Dear Ego

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Dear Ego,

You think you know me. But let me tell you for once.

I’m Meredith, I’m 25 years old and I’m obsessed with yoga, mindfulness (or, as I’m now referring to it, awareness) and learning to understand this physical body we inhabit and refer to as our “self.”

If I had to put a label on it (which I don’t like doing), I’d say I’m a health coach. All anyone should really take that to mean is that I voluntarily spend a lot of time learning about health and what it means to be “healthy.” I get immense joy from sharing these learnings with others so that they may take it upon themselves to cultivate greater health in their own life if they so choose, and supporting them in that process.

As a health coach, am I declaring myself to be in a state of perfect health? No.

Because how can I? Nobody ever has been in such a state, and nobody ever will be— at least not by some agreed upon universal standard.

But does the current state of this physical body I was assigned to impact my ability to learn and share the subject matter with others? No again.

Do my hormonal and gut imbalances or occasional self-deprecating thoughts that you throw at me impair my ability to enlighten and help others? To uplift, motivate, encourage, support and love? I’ll be damned if they do.

I have days where you couldn’t be farther from my mind. I feel lighter than air and on top of the world. I have days where I feel so utterly confident, so in love with myself and how I look, even though on those days I truly couldn’t care less what I looked like because I am so enamored with life and love and what I have to contribute to the energy of the world around me.

I also have days where I can’t shake you. Where I don’t feel like myself. Where I don’t even know who my self is at all. Where I can’t even look in the mirror because I can’t think of a positive thing to say. Where you make me feel like a total hypocrite for preaching wellness and self love when I don’t always feel it myself. Where the desire to post on social media comes from a need for validation because I can’t seem to find it within myself.

I have never been dishonest about who I am, but I haven’t always revealed the whole story behind things, at least not on here. Sometimes I hate that I feel like I have to, but by the nature of this platform and what I do, I feel as though I have signed an invisible contract to always explain my reasons for doing certain things as they relate to my health and even beyond.

I don’t say all this to be dramatic or for attention. I get plenty of that from you and I wish it were less. I merely want to always be open and share what I am going through. And part of what has held me back from sharing the whole story is you, dear ego, and this fear of judgment that you instill in me— that I am a bad health coach, that I am a failure, that I am not what I portray. In having these fears, I am also unfairly making assumptions and judgements about my community, that they would even have these thoughts about me.

You see, I never want to be a creator of your playground, a contributor to a culture where the unattainable becomes a standard, where those we look to for inspiration become a marker against whom we compare our own lives, and where even the curated versions of our selves make our true rawness feel inadequate.

I always try to practice what I preach. The keyword there isn’t “always,” but “try.”

And part of what I preach is a willingness to remain open: to change, to new ideas, to the possibility that I could be wrong, to the fact that there is always more to learn, and that things may work one moment and not work the next.

In doing so, I can keep you at bay.

You. The voice in my head that says I can’t do this; that by having my own issues to work through, I can’t help others; that by being vulnerable, I can’t be a role model for someone else, and that even my desire to be seen as a role model is pompous and insincere.

But I refuse to listen. I choose to share. I choose to believe that, yes I have problems and yet in spite of those problems I have the knowledge and understanding to help others still.

To you I say, it’s my turn to talk. You’ve done and said enough. But I forgive you, and I choose love.