I have a ring I’ve been wearing for a year that says “I AM ENOUGH”. I often look at it, try to own it and feel it, and yet often don’t. The low, dull background chatter of my mind whispers sneaky little phrases like “you are shameful“, “you are weak“, “you are lost“. How often do we allow our minds to create and hum these phrases, phrases that wind subconsciously into our psyche – sapping confidence and paralyzing our lives like a parasitic vine, twisting tighter and tighter until we can no longer breathe? For me, someone so used to feeling the confident steps of exactly how she is moving forward, my sudden lack in direction has obliterated my self-image, self-confidence, and self-love.
People have asked me, “what do you want“…”what do you want from a partner“, “what do you want your life to look like“, “what do you want to do with your professional career“? They propel these phrases and affirmations that “it’s your choice! it’s your life!” as if these things should be freeing, empowering. But being in a space of not knowing myself, and not loving myself, I was (a) unable to answer these questions and (b) terrified by the prospect that I had to make these decisions! To decide what I wanted. I didn’t know what wanted, because I am only starting to love myself enough to own my worth in defining these decisions.
So, I am pushing into the fear of owning and loving myself. My life. My decisions.
This week, I intend to love myself. Start there. Everything else will follow.
I will perhaps share the actual story of this year at some point, I’m not sure yet. I think, if I can share it in a way to respect the privacy of those involved, it may be helpful for other women (or men) who find themselves lost, searching. But…that’s a consideration for a different day. Right now this is simply my healing, my outlet, my way to capture and honor what has been and where I’m going next, and what’s rattling around in my heart and head that I need to pour out. It’s highly likely nobody will even read this. Right now this blog has no path or plan, and that’s fucking fine. This is my own tiny rebellion against my need to constantly control and plan, and it’s just for me. With that…today Ms. Roosevelt’s words have been playing on repeat.
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I will unabashedly and freely admit that (up until most recently) I have lived an easy life, a lovely life – a life in which for 32 years I have been taken care of, supported, provided for, and protected. I have not known loss, or struggle, or doubt, or that huge, dark, heavy, wet blanket of sadness/guilt/fear (pick your poison here) that wraps around your heart and body until it’s all you can do to drag yourself out of bed each morning. I have known none of this. I have intentionally (or I could argue unintentionally) kept myself comfortable and safe. And how wonderful and blessed that was, and how confused and unprepared I have been to now find myself plunging into the reality of all of life’s harder edges.
I don’t mean to aggrandize my story. Or to give myself too much credit or pity. My story is not, by any means, the darkest or hardest of the human experience. Not even close. I have not experienced abuse, death, exploitation, homelessness, abandonment, or any of the other myriad of experiences and stories I know others have experienced, survived, and thrived through. My story is really ultimately one of seeking, growth, self, and heart. That pesky heart, that frustrating and uncomfortable growth…
And that’s just it. Authentic growth, I believe, is often uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Sometimes extremely painful. More painful the more we fight it. Damnit. Eleanor’s full quote is “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Growth is facing fear – fear of judgement, pain, failure, disappointment, loss, rejection – and doing the thing you thought you could not do anyway. I visited a psychic reader this November, and after hearing my story and my struggle, he told me “You will get through this, unless you decide to drag it out.” Read that again…what he was saying was, “you will grow, unless you decide to stay in your fear.” Damnit again.
The beautiful and awful truth that we are ultimately the only ones responsible for our lives is simultaneously overwhelmingly freeing and terrifying. And honestly, I continue to struggle with this. I continue to wait for someone else to take over, to step in and say, “Ok girl, I got it from here, you go relax.” If I’m not the one to make a decision, I can’t be held responsible for it. I don’t have to own my opinions, my desires, my space, myself, and I don’t have to withstand any judgement of those things. I can stay neutral. But…fuck that right? I no longer want to live a life in fear of judgement, or uncertainty in myself. So I’m trying. Every day. To make decisions and choices that are mine, that face the fear in both my head and heart, and to grow.
Ha! And as I finish that last sentence, I hear my son in the next room waking up from his nap and growling. Time to get the monster up and have dinner. <3
I’m not sure how to start this, so I’m just going to start. 2018 was a year that has left me broken open, exposed to the beautiful and excruciating nature of life and love. I have seen the incredible, breathtaking capacity for pain, love, grace, patience, forgiveness, selfishness, ego, fear, bravery, loneliness, connection, death, and slow rebuilding. I mean like…SLLLOOOOWWW rebuilding. Because I’ve kept myself stuck, dwelling and breathing life to fear, guilt, shame, old stories and expectations. Expecting the Universe to provide and change my circumstances for me. Searching for clarity, peace, and fulfillment everywhere else but from within.
My goal for 2019 is precisely this – to START to fall back in love with myself. With the world. With life. To speak honestly. To live intentionally. To love openly and freely. To be the woman, mother, friend, and partner I want for myself and for this life. To be braver, kinder, and more present than I have been. To accept pain and failure and love them just as hard as joy and abundance.
I have no specific plans for this blog, and it’s not about anything specific… except me. I’ve always thought about writing a blog, so fuck it – I’m doing it. We’ll see what it becomes.