This blog post is my last in a series leading up to Thanksgiving. I feel like, in a way, this blog series has helped me to unearth myself or birth myself back into my life. I feel more centered in who I know myself to be and more connected to my creative life.
I struggle to expose myself with this level of vulnerability, and yet I feel safer in the written word than almost anywhere else in my life. Writing is a dependable way for me to translate the vibrations that make up my being into a code that others can connect with. Communicating in person is very overwhelming for me because I am so deeply aware of what is going on for the other person. When I write, I have full access to myself and I am able to be authentic and grounded in who I am experiencing myself to be in this moment, without drowning in the emotions of whoever I am sharing company with.
My work as a coach, Registered Nurse, Spiritual Director and Yoga teacher gives me the opportunity to put myself aside and focus solely on the emotions and needs of the other person. This is where I am most comfortable, putting myself aside in service to another. Most of my relationships, even personal ones, end up this way because it is my default setting. It is what I have learned to do in order to be good, to be right, to be loved. This skin has grown too tight, however. I long to experience belonging, intimacy, connection, ease and comfort. Achieving and serving are honorable, but they are not complete. I am not whole, and I am longing for wholeness in my life and in the world.
I share these intimate details of my journey because I do not think that I am alone. I think that we are living in a time of disconnection and separateness, despite the illusion of being hyper-connected. Like me, I think many people have traded their authenticity for being "the right person," for being loved. A friend recently reflected that the journey to loving ourselves is the journey to healing the world. It is not until we deeply love and honor ourselves that we will have the capacity to understand what needs to happen to heal the world we live in. This felt deeply true to me.
My friend wasn't talking about the western commercialized idolatry of the persona that we have come to think of when we talk about self-love. This version just props up the persona with an endless list of fixer-upper qualities (physical and emotional) that we have to accomplish before we can be lovable. No, real self-love is messy-like the Scandinavian winter tradition called Hygge. We love ourselves in the messiness of it. We love all of the imperfections and we celebrate being casual and unfiltered and real. That is the love that makes wholeness and connection possible. It is the kind of self-love I am striving for in this blog post. I am claiming all of myself, the good and the not so good, the competency and the uncertainties, the glitter and the grime.
The need to be good and to prove that I am good has been in the driver's seat of my life for far too long. I am ready to be good enough. I am ready to be enough. I am ready to be whatever I am, and to love what I find. I am ready to believe that at my heart and in my essence, I am made of the same sparkling love that this entire beautiful world is made from. How could that possibly be bad? I am grateful to find rest here, in this messy life just as it is.