Draw a Line in the Sand

draw a line in the sand

Inside: Every single decision to draw a line in the sand has altered the course of my life. It isn’t that life became miraculously easy but that I changed how I see.

I remember the day, almost like it was yesterday. I decided to live.

I had tried three times to kill myself and after this time failed, I felt like a loser. I couldn’t even do this right. But I was also tired.

I was tired of trying and failing. So I decided to live.

I didn’t know how I would live—only that I would. That was the first time I remember drawing a line in the sand.

I like to tell people that I am stubborn. My stubbornness is one of my greatest strengths, I think. It kept me alive on more than one occasion. Not when I was trying to die. But after. It helped me carve my own path in life, for which I am grateful.

My stubbornness helps me show up through fear and be real.

For most of my life I felt weak and inadequate. But this was inaccurate. I was stronger than I realized. I walked through some hard stuff and had almost no help. My stubbornness and curiosity led me to read and learn and persist. I see now that I can do hard things; my stubbornness kicks in when I need it. Like when I draw a line in the sand.

I decided to draw a line in the sand.

 

That first line was when, at 18 years old, I decided to live.

I was 31 the second time. I remember exactly where I was: walking from the little kitchen of my first 80-year-old home into the entryway. I was filled with fear. My mom had died, I was having panic attacks and had returned to binge eating in an attempt to dull the pain. I had been running and numbing for most of my life at that point and in that moment, I was done.

I was done running. I planted my feet and decided I wasn’t running from fear any more. I pivoted and turned my body 180 degrees and faced fear head on for the very first time in my life. That was the beginning of learning I was far stronger than I knew.

Life didn’t miraculously become easy after either of these experiences. I still had to show up the next day and the next. Afraid. I didn’t know what I was doing. There was no textbook to guide me. But I kept showing up.

My third child arrived when I was 33. It was a hard pregnancy. I was exhausted and sick for months of it, and my hips were in excruciating pain. I felt like something was off the whole time. But she was wanted. And one day, after she arrived, and as I held her little six-pound body, I realized something. I realized I would never again diet or treat my body with contempt. For her sake and mine, I decided to love myself. I drew a line in the sand.

Every single decision to draw a line in the sand has altered the course of my life. It isn’t that life became miraculously easy but that I changed how I see.

 

My stubbornness has served me well, but over the years I’ve awakened to the truth that I am knit together with other gifts too. The very characteristics that often got me into trouble or made me feel somehow less than—I see now that they serve as my weapon and shield.

I am a questioner and wrestler, one who seeks truth. I don’t settle for status quo or complacency. I am willing to do hard things and tell the truth.

It is true that once upon a time, my sensitivity and deep feelings threatened to crush me, but now I use that strength to offer hope and encouragement to others. I am a recovering perfectionist who scans for beauty and sees how this messy world can be made better.

It isn’t life that changed and made me happy. I changed.

I changed how I see.

 

The truth is, I’m still the same girl who wants everyone to get along. The same young adult who just wants to be loved. I am the same mama who worries when her baby is unhealthy or unhappy and who grieved intensely when her own mama left.

I am that person. But I see differently now. And I drew a line in the sand.

I woke up to the truth that we always get to choose our response.

That we can be the boss of our thoughts.

That we are messy and imperfect but beautiful too.

That there is nothing more that I require to be lovable.

I see that sometimes life feels scary and I have no idea what I’m doing. But there’s no shame at all in asking for help. Or in trying and failing or being less than perfect. I no longer see a need to compare myself to you.

I see that joy and pain can coexist, and the goal is never absence of stress. I see how beautiful my body is with its stretch marks and limp. I see that everything looks different when I choose gratitude.

All I did was stubbornly draw a line in the sand.

Krista xo

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10 comments on “Draw a Line in the Sand

  1. This resonates with me so much. I have been through similar things and like you, I’ve found that I have had to draw a line in the sand (also, thank you for that visual… it is so perfect for describing things that I’ve never quite been able to clarify with words!)

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. This will stick with me for days and I’m sure that in the future, when I reach a point that I’m struggling again… these words will come back and help me again.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  2. “I see that everything looks different when I choose gratitude” I needed that reminder this morning – Thank you for being so real, open and being a light. Gratitude invariably shines a bright light on anything I have going on and allows me to see things differently. It was interesting to me that your post started out very dark and ended so brightly – that’s encouraging to me! Thanks for sharing!

  3. There’s so much richness of feeling here. What I will take immediately out into my day is: scan for beauty! My sister and I have a half joke where we are always “scanning” all around us , looking for trouble coming our way. We are full of anxiety, always braced for bad news. This will be a lovely flip. I’m desperately searching for a base right now and I know I will always find meaningful encouragement in your writing. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and life experiences. I totally agree. Life is messy and it can be dark at times, but I have also found like you, that there is always light somewhere in the experience. If you are patient and truly trust the light will find you!

    • Hi Regina, thank you for adding your voice here. It’s cool how a room can feel pitch black and one tiny flickering flame from a candle or small blue light emanating from an electronic device can light up the space so it is navigable and we don’t trip over furniture and get hurt. I love how we can do that for each other.

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