When I sat down on a Sunday afternoon, reflecting on my past week and planning my future week, I thought about one of my proclamations to myself which was to be true to who I am no matter what. And I thought, is this something I've been upholding? Is this something that I can continue to uphold?
As I type this, there are parts of me already triggered, already uncomfortable, and ready for this to be over. Because the realization I had when I posed the question, "Have you been true to who you are no matter what?" was a resounding yes, but then I received the response "But there was something inside you that you already knew."
I sat there. Part of me stunned, part of me in laughter -- the uncomfortable laughter which says "this is so awkward I'd rather laugh than cry." And then I began to write. As I wrote, I realized that the parts of me that I'd been hiding, that I'd marketed into acceptable parts of society, that I'd put on the back burner for friendships or romantic relationships, that I'd pushed aside to proclaim that I was "saving" someone else... the laughter I kept in, the conformity, the blocks in creativity -- all of it -- I already knew I was doing this.
Yes, it was subconscious; large parts of it were taught through television, school and experience. It reminds of the commercial of this creature that no one has seen before. He goes from place to place and is escorted out, and in some places he is kicked out. He is knocked on the ground, down and really in the dumps because he knows that there is something he has to offer, but no one else believes it or sees it. And honestly, I believe it's a part of him who doesn't believe it as well because as the commercial goes on, he is finally accepted by a group of people who see the beauty in him, they nurture him and as they do he blossoms -- literally a rainbow feathered "peacock-like" display. Something he always had inside him that could be done, but he wouldn't allow without nourishment from others. He needed the acceptance.
This is my truth. I know not everyone has experienced this, but for me, it's the very thing that has kept me small in life, relationships and especially my business, and to know that it was me who kept me small is hard to digest at first.
Now, I'll say this is something I knew, based on the work I've done and the path I've chosen to lead for over three years now. But to hear the response was still shattering. And there is a quote by Jody England that says, "The more you know, the more you know you don't know." Because it's so much easier to say that it was divorce, or the military, or my government job, or the friends I lost, or my upbringing. It's so much easier to attach myself to this thing, this notion, this blame -- so that I have the excuse for why I'm not living in who I am. And for years, prior to doing work and even now after doing work, I'll see someone who I admire and think why am I not living in my truth like that. And then I have to stop myself and say: Are you living in your truth? And when the answer is yes, then I say: So for you to pose this question, that means you still have a story tied around what you believe your truth should look like. It has taken me such a long time to get to this place. To get to a place of stopping myself dead in my tracks, before the story even begins or as I hear the story come out of my mouth. Reminding myself in kindness that this is a process. And doing the work to release what keeps me there.
So as I began to release, which for me is one of the hardest things to do, I began to think about what I was holding on to that kept me from seeing, feeling and knowing what I already knew to be true about me. There were so many people, places, worldly possessions that I'd allowed to have a hold or responsibility to define me. So many exchanges that had taken place in the past that I knew with all of my being were not serving me, but I allowed, completely pushing myself, my needs, my path to the back burner. Not realizing that as I made these unnecessary sacrifices to, as I thought, please myself it was actually creating more damage, blocks, and negativity. It was actually keeping me from walking my walk.
I wasn't allowing myself to see me and be proud. I was letting my ego completely dictate what was right or wrong. Who was in or out. Why I should do this or that. So I wrote down all of these, and began to release -- a release that I physically felt. As ties were cut and yolk's were broken, I realized the patterns that I was worrying about recreating in my codependent past, my ego had already found clever ways to recreate them. The worrying that I did to keep myself aware of the mistakes I made, and the worrying that I did which subconsciously punished me for the problems I feared had already taken place. I was worrying about things that I was already a part of. To put it plainly, it already manifested. So, I couldn't go back of course, I could only go forward, but in going forward I continued to snip and untie and unveil and release.
There is something inside you that already knows what is holding you back. It knows what keeps you from dreaming big. It knows what keeps you from accepting invitations to parties. It knows why you dread going home for the holidays. It knows why you won't commit in intimate relationships. It knows why expensive physical attachments to worldly things is where you get your worth. It knows why you continue to attract unhealthy relationships. And it used to scream at the tops of its lungs to get your attention. And then that scream maybe because a buzz. And that buzz became a whisper. And that whisper got quieter and quieter because it wasn't being heard -- but its never left you and it never will.
This is one of the most intimate things I've ever shared. It's one of the hardest things I've ever typed. And I'm sharing it not only as a reminder to my own humanness, but as a reminder to you to not let this world convince you that the gifts you were given, the ideas you create, the love that you have and the spark that is within you is not enough. Its enough and so much more.