Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My word journey


1: an act or instance of traveling from one place to another
2: a trip, especially a fairly long one 
3: travel or passage from one place to another

I am not sure if I have ever shared the story of my "life word", it's discovery and what has happened since. 

The Julia Roberts movie from last summer Eat Pray Love and best selling book had a interesting part that I related to last summer while in Utah.  Julia, as the main character spent the entire movie trying to discover her "life word" to describe herself.  I was fascinated by this and while I was at Fitness Ridge last summer I was very quickly able to identify my life word as SHAME. 

I realized very quickly that it sucked.  What a crappy word that you feel is your life word is.  After the movie was over, I shared my word with my friend Brewer, who I had seen the movie with.  We talked about why I felt that was my word and very quickly they were able to make me see something I had never realized in 23+ years.

Brewer asked me if I knew what the opposite of shame was and I said no.  Brewer said, "the opposite of shame is...forgiveness."  I had the most unbelievable feeling when they said that.  Oh, my goodness, of course that is the opposite and until I realized that I must move to a place of forgiveness, I would never move forward in my life.

So, I spent 8 months really focusing on my new word of forgiveness.  I would chant it to myself when I was running.  I would remind myself that I needed to focus on forgiveness or that I would be staying in a place of darkness.  And, I really came to a great place in which I stopped looking backwards.
Then my word changed.  I do not remember why it changed, just that all of sudden I started talking about the word journey.  For example; on March Break Megan found us those awesome bracelets with the word journey on them.

When I returned to work in May from my cancer surgeries, my staff gave me the most amazing gift...a Journey Jar.  It is full of quotes, comments and notes from the department to me for inspiration.  Some people were so creative and the comments were extremely heart warming, charming and made me so happy. 

In June, I got the word journey tattooed on my back with the cancer ribbon as the letter "e" and a butterfly to represent my thyroid - it is the symbol because your thyroid is shaped like a butterfly.

Then, last week I returned to my office to see the most beautiful lettering hung on my wall.  My co-worker and special friend Rene had snuck into my office and hang the letters J O U R N E Y on my wall with ribbons.  She and her kids sanded and painted the letters and then hung them in this big open space I had on my wall that I was struggling to fill with something special.  Man, is this special. 

I love the fact that my life word keeps popping up everywhere I go and that it is such a positive word.  Man, I needed to have come a long way and have.