I'd like to think that I am all of those things but one. Athletic. And for who knows what reason, I let that one go awhile back. Even I don't know exactly why....but I do know without a doubt that it was emotional baggage that pulled me back.
If it was simply a matter of moving more, and eating less, everyone would do it.
It is rarely ever that simple.
I'm still working on myself...working on letting go, opening up, and allowing myself to be fully loved, and openly vulnerable. It sounds so easy, but there are still so many things I'm carrying around in my Shame Backpack. Stupid things, really. And logically, I understand that letting them out of the bag won't change a damn thing about me, who I am, what I do, or the past, of course.
But emotionally, fear stands in my way. Fear that people will look at me differently. Judge me. Or (biggest fear here) stop loving me.
I know that I am not alone in these struggles, feelings and fears....but I sometimes feel that I am because I blab on about them so often while trying to wrestle them down. And I don't hear as much chatter from my some of closest girlfriends. Maybe I should work on listening more, and talking less. I don't know.
What I do know, is that I'm about to crack some stuff open...I can feel it bubbling up, the words always on the tip of my tongue.... I'm teetering here on the edge, afraid and unsure, and now knowing how to start. So I signed up for an online course with Brene Brown. If you haven't seen her TED talk on vulnerability, watch it here. (take the 20 minutes to watch it. I promise you won't regret it.)
And last night I started the journalling process. "Creative journalling", they call it. Except I've never fancied myself as "creative".
And I noticed a couple of strange habits....what they mean, or where they came from, I haven't quite figured out yet.
Page #1. Give myself "permission slips" to use throughout this process. Permission to make mistakes, cry openly, be vulnerable, tell the truth, and share my heart with people who have earned the right to know me wholly.
I messed up the first page with permanent marker. I tried fixing it, but didn't like it. It didn't look good enough. I tore the whole page out and started fresh.
I re-did the page, using stickers with lines on them - so cute! (side note: I've never spent so much time at craft stores as I have this past week) I made a spelling error. And I sat there looking at it....trying to decide if I could live with this little mistake. Turns out, NOPE. But my page was nearly done damn it! So I slowly, carefully, and tediously peeled that sticker off the page, tossed it in the garbage and applied a new one.
My #1 "permission"...and I couldn't do it. Please, someone comment below to tell me that I am not alone in this.
And now that I think about it, I have also never gone to the grocery store with a list that "looked messy", or had any spelling errors.
For our journals, we also had to take the picture above, with the words "I'm imperfect and I am enough" - to remind us not to be so bloody hard on ourselves.
The end goal of this class is to get to a point where we accept our imperfections, let go of our shame, and allow ourselves to feel vulnerable. And this vulnerability (or as I currently see it, The Devil = weakness), is supposed to allow us to feel closer to the people we love the most. And those people? They should love us not despite our imperfections....but because of them.
By opening up and being truly honest about our stories and our fears, those walls should come down a little bit at a time. And from that, we start to feel worthy, lovable, strong, and truly connected.
Scared. Doing it anyway.