That’s right. I said “AWESOMENESS!” After all, Shonda taught me to own my badassery and I am. Therefore, I am awesome and so you are. We may not be awesome every single moment of the day (FYI, no one is), but we are still powerful, awesome beings. And knowing this makes me want to shout from the roof top and pee my pants. Hey, being awesome is a kind of scary. The truth is I’ve allowed this fear of my awesomeness to prevent me from living a wholehearted life. Dreams were smushed and lost to the ether. But I’m tired of living small and watching dreams fade into nothingness. I am ready to shine! Aren’t you?
Don’t get me wrong, It’s not my belief that I’m the second-coming of Beyonce or Taylor Swift or Adele. I’m not talking about that kind of superstar.
I want to be the kind of superstar who embraces her skills versus hiding their full power from the world. To stop being the Goldilocks of Success. Not too much, not too little but just enough so I feel good AND safe. Enough with the safe. Let’s take some risk.
And now I’m back to wanting to pee my pants. Just keeping it real.
Choosing a Wholehearted Life
Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, spoke to me on so many levels and taught me about wholehearted living. She influenced my decision to change the focus on A Mindful Migration sooner rather than later because I want to live an authentic, wholehearted life where I feel connected and enough. This also means getting vulnerable, which many of us — myself included — struggle to do. We believe our vulnerabilities make us weak and should be hidden, while the opposite is true.
By nature, I am private and exposing my vulnerabilities, even to myself, makes me extremely uncomfortable, which is why I avoid doing it.
And yet ….
Just like I smushed my dreams into oblivion, I smushed my feelings, rather than dealing with them or expressing them in a constructive manner. But unlike my dreams, they didn’t fade into ash. They hid underneath the surface, lurking and biding their time. I fed them a tablespoon of doubt, a cup of anger and few shakes of guilt and mixed my emotion soup into a monster who ravaged me from the inside.
A Depression Monster Unleashed
Fact: Depression affects 1 out of 10 Americans. What causes depression is still unknown but is likely a mix of genetic, biological, environmental and psychosocial factors. Also fact: my years of unwillingness to be vulnerable and deal with my hurts and wounds is why this time has been so different and difficult. The monster finally broke free and demanded a reckoning.
This realization crushes me because this is my fault. Sure, the blame does not lie solely at my feet and yet it also does. I am the one who chose to bury my emotions and wounds and let them fester. And I am the one who must deal with the aftermath: low self-confidence, feelings of unworthiness, fear of not being enough and high anxiety where I over-think to the point of paralysis. I lost years sitting on the sidelines, numb to the world.
I am mad but that doesn’t change the past. But I am powerful enough to change the present.
I Set Myself Free
The first, important step for me to reclaim my power was to be extremely vulnerable and share a weakness that has much misinformation and stigma attached to it. But there shouldn’t be, which is why I told you the truth about living with depression.
It is scary and freeing. But it’s also real.
And to me, that is what wholehearted living is about. To be real and live with your whole heart, including the good and damaged parts. You decide what and with whom to share but always, always be honest with yourself. Don’t hide or smush those parts you don’t like or fear. Shine the brightest light you can on them.
This Little Light of Mine
Maybe there are some really dark places you’ll need to venture into before you can finally heal those wounds. In other instances, you may find that the hurts are mere flesh wounds and easily mended. In the end, what truly hurts us long-term is not knowing what hides in those dark places. I made-up stories and believed them, even though the stories were often lies or half-truths. But I still believed.
Fortunately, I know now that I do this and catch myself when I start making mountains out of molehills. I tell myself to stop and shine a light on what’s really going on: 99% of the time I am in protection mode. I make-up stories because I’m scared and feeling insecure about myself or my abilities. So I remind myself (sometimes repeatedly) that the truth, whether it’s good or bad, is always less painful than believing the lies.
Ready for a Awesome, Wholehearted Life
Sign me up! I want to embrace my inner goddess and live wholeheartedly. To put myself out there at full wattage versus a dimmed, safe version. And to truly shine bright without worrying what others think and owning my badassery. Best of all, I recognize that this is possible. Even though I’m still not super comfortable with being vulnerable, I recognize the reward — a wholehearted, awesome life — is worth the effort. Because facing our fears and vulnerability is what ultimately make us strong and awesome.
I wonder — what would happen if I unleashed my awesomeness? What would happen if you did it too?
I say we do it together.