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Y'know what long-time good friends can help you with? They can help you see how far you've come. In a chat with one of my girlfriends this morning, she brought up the first moment we met as a way to demonstrate how far I've come in the eight years we've known one each other.
"Now, you're basically reborn!" she said. "It's so pivotal. The way you present yourself to the world, the way you think, the things you do — all fundamentally different from the old Jude. No one ever said it would be easy. And you never took the easy way out."
When I was in eating disorder therapy, I'd hear again and again, "You've got to feel it to heal it." There was no evading the issues, because no matter how much you aimed to circle around the heart of the matter, you'd always find yourself back in the bull's eye, waiting to be hit.
Eating disorders are rooted in a perfectionist and hard-lined mentality, and because the brain creates patterns of thinking, I sometimes still get lost in beating myself up rather than approaching myself with kindness.
That's what good friends are for. They're there to help hold your faith when you aren't able to. The people who became the "family" of your choosing can be your advocates, your confidantes, and your cheer section when you feel like you simply are out for the count.
One of my yoga teachers once said, "Environment is everything. Who you surround yourself with and the space that you inhabit are greater indicators of how things will be for you than anything else."
So, who are you keeping company with? Can they uplift you when you feel you're sinking? Can they speak the truth and let you do the same for them? Can you feel safe enough to be all of you without being judged?
And, maybe a better question: who are you keeping company with in your headspace? Are those voices sweet and supportive or scary and mean?
Often, we're so "in it" that we can't see the bigger picture. We get hard on ourselves about where we've faltered and forget about all the mini and giant ways that we have shown up and done our very best.
Let your friends be there for you. And be there for them. If we really are mirrors for one another, then let us be the most beautiful looking glasses around.