Falling Forward

Last year I asked my meditation for an exorcism.  I wasn’t kidding.  Everyone laughed, but I was dead serious.  I was in pain and I didn’t like it and I wanted it to be over.  I wanted to go back to a time when I felt nothing, when the numbness was way better than the pain.

Most of my life I turned away from people, places, things.  I never fought for my “right” to own the space I existed in.  Instead of defending myself, standing up for myself, often times I would just “leave”.  By leaving I mean not engaging with people, not “getting into it”, not hanging out with them anymore. Withdrawal.  Instead of owning all of myself I let other people’s comments dictate what I did.

Instead of saying “don’t treat me that way”, I’d just stop talking to them.  I couldn’t seem to voice how I felt about things so I said nothing.  I kept it all in.  And eventually that turned into a big black hole.  The first time I meditated I saw it.  It was a nothingness that was sort of scary but sort of comforting at the same time.  I knew that black hole contained all of the things I had shoved under the proverbial rug.

All of my fears, my limiting beliefs were in there.  All of the shitty things I’ve done that I’m not proud of.  They were there .  All of the aloneness, loneliness.  That was there.  It was enormous.  I remember feeling a sense of calm looking at it… like “oh good, it’s exactly where I left it”, but then shortly after the realization that my peace, joy and happiness was inside there too.

In the beginning I emptied all of the shitty stuff there… my fears, my low self confidence, anything I didn’t like, things people said or did to me and I took out masks.  I began to say all kinds of things but nothing of any substance.  I was a little edgier, a little saucier.  I little  more I don’t give a fuck but I really do but I’m pretending I don’t 😉 Follow me? As I look back now I can see how ill fitting those masks were in the beginning.  They eventually became part of me so I couldn’t recognize the masks from who I really was.

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Eventually, it wasn’t only the bad stuff that went in there.  Not dealing with it, not processing it eventually meant that it robbed me of my joy, happiness, peace and I became angry, bitter.  Anger and fear of not being good enough ruled my life for a long time.  There was an undertone of anger to everything I did.  I became less and less the happy go lucky person I once was.  I became jaded.  I rarely laughed anymore.  Everything was serious and I was constantly proving myself.

I seemed to seek out and attract those that needed and wanted to be “fixed” and didn’t at the same time.  I was desperately trying to fix them in an attempt to prove that I could, that I could fix people, that I could help people and if I could do that, then I’d be good enough.

Now that’s not how it played it out consciously. Consciously it was more like a temper tantrum and flipping out because people wouldn’t just fucking do what I said!  FAWK!  If they’d just fucking listen they’d get what they were after.  And I’d help them and we’d all be happy. Instead they just kept complaining about not getting it and I was trying everything, working even harder to help them, but we were caught in a vicious cycle.  They wanted to be saved and I wanted to save them but only they could save themselves.  I could help and guide and lead but if they couldn’t show up for themselves, then there was nothing really I could do.

Yet I made it mean I wasn’t good enough.  That if I was good enough I would have figured it out.  And when they told me it was my fault, I believed it.  I didn’t see that it was their stuff, including the blame.

It wasn’t until I got into the black hole that I realized that I believed everything they said about me.  Even though I knew better, even though I knew it was theirs, I still made it mine as if that somehow that would make me better.  I worked myself to exhaustion trying to be good enough by fixing people.  And all along I didn’t see those who loved me anyway… who were there for me anyway, who didn’t care if I failed or if I succeeded.  They cared but it wouldn’t make them love me.

And that was the root.  I was trying to prove I was good enough to get love, to “earn” it, as though just existing wasn’t enough reason to be loved.

And trust me that conversation sounded nothing like that.  It sounded a lot like whining about why people didn’t “get it”.  And it sounded a lot like anger and it sounded a lot like “no one cares”.  But there was an underlying cause for all of that which had nothing to do with the conversation that was coming out of my mouth.  I had to get under it.

It wasn’t until I went into that darkness, into the anger, into the frustration and bitterness that I understood where it came from.  Here I was trying to fix people who didn’t want to be fixed because of my limiting belief that I wasn’t worthy or good enough.  If I could fix them, then I’d be good enough.  It was a self fulfilling prophecy.  As long as I was trying to do something to be something then I was just setting myself up for failure.

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Going into the black hole was the hardest thing I’ve ever done… sitting in there with all the feelings of not being enough, of always being wrong, of never getting anything right, of making the same mistakes over and over again.  And the moments of shame, humiliation when others pointed out your flaws.  All of the rejection, hurt, pain, loss, fear.  Sitting in there with that, shifting through it was suffocating and freeing at the same time.

Every time I dealt with something I didn’t think I could deal with, I was a little freer.  Some of the things I picked up and looked at and had to lay back down… too painful right now.  Move on to the next one.  But I kept going. And at some point I had all of the really tough ones left.   The smaller hurts and pains and fears were shifted through, processed, made sense of and let go.  But the big ones… that’s all there was left…

I thought it would kill me.  But it didn’t.  It sucked but it was way easier than I thought it would be.  All of the small things had actually given me a lot of resilience to get through the big things.

And here’s what I learned most –>> it’s not into the light we find ourselves.  It’s in the darkness.  It’s in having the courage to feel the pain.  Shutting down is easy, feeling the hurt isn’t.  Checking out is easy, having tough conversations isn’t.  Blaming someone else is easy, letting people see you isn’t.  Getting angry is easy, looking within and allowing yourself to experience your emotions isn’t.

That’s how we fall forward.

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In order for us to live happy, authentically, we need to get into the dirt. We need to process it and let it go and make new commitments to our selves that we’ll be open, honest, especially with ourselves, that we’ll say what we need to say instead of stuffing it down.

I spent my whole life running from myself.  Now I will spend the rest of it running to myself.  And helping others do the same.  Your failure isn’t my failure anymore.  They are not connected unless I connect them and the only reason I would connect them is because I want to feel down, because I like the way it hurts because I believe I am wrong, not enough, not worthy.

Now I know I am.  Now I know how to process those feelings much faster.  I know which friends to call when I need help with it.  And I do my mindset, my workouts. my healthy food  everyday so I can show up fulling in my own life.

Shutting down is easy.  Choosing to live is hard when you’ve been hurt.

That’s how we fall forward. Every day we learn a little more, we stand a little taller, we let go a little more until we’ve come full circle.  Life’s not meant to be a struggle and then die.  We have 2 dates and a dash.  What we do with the dash is our choice.

Tonya

PS… Wild Souled Wellness is all about falling forward, having the courage to get real about who we are, what we want and making ourselves important enough to get it.  Join the Tribe of Wild Souled Women here –>> Facebook Group.

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