“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it" -Dr.Clarissa Pinkola EstesI've been doing some of the deep + difficult soul work that has come out of Brene's Lifeclass (one of the best things I'm doing for myself this year!!)...and it's messy! Not a little bit messy either...but big, huge, deep OMG!!! how am I going to wade through this crap kinda' messy! Until I was in my mid thirties, I had no idea what boundaries were! Okay...I knew what they were intellectually but I didn't think I even had the right to say no. I didn't have the constitution to lovingly talk about my feelings and ask for what I needed. And I had no idea what the difference was between guilt and shame because I was consumed by both. So what ended up happening was this right here: it all became a vicious cycle with one feeding into the other. And it was difficult for me to differentiate where one messy emotion started and the other ended; it all became a big huge glob of tangled up guilt/shame/guilt/shame. It was ugly. Then...somewhere in my mid-thirties I had a series of events happen that forced me to wake up. There were a multitude of betrayals and obvious overstepping of boundaries from so many people who were close to me...I couldn't ignore it any longer. In retrospect I know it was the Universe screaming at me, trying to get my attention: it worked! And ever since then...it has been one slow step (with plenty of regressions!!) toward cultivating authenticity and setting boundaries (I believe the two go together...hand in hand). And it has been difficult...it still is. Some days there's only a holding on to faith...other days there is a book or a quote I hold onto for dear life. Sometimes there is a trusted friend I can spill myself open to. But many times...there is pull back to the past and just waiting out the day to start fresh tomorrow. There are times when I feel like no progress has been made at all and, actually, I've regressed ( I hate that!! but...*sigh*...am learning to trust + lean into)! All of these experiences are equally important to the journey...I am finding out. Nothing is wasted. ever. ever. ever.
Fast forward to...when I became a mother I realized that I absolutely did not want to perpetuate this cycle...and this deep soul work became that much more important...that much more imperative. I couldn't talk or read about authenticity...I had to become authentic and practice it in tiny steps every chance I could. And it requires courage, it requires risk, falling down, being in the space of "not knowing"...it requires heart! And the people who were not good for me...the people who were so immersed in their own shame (as I was for most of my life) that they tried to shame me??? They all fell by the wayside. When I came across Brene's work way back when I first started my blog...I was truly blown away! Her words spoke to me in a visceral way that, to this day, is difficult for me to fully articulate. I have read all of her books many times over (complete with sticky notes and highlights!!) and her words continue to help me along this path to a more authentic self. And like I said...it's messy! But a good kind of messy because now I can see, now I have guides and community. And boy! ...does it make all the difference!
Thankful and grateful this morning...for the journey.