May 4, 2012

Hear Yourself Out - You're worth it

It all starts with that damn know the one. 
The voice that talks to you whether you like what it says or not
Whether you listen to it and follow through or ignore it, not yet ready to follow through
And you very well know that ignoring it will just delay something you'll have to confront eventually, making it harder the longer you wait. UH! 

That's it. It's your voice of truth and loving yourself enough to know...
That life goes by so fast. 
Do you spend your time waiting for things to iron themselves out or are you willing to make a change knowing it will be hard, knowing you will get backlash and trusting that life responds for your wellbeing when you ask it to?  It will. No safety net needed. You can. 

Try it once and you’ll see. Life responds. It hears you out. It may take longer than you wish. It’s hardly a quick fix; It’ll shock you how easier some things will be and how much lighter you will feel after a while. You don’t have to carry around so much worry or protection. Your armor is gone. It’s just you. It’s so much. 

That voice can be your best friend and the biggest annoyance in the world
It can solidify your hard work and also cause so much insecurity and uncomfortable-ness inside - Oh boy have I kicked and screamed because of mine.

You'll recognize it because it doesn't judge you. It's not negative. It pushes you to live out that itch you have inside. It encourages you to ignore the world or your own should's. It asks you to throw out those fears you hold onto and crutches you live with that make life feel 'safe' because you don't know what life would look like without them. Or that you've had them for so long it's comfortable. That's actually when you know deep inside you need to experience life without them...either by changing your dynamic with them or excusing yourself all together. You can.

It's taken me 34 years to not just like myself (I'm pretty bad ass:) enough to get here (and I still have a lot of work to do), but to truly admire the person I've evolved to be and to love her. Enough to do things that are hard. Enough to make a decision to walk through hell and back and know deep down that it's for a better experience in this world. Enough to know that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know much. There's so much room to grow. Enough to know that I'm so much more than any job, label, category I could be tagged as.  And so I can be of better use IN this world. Enough to be a fan and do the work necessary to be better. I can.

And at the end of the day, you know, it's the only thing that will ultimately take you to where you most need to be - out of love - out of growth to polish and unveil the rare stone of awesomeness you have been hiding. Those that are able to see will undoubtedly notice you and love you exactly as you are. Those are the ones to keep around. You’ll know it because it’s easier for you to talk and open up; to speak without editing. Without you changing your speech for their ears. No expectations or requirements from you. The shift will cause some relationships to change. Some people are so uncomfortable when you make a change that they will also kick and fight to keep you as you were for their own status quo/ out of their own fears. Some have already done the work, speak the language and are comfortable enough with themselves to hear you out and take you exactly as you're showing up that day. Because they once needed someone to be there for them too. Almost saying, 'I know exactly'...very matter of fact.  No big deal. Duh. They don’t see an alien. They see you. They know you can. 

We've all experienced dark days - heaven knows I've had my recent share of those in the past couple of years. There were days I was convinced I couldn't possibly survive the pain and the changes that lay ahead of me. There was no way. I wasn't strong enough. I wasn't capable enough to tackle what I needed to go through. The pain would kill me first. Not only was I so mad at myself for getting to this point, but I was also pissed that I had to go through what was ahead of me to even get to the place I wanted to be. It felt like I was the only human going through this and that I carried a sign labeling me; a disease no one would ever want to touch or be near - much less understand. Everyone else was so normal and living their lives comfortably. My life was falling apart around me and I had to reconstruct feeling weaker and smaller than ever. I'm such an alien. It’s so obvious. I can't do it. 

What a lonely place to be. To need friends around you more than ever and yet to feel like asking for love and compassion/ wanting someone to understand, see me and not reject that was needy or shameful or a reflection of not being strong enough. They would run if they saw the depths of me (my ultimate fear). A box- impossible to get out of. A box I created. 

Some days were the opposite side of that coin. The mysterious surge of energy inside of me would guide me through the day. I could smile for no reason. Nothing had changed. Nothing needed to. I accepted my reality and saw the hills I climbed alone; one by one. Smiling actually made it all easier. And the fact that some things weren’t resolved didn’t flutter me; they will be in time. I listened to the little voice. Kept moving forward. I can. 

People who were in my life before disappeared. Friendships changed. Friendships got stronger and more honest. Supposed love left and true love poured in. Overwhelming support without giving anything back? Impossible! Support no matter how good, bad, messy, ugly, etc? Insane! And so good. It’s what kept me going. It’s what reminded me every minute of the day that I could get through it and that the small realizations and lessons added up to getting to a new place.  Practice helps you realize it's doable. You can. 

Realize that nothing really changed in the world around me from day to day or minute to minute; it was me. I changed. I started listening. I needed and wanted to be this person and to live my life without excuses for myself or without hiding part of myself. I knew that if I believed it would happen, it WOULD happen. 

It feels like I’m about to jump off a cliff every time I open up. I confide in my heartaches, in my dreams, in whatever is really inside without dressing it up, I take a deep breath and then I let go. I know that reactions are theirs. I know that the friendship and love I need would want to know all parts of me; the sunny AND dark. I realized that it wasn't so much judgement from others that scared me off, it was my own judgement. Once I realized that, everything changed....for the better. Like another world better. 

Once I made that commitment to myself, I gotta tell you how amazing this journey has been. It's taken my breath away. It's not easy to let myself be loved. It's hard for me to let the guard down, to be seen, and to let someone give me love. In whatever shape or form that is. A compliment, a kind act, a stare, an acknowledgement...there are so many textbook answers as to why. 

The only thing worth bringing up is that if you have a little of this too, it's ok to let it in. It's ok to let others see you. All of you. It's ok to ask for what you really want. Say it out loud. It's ok to ask for help. It's ok to dream no matter how impossible it may seem. It's ok to scream and fall to your knees in sadness or desperation or anger. Let it out. Be loud! It's how you'll be able to listen to yourself and how the world will hear you. And from someone that has been there- practicing all of this. The world responds. It's there. It sees you and understands. You just have to be willing to see it (that love) and let it in. 

It took me so long to see any physical results from my work. It's been so long feeling like I was working my butt off with no reward. The scenery never changed. I was exhausted and not moving forward / that’s what it felt like. I was so frustrated and questioned everything all the time. I felt like a failure more often than feeling pride of the small steps I had taken. Time passed. I kept at it. I started acknowledging the unseen. The effort was more important than the results. I started recognizing myself in the face of rebuilding my life. 

I accomplished something big yesterday. A step that will let me physically rebuild. A milestone. And it doesn't even really matter what that is. Just know that when you have to tear down parts of your life to get to a better place, the rebuilding is hard. It's possible. It's a journey that in fact, never really ends. I wish for you that you're willing to start. That you realize the belief and trust in yourself to do it is much more valuable than actually attaining and getting to the next place. 

I realized when I heard this good news yesterday, how so many doors opened because of it. It took me a while to digest it. It's been a long road to get here. And slowly I've been realizing that I'm so grateful. I'm grateful for the long, arduous road I've been on. Because I'm so capable. I'm so honored to have the people around me that I do. I'm so thankful that I see who I am because of this struggle. 

It's this long, winding story of lows and highs and questions and unknowns and fears and gut feeling of trust and visions and friendships and love and seeing's all that stuff. This is what got me here. That's the accomplishment that'll continue. 

I wouldn't have it any other way...that's my little voice talkin'...she’s pretty loud these days.