I’m 25 pounds over the ideal weight that I stayed at for decades. I’m now coloring my hair every three weeks to hide the white hair that used to be gray.

And I have never been more comfortable in my own skin~in my entire life.

I’m actually excited to see this extra weight leave my body because it was here to teach me a lesson that I have since learned, but I’m not stressed about it. I don’t even recognize my physical body right now but it’s OK because in an awesome way I also don’t recognize my spiritual, emotional nor my mental self. I’ve expanded in all ways, I suppose.

My life is not rainbows and butterflies...ok let's be clear...no one has that life. But we can choose to stop seeing everything as worse than it is...why do we do that? I do my best to see things as they really are and I strive to see things as even better than they are. I'm gonna get there and you'll be the first to know because I'll share the view when I see it for the first time. If you beat me there, save a seat.

I have a brother who hasn’t spoken to me nor my children in years for reasons I’ll never understand, I’ve had heart break and hiccups like everyone...worse than many, in fact...stress and worry over the path of a child, guilt, grief....and yet....overall I feel nothing but peace, calm, thankfulness, love, positive anticipation, awe and certainty in the uncertainty.

What worked for me was to release the three women who haunted me. 
The one the world told me I should be, the one I tried to be and the one I told myself I had to be. That gave birth to the woman I was designed to be. Then I had to grow her. Once she was in existence, she bravely ditched religion, divorced herself from the insane pressure to look any certain way, separated herself from the mindset of the masses and the lies that society, past pain and social programming were feeding her previous 3 inhabitants. Then I stepped into her skin and found home. I found myself. It was like seeing life through new prescription lenses after 47 years of not knowing I needed glasses. No more squinting, no more blurred vision, no more fog....colors came alive, new details emerged and the world said hello with clarity and joy.

I chose to keep following Jesus and added an exploration of my spirituality that expanded that meaning. It’s like I unfollowed Christianity or religiosity while keeping His teachings in my heart. When I stopped looking at spirituality as a religious club or a group that I had to be good enough for, I set myself free. When I spoke my truth and recognized how many people are teaching and preaching while ignoring wisdom and guidance, I stood taller.

I only need the approval of my creator. No one else.

I completely let go of anything in me that worried that someone else would feel that I was breaking the rules. I became so in tune with my creator, the divine, spirit, love, God, goddess—yep, I said it—that FOR ME, it all meshed and finally made sense. I know some reading this are rolling their eyes or falling on the floor or praying for me and my soul. But I also know how God feels about this. Because guess what? He or she is the one who created me. This curiosity and expanded awareness did not come from me. And it did not come from something bad or wrong or anything to be feared. It came from truth, grace, love. Coincidentally that’s exactly how we describe Jesus.

I told my kids that I had breast implants since age 22 and that I regretted it. 
I apologized to my daughters for that decision knowing I didn’t have to be sorry. I told them that I had an abortion at 20 and that it haunted me for 22 years because I allowed one person to control me and my choice and I went against the one voice that counts and then spent two decades in shame. I told my kids that my faith was stronger than ever, yet I’d never again tell them that there was only one way to heaven. I walked through the hell of revisiting past trauma and with trembling hands removed the shackles with the key God had placed in my heart long before.

Like with any metamorphosis, this has been slow, painful, beautiful, unintentional and deliberate at the same time. If we are aware and not moving through life asleep, we see one day that every moment of our life was part of the metamorphosis.

Some remain caterpillars forever, some reach their chrysalis stage in the last leg of life, some become butterflies in their 20s. I’m not sure when I got my wings but I am certain that I have them. 

This is my story. And I own it. 
Yours is yours. And I honor it.

Jill Herman