The Light at the End of the Tunnel

After last week’s post, one my dear, sweet readers left this in the comment section: THANKS FOR SHARING.  I’M WHERE YOU WERE BACK THEN.  WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHANGE? WHAT WAS YOUR TURNING POINT?   

It struck a chord with me, it resonated deeply because I felt in those words such a strong yearning for something different. So my tender hearted and beautiful reader, here is my answer:

First and foremost, if you’re looking at the physical portion, which I suspect you may be- how did I go from looking like that to looking like this?  There’s no simple answer to that- it was years upon years of learning to value myself enough to eat foods that are healthy (and learning what that meant), it was my Crohn’s diagnosis, it was following my dreams (which, incidentally, involved packing up my car and moving 3,000 miles across the country to go to school to study photography).  It was having a college boyfriend break my heart over and over and over again, and not loving myself enough to put an end to it.  It was excessive amounts of drinking and drugs to try to escape.  There was no turning point, there was no diet- I tried a good many of them at one point or another in my desperate search.  {more after the jump}

I struggled, I relapsed and binge ate tubs of ice cream, junk food or even sauces when the cupboards were bare when the pain of life was overwhelming.  I suffered through a terrible depression in my mid twenties where I gained a good portion of that weight back.  Alas, it was never about the weight.  The weight was just a physical sign of my deep unhappiness, my inability to love myself enough to take better care of the home my soul lives in, and how I turned to food to comfort myself from the sometimes bottomless pit of sadness I felt.

It is my life’s work, as it is yours, to find happiness- to cultivate it.  It is also your life’s work to accept and embrace all that is not happiness, to dive into it, to feel the depths of the pain that can exist, and eventually, when your heart is ready, to slowly, gently, pull yourself up, brush yourself off, and shine your beautiful, loving light outwards.  It’s not easy, and there’s never an end game- it’s all a journey.  In those moments when you are facing that deep pain, it’s most important to realize that we are all connected.  Your pain is mine, mine is yours.  I find that in connecting to that- that suffering is part of the human experience, that it is a part of what connects us all, I can find some peace.

I can tell you this:  I survived sexual, emotional and physical abuse as a child, abandonment by both of my biological parents, and years of health struggles that most likely link back to all that I went through as a little one.  I’ve spent my entire life working through these things, I’ve been relentless in my search to find the good- to be grateful for all of the terrible things that happened to me because they have pushed me straight to this place, to a place where I can open up to you, sweet friend, and encourage you to turn around and face all of the bad, all the pain.  You have to choose, at some point or another, to let whatever the bad in your life has been be something terrible that happened to you, or to see it as a gift that provided you the greatest possible opportunity to grow.

Which I guess brings me to this point:  that post was not about inspiring change.  It was about inspiring love.  That turning point you’re looking for, it lives within you- it’s your own desire to love yourself.  I know that you’re searching, you’re on your way.   At the end of even the darkest, longest, most painful tunnels is a tiny beam of light just waiting for you- you just have to keep moving towards it.   And that light, that light is love.

My dearest reader, keep moving towards it.  You, your greatest self, is right there waiting for you.  xx- Sarah  {photo: Lou Mora}

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Reader Comments

  1. Kait|

    Love this post! It can be so easy to covet bloggers’ lives (what with all the perfect quinoa lentil bowls and slender frames fitting into gorgeous clothing) but it’s so nice to see that inspiring and curated content combined with the backstory of how you got here and that you still feel like a work in progress just like the rest of us. <3


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      Florida, toes in the water, arse in the sand (Zac Brown Band reference)… But I’ll have my iPad along so I can still shop online! And in case you missed all the 2011 Black Friday deals, never

  2. Maryse|

    You keep making me cry with these posts. They’re a great motivation. You’re awesome.

  3. Natasha|

    I’m so moved Sarah. I looked at you so long ago when I subscribed to your blog and thought “I want to have her body..” so beautiful and elegant. I too have had my struggles…and these posts made me weep for you…and have a greater love and respect for myself, and what is this…”the journey”. Love you to pieces. xoxox

    • Roberta|

      beautiful photography- love the beige wang shoes never seen that colourway always just the pale grey! Dorry about your iphone arhhhh, and the breakfast option look deiK!iousciatle.xx

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  4. Hazel|

    You are probably one of the best people out there Sarah, you are sharing with us things from your past which must be painful for you, to help people find their way in life. I can relate so much to your past and hearing your journey is really helping me realise my life is getting out of control. As a teen I used food as a coping devise, I was proud that I could survive on a slice of bread and glasses of water and now as an adult who really ought to know better I’m the opposite I overeat some days I’m just not satisfied whatever I can shovel down. This reflects so much about how I feel about my life, thanks for sharing your story and propting me to try and find what it is that I need to feel fufilled.

  5. Liza|

    Sarah, I am in utter amazement at your bravery. Thank you for shining the light on shame and being a role model in encouraging self love.
    Sending Big love your way.

  6. sarah|

    You, Sarah Yates, are just the sweetest soul and it makes me beam bright to know humans like you exist and share their light with others.

  7. Nuri|

    Love your blog. Have followed for a long time – not just for the beautiful decor and food, but mostly because of your courageous honesty. Thank you for keeping it real and choosing to share it with us.

  8. Leah|

    Thank you for your inspirational words. You are a beautiful person, inside and outside.

  9. Pas|

    Thanck you so much for your beautiful posts. Christian Science helped me so much: Love is powerful and guides everyone of us. xoxo!

  10. Maureen Sutherland Weiser|

    Sarah, you brought tears to my eyes. It takes so much to put yourself out there and I applaud you for your willingness to be vulnerable. The beauty and love inside of you shines!

  11. Wilma|

    We all have a story, thank you for sharing yours. Its so important to acknowledge that its a lifestyle change, there are no quick fixes. Some of us have ‘ah ha’ moments others just have enough of feeling crappy. It all begins with a choice. What you have achieved is a testament to your strength and your character. Being so true and authentic gives me strength in turn (and makes me love you and your blog even more!) xx

  12. abigail|

    Thank you for being so honest and raw. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and in internet world it looks so perfect. but you are human, i am human we are all human and the scares make us beautiful. thank you for allowing us in to this part of you. keep on going!

  13. trish|

    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your love with us in the hopes we find our own love of self.

  14. Melissa|

    You are such an inspiration, Sarah. I am in the middle of an extreme heartbreak & your words resonated so much with me – that this time, though terribly painful, can be a time of growth, that there is light somewhere in the darkness, & that love will aways prevail. xoxo

  15. Heidi|

    This is so powerful Sarah. You are an inspiration to so many and in sharing such deep, personal struggles we have watched your true self emerge and it is so lovely. You are clearly such a kind person and to see behind the gloss that exists in these types of forums reminds us that we all all out there just trying to do our best. Whatever our best is at the moment.

  16. felicia | Dish by Dish|

    Sarah, I’ve only started reading your blog this week, but your honest vulnerability and openess to share what you’ve been through is moving. Thank you for your inspiration, for this post as well as the many others before it, and for being such a generous soul.