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  • Jill Louise Foley

My Year to Clarity: Unbecoming

Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything.

Maybe it's unbecoming everything that isn't you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

I had become a self absorbed Mutant.

Not that I ever felt I was better than other people, just the bodybuilding lifestyle all consumed me. I couldn't focus on anything other than my body. Eating, resting, training, flexing. Since Nationals I've had trouble even looking at my body. I can't believe the level of infatuation I had got to. Taking numerous selfies, analyzing every imperfection and preaching 'self acceptance' and love when I was hiding my true self all along. I was hiding my natural beauty and masking it with muscles. My authentic self isn't 190lb female bodybuilder, that was my cave. My cave from hurt, from reality, from God. I needed to hit that level of isolation in order to see what I didn't want. My whole life I wanted to be a boy. They got to be strong, they got to be independent, they got to be what they wanted. I can see now that isn't the case, I had a perception that women were weak. It wasn't until I changed my hormones to think more like a man that I could feel the mental and physical changes. When I was blocking my natural estrogen and increasing my testosterone levels I could understand the brain box concept on a personal level. My emotional detachment to other people became very easy. I broke up with my boyfriend with little remorse for him feelings. I felt like a flat line. I wasn't attracted to the opposite sex (which helped me become a lot less codependent. An addiction I had for a long time, always measuring my value based on another persons view of me. I took just under a year off of having sex. I was like a body building nun. Only worshiping the iron. Of course when I was in the middle of trying to accept all the side effects I was willingly putting my body through I couldn't even imagine letting anyone else witness them. I was getting farther and farther away from my authentic self but the praise, the strength and power was addicting.)

Mark Gungor a comedian explains the male and female brain perfectly:

'Men’s brains are made up of little boxes and we have a box for everything. We have a box for the car. We have a box for the money. We have a box for the job, a box for the kids, a box for you, a box for your mother…somewhere in the basement.And the rule is the boxes do not touch. All right?

When a man discusses a particular subject, he goes to the appropriate box, slides it out, opens it up, will discuss only the content of that particular box and then when he is done, he puts it away hoping not to touch or disturb any of the other boxes.

Now a woman’s brain is made up of a big ball of wire and everything is connected to everything…It’s like the Internet super highway, and it’s all driven by energy that we call emotion. It’s one of the reasons that women tend to remember everything because if you take an event and tie it to emotion you can remember it forever.'

I went from emotion circuit thinking to detached boxes back to emotions. SO MANY FEELINGS. I can understand the amount of strength that women have now that I took for granted before. Since Nationals I don't think I've ever worked so hard. Working through your feelings is hard work. It's exhausting, my brain doesn't shut off. I feel every conversation run through my body, like I'm downloading every piece of information given to me. Back to my belief of women being weak... I can tell you it takes a lot more strength to feel instead of ignore and numb. We are in a society now that everyone has something that takes the pain away. Our brains are constantly being stimulated by useless 'stuff'.

Social Media: I've notice now how many people in this world show the fluff life. Cars, money, muscles, glutes, food, etc. But who posts about reality, about the struggle, about the hurt or about God. We are surrounded by 'Pride'. I've played into this for years. Showing my half naked body in order to get praise from other people for some sort of validation that I am worthy of love/attention. When in reality I was insecure about myself. I showed the out come but left out the fact that I was using steroids to help get me results. Omission is betrayal. Isn't that what we do? Share all the good and leave out the bad, in an attempt to be 'liked'.

Codependency: Another number, we neglect our own feelings and cater to another person. You will not reach happiness by bending over backwards for someone else. I've tried it, I would let myself get lost in another person. Never truly understanding or listening to my need and wants.

'If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my dog, my dogs money, my dogs time... everything. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else.' -Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

This isn't self love, this is self loathing. Giving all your love away instead of giving that love to yourself because you feel you don't deserve love. You can't give from an empty cup.

Substance abuse: Can come from a few different sources: Socially, biologically and psychologically. Main reasons for adopting an addiction to a substance derives from having anxiety (feeling uncomfortable in our skin) or depression (feeling alone or disengaged from the world). I've used weed, alcohol, food and pornography to feel pleasure instead of pain. Numbing my reality with constant stimulation. Addiction can also be biological: If someone who is supposed to be a mentor/leader of their family abuses a substance often their children will adapt the same habits.

Covenantally, when a father misleads his family, the effects of that misleading are often felt for generations. This is because the father is being covenantally unfaithful, and God has stipulated that there are punishments to breaking the covenant with God. That is the case with these verses that deal with the sins visited upon the children. If a father rejects the covenant of God and takes his family into sin and rejects God, the children will suffer the consequences--often for several generations. Whether or not this is fair is not the issue. Sin is in the world; consequences of sin affected many generations. -Matt Slick (translation on what the Bible says about the sins of our fathers)

I'm clearing the clutter.

Allowing myself to feel.

Breaking off the lies I held as truths and becoming present in my life.

Redefining strength in my head.

Dictionary definition of Strength:

the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.

I viewed women as weak (I'm sure this stems from my feeling that my birth mother wasn't strong enough to live. Instead she quit life.) It wasn't until I hit my highest level of 'Strength' that I felt so out of touch with myself. Being present in this world that is so cynical takes mass amounts of strength. Being in tune with myself takes strength. Being openly vulnerable takes strength. Owning my shit takes strength. Knowing who I am takes strength. Feeling emotion even when in hurts takes strength. Now that I'm unbecoming what I viewed strength to be, I'm finally becoming STRONG.

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