I’m still learning how to be who I know I am.
There was a time when I was disconnected from my essence. I was trying to find myself, although I wasn’t lost. Rather, I was yearning to re-member myself. I was, quite literally, trying to reconnect all the parts of me to each other. Healing has called for increasing levels of self-awareness, and this self-awareness has, in turn, offered the deep healing of remembering myself, even as I evolve through space and time. And yet, I’m still learning how to be who I know I am in a culture that has often asked me to be someone else. I’m inspired by Kate Northrup’s recent Instagram post, where she responded to people who were decidedly “disappointed” in her speaking up about medical informed consent and bodily autonomy. She asserted, “I am not here to please you,” and elaborated on how, before responding with such grounded, thoughtful words, she had to take care of her nervous system that had momentarily gone into a survival response as a result of this disapproval. THIS is the work, and it’s so much of the healing work I’m continuing to do now. I’ve been strengthening my wholeness, and now I’m working to bring it forth. It can be challenging to stand fully in my essence in a world that doesn’t always support that, especially as I care for a traumatized, yet healing nervous system. But, as Kate Northrup said, “My purpose here is not to uphold your expectations of me. It’s to be true to myself. Living to uphold others expectations is the surest path to betraying yourself.”
I’m still learning how and what to share.
I post on Instagram and this blog often, and I want you to know that I’m still learning how and what to share. I sometimes feel conflicted about what I put out there, because I am offering a service to women, and I recognize that professional boundaries are important. And, at the same time, I think it’s important for women to know that I’m in the ring getting my healing ass kicked, too (thank you, Brené Brown for the verbage). What I don’t want to do is sanitize my experience—I don’t want it to look like I’ve got it all figured out or that I’ve reached some high place on a healing pedestal. I was inspired, once again, by a woman on Instagram, Layla F. Saad, who spoke about not sanitizing her experience, and I so appreciated her sentiments. I share my story with boundaries, and (see above) I’m still learning how to stretch those boundaries in ways that reflect the truth of my story and my healing so that people see the whole me. One of the comments I most often get about my website is that it’s pretty, and while I appreciate positive feedback, I cringe just a little at those words. Healing and evolving isn’t often pretty, even when we can zoom out and see the beauty in the challenge of it all. I’m aware that people will often see what they want to see, but I want you to know that if all you see is pretty or me having it all figured out, I want to assure you that I’m messy and I’m still learning, too. I am both/and. I am whole and I am still healing. I am more self-loving, self-trusting, and self-expressive than I’ve ever been, and that’s taken years of facing the messy, including my fears of being disliked or rejected, beliefs about not being enough, and a deep lack of trust in myself. I’m not always navigating the journey with grace, but I am always engaged in the journey.
I’m still learning how to do this work for myself and others.
One of the things that’s become so alarmingly clear to me of late (through my current exploration into healing trauma), is that healing is a systemic and political issue as much as it is an inside job. For a long time, I dismissed my own traumatic events and chronic stress as not being “real trauma,” or I took on all the responsibility for my illness and healing, unaware of how just being a woman in a patriarchal culture can be traumatic enough (or being a minority in a culture of white supremacy or identifying as LGBTQ in a culture of heteronormativity). Having a sense of safety in our bodies shouldn’t be a privilege—it is a right. We can do all the healing work, but if we’re still living in the same environment that cultivated our illness, our potential may be limited. This is one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about revolutionizing healing for people who identify as women, and why I always suggest homeopathic support be accompanied by coaching and mentoring around the impact of our internal and external environments on healing. I’m learning more and more that while we can and must heal our relationship with ourselves, we also have to work for systemic change. I have education and experience with personal healing and public health, and I’m still learning how to bridge the gap between these two. I’m doing this individual work now, and I know there’s larger-scale work for me to do, too.
Questions? Comments? I always welcome open, respectful discussion, but anything other than open, respectful discussion is not for this space.