Once upon a time I cared a great deal what people thought of me. Not only was it important for me to appear a certain way to the outside world, but I would tolerate things (and people) because of what I thought they added, regardless of what they cost. I held on tightly to every aspect of my image because I was afraid letting them go would suggest something about me. That if I failed to juggle it all and hold all the pieces it would speak to my own inadequacies.
Moreover, if I–the real me, whatever that was–was not praised for my three ring circus I took it as a cue to work harder at the act. Do more be more. Completely impossible standards and yet for years and years I struggled to meet them. I fell short and I could not appreciate myself because I was waiting for someone else to do it first. I was waiting to be acknowledged and yet, I had not even acknowledged myself.
I recently “got it”. I think of the day after I chopped my hair off and Zachary said to me, “I can see where you are now.” It wasn’t the hair.
Recently I came across a bully. I felt it in my gut, that discomfort and also that pull at wanting to somehow ignore it for the sake of peace. But a few days later I had to ask, what is this so-called peace costing me? I called a spade a spade and decided I didn’t want much to do with them, and instantly felt at ease.
Jill asked others to be responsible for the energy they brought into the space. I ask it of myself. To be responsible for the nouns (people, places, things) that I devote energy to. And not only that, but to listen to my body and stop letting my ego make decisions. That part of me craves validation and acceptance. My greater self is secure and acknowledges my independence as well as my interdependence.
For a while it’ll be work, to remember. To say to myself your song is beautiful even if no one hears a single note. But time does not deter my effort. I already know how it works. I know, now, I cannot sacrifice my soul for temporary comfort. I am a work in progress.
Its a liberating thing to be able to let things and people go. To not need them in a desperate, frightened way. To be able to know when something is not right for you and to have it be well with your soul to release it from your space.