as you are.

one of my most important tattoos, and some of the most important words. “as you are”.

looking back on so many of the early years of my recovery, it is painful to acknowledge how much time and energy i spent unknowingly perpetuating old stories that then followed me and clawed their way into my present reality. for so long, i could not even set foot on the immense and terrifying path of recovery, because i was not yet deserving, not yet punished, not yet capable, not yet dead. all the excuses (coming from a place of deep, valid, and terribly painful fear) flooded me in waves; if it was not one reason, it was another, always leading me back into the place of rejection for the possibility of any other way of existing.

and then i was given this poem. not once, but twice. by two different souls, both of whom i still (and forever will) hold dearly dearly in my heart.

as written by nayyirah waheed, she says:

‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘after…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘before…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘when…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘how…’ you answer.
‘as you are.’ says the universe.
‘why…’ you answer.
you are happening now.
right now.
right at this moment
your happening
is beautiful.
the thing that keeps me alive
brings me to my knees.
you don’t even know how breathtaking you
as you are.’

says the universe through tears”

i learned from the hearts of others that full recovery was undeniably possible.

i learned from the souls of others that we are always more capable than we believe.

i learned from the wisdom of others the the wolf you feed is the wolf that will win.

i learned that to be human right now, in this moment, means you are deserving of recovery.

i learned that living in our pasts will only perpetuate that darkness going forward.

i learned that what we believe, we will become.

i learned that we are always, always capable of surprising ourselves.

i learned that because we were once full human beings, we can be full human beings again.

i understood that the time was now. not when we felt capable, or when we became sick “enough”, or when our heart stopped for the final time. the time was now.

and after this knowing washed over me, there was no going back.

once you learn these things, you can return to the place of unknowing. you can never again be in a space of such denial, such genuine oblivion.

and this knowing can crush us, or save us. because the beauty of all this is- we are all capable. each and every one. as we are.

it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you haven’t, who you are or who you aren’t.

right now. as you are.

so, who do you wish to become? what feelings would you give anything to have fill you up? where do you want this life, this body, and this soul to take you?

with or without answers, you are deserving of letting yourself begin. begin, and never stop fighting for the life you’ve just barely let yourself imagine.

begin, as you are.


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