This is a voice from my childhood, a voice that reminded me that I was too big, too sensitive, too outspoken, and too bright. The voice that put me in my place and taught me to play it small, stay in the shadows, and constantly prove my worth.
This is the voice I hear in my head now whenever I attempt to stretch my boundaries. Whether it be to accomplish my dreams or allow myself to rest, I hear myself wondering just who do I think I am.
We all have these voices inside of us, these messages that we received when we were little and internalized in only the way a child can. We gave these messages meaning, created stories and beliefs around them, and constructed our life choices from this place. As children, these were survival strategies that got us through whatever childhood challenges we faced. Survival strategies are a brilliant and intelligent way that we as human beings navigate the world. They work wonders, until they don’t. Eventually, as we feel the pull to grow and evolve, these strategies no longer work. Rather than helping us to navigate successfully through our lives, they become the source of breakdowns and pain. What once was effective is now something to be transformed.
As I sit in an attempt to stretch my boundaries of self-care and self-allowance, I am faced with my own internal strategy of performing and doing as a way to earn my worth and enough-ness in this world. What my soul needs right now is to rest and to be in a state of nothing-ness. To give myself the freedom to just be, as is, just me. What I must dance with is the extreme discomfort and tugging of that part of me that needs to keep moving and doing. The part of me that struggles to see that she is enough and her worth is her divine right. The part of me that has nothing to prove. The part of me that has kept me in constant motion, sometimes at super hero speed, to be and do everything.
And so now comes the work. The part where we must sit in the discomfort and welcome in all of the painful and uncomfortable feelings we work so hard to silence and keep away. To hold ourselves with love and acceptance, allowing the pain to arise and the feelings to be seen and expressed. To stay with this part of ourselves, for as long as it takes, as she grieves, heals, and moves forward. To have the courage to dive in and do this dance that will eventually set us free and connect us to the deeper truth and knowing.
Who do you think you are?
This voice of my childhood that has influenced my choices in staying in the shadows and playing small. This voice that has prevented me from choosing to rest and just be. This voice that was once painful and something I pushed away.
Well now… now it is a powerful voice that I welcome.
Who do I think I am??
I am Worthy!
I am Enough!
And as I sit in the vast space of nothing, I realize that I am everything.
For as long as I can remember, I have had this part of me that wants to change the world. I can remember being a very young child, loving so deeply and feeling the pain of the world on my shoulders and in my heart. I would cry about the unfairness faced by certain people and the mistreatment of others. I couldn’t understand why those around me didn’t seem to be as outraged and heartbroken as I was. Was there something wrong with me? Did I not really understand what it meant to love?
Over time, I started to believe there absolutely was something wrong with me. I was told that I was too sensitive, had too many standards, and needed to lighten up. It seemed as though everyone around me was going with the flow and taking life as it was, so why couldn’t I? Why did I always have to be the one that felt uncomfortable when someone said something I found offensive, yet made others laugh? Since I was the odd one out, I believed it was me and I gave up the fight.
A part of me went to sleep, shut down, closed off. I was tired of feeling alone in the world and carrying so much pain. I wanted to let go and be free, just like everyone else seemed to be. I tuned out and chose to walk blindly and lightly through life. And for a while, this felt pretty darn good. Life became simple and fun, and I lived in a self-created bubble.
Then came the day when I woke up feeling weary and disconnected from myself because it appeared that I had become numb. I had gone from being able to feel so deeply to not being able to feel at all. My heart had grown cold and distant and my inability to access it terrified me. I longed to be connected in the way I was before and had no idea how I was ever going to find my way back to this part of myself.
Perhaps this is why I now feel so committed to my purpose of infusing love into the world. See, it took some time, but I was able to find my way back to that deep and knowing part of me. The me that feels another’s pain so intensely that I can literally get physically nauseous inside when someone else is hurting. The me that wants nothing more than to positively impact the world and those around me. The journey is a lot more painful from this angle and there are days I feel as though my heart will literally break into pieces with all the suffering of the world.
But here’s the thing…
I wouldn’t change this path for anything because I know what it is not to feel at all. To be numb and blind. To be cold and distant. I know what it is to not be living authentically and to be denying important parts of myself their existence. To be disconnected from my purpose and my higher-self. I have travelled my past so that I can live my present and future.
As someone who has taken the journey, I want to share with you that your willingness to allow love to lead you in your life is worth the risk of any pain that may result. See, feeling emotions along the entire spectrum, good and bad, is so much better than not feeling at all. I know it is scary and that fear can grab on tight, but step by step you will come back to life and expand into life in ways that you can’t even imagine. It is in the choice to love that you will find the magic and beauty in life.
Sometimes I wonder why it has become so difficult for us to love one another.
When I think about life, and the way we enter this world, all I can think about is love. The act of creation stemming from a state of love. The moment a newborn is held, drenched in a field of love. The reflection from a baby’s eyes, nothing but pure love. Love is our natural state, it is where we come from and what we are made of. Love is the one thing we, as human beings, don’t have to learn to do. Ok, well maybe besides breathing.
So, what happens? Why does something that comes to us as naturally as breathing become one of the most difficult things for most of us to do?
You may be reading this and be thinking that you have no problem loving at all. That you love your children, your family, your friends. Heck, maybe you even love your neighbors and a few of your co-workers. That’s a heck of a lot of people, so loving isn’t an issue for you at all. Right?
Well, you tell me.
Loving the people that we choose to have in our lives can be easy when things are going well. After all, you surround yourself with those whom you have things in common with and people that you feel good around with. When all is aligned, love can flow easily from you and hopefully to you as well. But what happens when things are not going so well? What happens when you disagree or when a loved one disappoints or hurts you? What about when the unimaginable happens or tragedy strikes, are you still in a state of love?
And what about those outside of your circle? The people who hold opposing viewpoints or act in ways you can’t understand. Are you able to love them, or is love only reserved for those you have allowed into your inner sphere? For those who are like you and you can understand.
I think we have somehow come to believe that we have a limited amount of love available to give in our lifetime. We hold tightly to our love, reserve it for only the special and select few, and conserve it in fear of it being abused or overused.
I can remember feeling this way at one point in my life and making it so difficult for people to get to the point of me loving them. I couldn’t understand how others gave away their love so freely, offering it to people who came across their path as quickly and easily as they offer a smile or directions. It would actually upset me, and well if I am being honest, offend me. I believed that if they gave away their love so freely than it must not be of high value to them.
I could not have been any more wrong.
What I have come to understand is that love is endless and without limitations and, the more we give it away, the more easily we are able to create it. When we choose to love in those moments when it is hardest, when we decide to give our love to those who hurt or betray us, that is when we become flooded with boundless love within ourselves. When we choose to love those whom we don’t understand and give our love to people who are different, that is when we break through barriers and open spaces within us, allowing love to flow more freely.
When you really stop to think about it, holding back love or attempting not to love, requires a ridiculous amount of energy. It is exhausting and puts us out of alignment with who we have been created to be. It is not our natural state, and in the end, it hurts us and the world at large.
And so, I challenge you today to look at the way in which you love and find places where you can give it more freely and expand those you offer it to. Perhaps you can practice loving someone who has disappointed you or maybe you can practice loving someone new in your life. Play with this, be curious, and be open to whatever this playfulness around love has to offer you.