I admit it. I like it when people like me. That is my co-dependency. I want people to like me, to approve of my choices, my life, me. And when you step off the path of conventional living, of external approval and shoulds, it creates upheaval, discomfort in your family, friends, work, world. It creates upheaval for yourself, because this addiction of being liked has to be healed, you have to do the steps, you have to learn to speak your truth, to make choices for yourself and no one else. Regardless of their disapproval and most painfully regardless of how much you want them to love you, see you and cheer you on. For they have known you a certain way as the good girl, the golden girl. You’ve been a certain way with them and life was smoother, known and suddenly you are divorcing your husband and traveling the world, and then coming back and trying to fit in and put on a good show (which they don’t know because you are completely hiding all the angst and change from them because you are keeping up with who they know…why make it uncomfortable for them?) So you stifle your truth, your new ways of looking at the world, new beliefs and values that are emerging- regardless of your age. You stay the good girl, the good employee. Until the cracks begin to show: disease, disharmony, depression and are too painful or you get to a point where there has finally been so much transformation you blow, your body collapses on you as the myth creates more pain than living your truth.
You start honoring yourself more and more because you realize that is what matters, you love you for you. The real you rather than the pretend you created to survive in your family, in your culture, your marriage…life. Maybe you get rid of tv, magazine subscriptions, stop shopping at chain stores, start dancing, start saying no, go vegan, go paleo, go wild.
Bit by bit you come home which means leaving the home you were raised in.
And that is painful, so painful.
So along with the joy, delight and relief of coming home to yourself is discomfort, frustration, pain.
The light and the dark doing their dance.
There is resistance on all sides. Most of our programming is established by the time we are 6 to 7 years old. So we resist the things we know are so good for us, we worry about losing love, and we know that as much we want to bring these people on this journey with us, we finally get, that it’s up to them to decide if they want to hop on this particular roller coaster, because maybe they are fine on the merry-go-round, or the tea cups, to each their own. But the pain of trying to get them to change to really SEE you, to UNDERSTAND you creates more pain, more lost time, more disappointment. Because you think they love like you do, unconditionally, huge, you think they see the world in the same way and want the same things and they don’t. They are different people, with their own life experiences and what they value may be completely different than what you value. And you have to value what you value. And they value what they value. It's really quite simple. And super painful.
So let’s quit trying to change one another and enjoy the differences.
I had to become proud of my divorce, of traveling the world, of trusting my intuition first and foremost, of dancing, of taking workshops, of all the seemingly crazy-ass, lazy, lost, exploring my essence, my divine feminine (I didn’t even know what that was 7 years ago!), reclaiming my wild heart and body…all these things that are emerging in our world, in our lives. It’s new. It’s the change. I mean there are videos of 64 year-old women pole dancing now. 13 year-olds create multi-million non-profits. Lady Gaga is singing Julie Andrews’ tunes. Times are a changing and I just need to live my truth.
I can’t expect anyone to change for me. Because I don’t want to change for them (actually I did want to change to get them to love me, I’ve just learned that would be a crying shame because I’m pretty damn awesome the way I am).
There are so many choices I’ve made these past few years based on my intuition, I knew I was making the perfect choice for me. Except for one. I kept trying to get my family to hop on board this roller coaster with me. I kept trying to explain the value of the roller coaster, I kept trying to get them to love this roller coaster! And when they didn’t get super excited about the roller coaster I took it so personally and it wasn’t. I wanted them to be my cheerleaders, I wanted them to say “We are so proud of you that you are following your heart, your truth, that you are brave enough to step on this wild roller coaster. We don’t get it but we are proud of you!” And they couldn’t. Until I could separate myself (I believe they call it individuation in psychology) until I could separate and trust I would still be loved by them in some form, and more importantly I would still be loved by me, and my tribe, my people.
And I couldn't’ do that if was trying to be the black sheep and the golden girl all at once. And it is that crazy-ass dance, my resistance to my truth, to my wild ways, my little girl wanting a parade thrown in her honor by her family that caused me so much more pain. Because my awesome parents, they don’t throw parades for women who do one-way tickets, celebrate the solstice, talk with strangers about past lives and healing the divine feminine, who wear crystals to heal their chakras, or have reiki workers and shamans as their friends.
It’s not who they are.
It is who I am.
I’ve done them and me a disservice in asking them to change. So this is my letter to them, to you, to all of us. I’m sorry I didn’t speak, own and celebrate my truth sooner. I did the best I could. I speak it now because I finally feel safe in being me. I finally trust this is exactly who I meant to be and I am so damn happy about who I am, about my gifts, talents and way of living. I did it when I finally felt safe that I would still be loved and safe in this world. And I’m sorry I asked you to be different when I was so angry and hurt at you for asking me to be different.
I forgive myself for trying so hard and staying so long, I forgive us all for disapproval and doubt. I forgive myself for wasted time and trying to be the golden girl when I am so the black sheep, when I am here for the new. I love us all. I love you all.
here are you still dancing between the old and the new? Trying to be approved of and live your truth? Reclamation is not a smooth journey but it is one that is beyond powerful. It is what creates more love in the world and that is what this world needs.