Giving Myself some Grace

14484830_1092178980859822_5688244110033194726_nAs promised, I am going to slowly start sharing with you guys some insight into where I’ve been lately. A page from my journal the other night when I was feeling small, and sad, and stuck in my own grief…
And then it hits me. I might be in the gym and see someone stare at me for a second longer than normal and wonder if they recognize me from my public profile. I feel like I want to shrink and hide under my hat and in the same moment I know how silly that is. I feel embarrassed that I’m not as lean or as strong as I’ve been in the past but wonder how I can feel that way right now when I felt quite pretty and happy the day before? It’s confusing.

And then it hits me. I’ll be at the grocery store and see someone my ex has dated since our divorce or an old mutual friend who chose to stay friends with my ex instead of both of us. I feel insecure, small, and without much worth.

And then it hits me. I’ll be dating a man wondering if he’s ever been with a woman who has had kids, if he knows about the stretched skin on my stomach from carrying two ten pound babies, or that sometimes I pee my pants when I laugh too hard. Is this something most men know about? It’s embarrassing for me to think about but I can’t be the only woman who wonders these things, right?

And then it hits me. I’ll see a video or a photo of my kids while they are with their dad for the week and feel an overwhelming wave of guilt, shame, sadness, and loss. I should have worked harder to keep our family in tact. I chose this, and maybe I chose wrong. I have moments of doubt. I am missing important days and weeks in my kids’ life. When I am not with them, I feel like a bad mom. I feel guilty for enjoying my time away.
I am in a transition phase right now getting used to being a single woman. I don’t have all the answers, in fact, when it comes to a lot of these types of emotions I don’t have many answers or solutions at all. All I know is that I can’t be the only one feeling this way. And I know that when I feel small, and weak….that talking and sharing these feelings makes me feel stronger and less afraid.

Guilt and shame can’t survive when we open up, share, and own our stories.

With grief and pain comes joy and peace.
I believe this wholeheartedly. I have to. That belief is what helps get me through the hard times.

Remember this: it is ok to give yourself permission to not be ok all the time and accept that it’s very normal to have confusing feelings. Working through this stuff takes time. Be patient with yourself. You give everyone else grace and love, make sure you show that to yourself too. ????

With so much love,

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I’m Natalie

Ten years ago I started out in the online world in the fitness space. I started blogging, sharing at-home exercises, and offering easy recipes. This turned into writing eBooks — one of which blew up in a way I could never imagine!

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