Summer is one of my favorite seasons.
There's nothing quite as wonderful as sitting outside on a beautiful summer night, watching the fireflies and enjoying a nice bonfire. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach and a cool breeze in the air. I love everything about it.
For a long time, I hated summer. I live in Oklahoma and it gets really really hot in the summer. Shorts and tank tops are a staple if you live here. But as someone who struggled with self harm for so many years, the thought of having to wear short sleeves as to not sweat to death, did nothing but wash in nothing but anxiety.
The idea of people being able to see my scars sent chills down my spine. And in more difficult moments, the idea of having to not self harm at all caused just as much anxiety.
But then something changed.
When I finally found myself in a stable place in terms of recovery, I was still left with the scars of multiple bad decisions. But for once, I decided that I wasn't going to let them dictate how I lived my life.
For better or worse, they were a part of me and would be for quite some time. But just because they weren't going anywhere didn't mean that I couldn't. And that's when I chose to embrace my scars.
Most of them have faded, but there are still a few that are visible. And while two years ago that would have sent me into a frenzy, I embrace them. They are just as much a part of me as anything else that makes me who I am.
So this year, I welcome summer. All the beauty that it brings. All the hope that it brings. All the newness.
Stepping out and embracing the unknown isn't easy. Trust me. But it's one of the most rewarding things that you can do.
If you find yourself dreading summer, I pray that you begin to embrace the things that you don't like. That you would allow yourself to begin to heal. There's no manual on how to do it. All you have to do is pick a spot and start there. And here is just as good a place as any.
So take that leap. Cannonball right in to the pool. It may sting at first, but soon you'll find that's it was just right. It just needed you to take the leap.
As always, you can keep up with me over at ohhaiiitsbrandii.wordpress.com
Until next time,