease along the way, every once in a while my limitations would smack me in the face. I would feel limited, caged, like a bird desperate to break free.
One such time started about eighteen months ago. I felt frustrated, knowing there was a way out of the cage I was in, but not seeing the way out. And I wanted, so desperately, to fly. For months I pushed myself to try to break free of the limitations of my body. But instead of finding improvement, it resulted in a burnout that brought me to my knees.
The resulting breakdown, while tough, is really what set me up for a breakthrough. It dawned on me that if I could accept myself as I am now, limits and all, I could stop striving, stop searching, stop resisting.
If I could lovingly accept myself and my limitations, I would be free!
I realised I could write about my experiences without exerting myself. I could start a blog and use what I’ve learned by sharing it with others. I could connect with others in a meaningful way without the exhaustion that comes with meeting face to face. Suddenly a whole new world opened up. I was flooded with new ideas and exciting possibilities. Endless possibilities. Then it hit me: there is no end to what I could do with this, I am not limited. Wait a minute…, I am NOT limited… Oh my goodness, I AM NOT LIMITED! I AM FREE!
I am finding freedom through loving acceptance.
Loving acceptance of myself and my limitations.
In other words: I am Embracing My Wings.
Note that I did not call it: “Embraced my wings”. It’s not a done deal, an accomplished feat. It’s a journey, a work in progress. Meaning: to the best of my ability right here, right now. I am: embracing my wings.
I set out this piece stating I would write about how this blog came to be. That story would not be complete without a few words of gratitude. This blog would not have been possible without those who have supported me on this journey.
Thank you to Deirdre, my coach, who gave me the idea to start a blog to write about my experiences. To Colin, my brother-in-law, for helping me to set up this beautiful website. To Margit for designing the logo. To my aunt Els for taking pictures of me. To all of my family members and friends who have supported me throughout the years and have been encouraging me on this new journey as well. And, saving the best for last: to Hans, my husband and now editor-in-chief. You are both my rock and my soft place to fall.
A word of gratitude as well to you, reading this. Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you and for being on this journey with me. You are helping me to feel more connected to the world.
Embracing you all in a big hug.