So I’m doing a thing. I’m scared, big time.
It may be one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. And I’ve done a ton of brave things.
I’ve stayed married to the same guy for over 30 years. (Full disclosure: this has required much more courage on his part than mine… he’s easy; I’m a nut-bag.) I’ve raised five children, three of whom were labeled “autistic spectrum” in their growing-up years. (I’ll own this peculiarity in their behaviors… I’ve got issues… with pants, certain foods, eating out. And crowds. Probably OCD. Some anxiety. Uh, yeah, issues.) I’ve started my own businesses, forgiven others and myself, run 100 miles all in one weekend, traveled alone, dared to dream, wrote a book and lotsa songs. I’ve listened to hundreds and hundreds of stories throughout the years – and cried, laughed, consoled, and encouraged countless souls in my training practice.
I share my time, my money, my talents. I give away my resources, opinions, wisdom, and you can eat any of the food in my fridge any time. You don’t even have to ask.
But… I do not share my-self.
I seldom post on media platforms. Often when I do, you’ll never know because I post then delete within seconds. WTF, I often groan inwardly. Why can’t I put myself out there? An introspective sort, I’ve pondered this ad nauseum.
I used to think it was a fear of abandonment, but I can handle being on my own and taking care of myself. That’s not why I am loathe to be exposed, out there for the world to see, panicked by the thought that someone could be scrolling, see “my stuff,” and not approve. I remember when I was a kid wanting to be invisible. I struggled with suicidal thought patterns for so many years. So. Many.
After some soul searching, I have come to the bottom of why. Peeps, it ain’t pretty. I do not share ME because I am overwhelmingly fearful of being rejected. Like, ohmygodimightdie.
I’ve tried to think of ways that I can get over this fear of rejection. But I keep hearing: THE WAY OUT IS THROUGH. The way out of this feeling of being rejected is by putting myself out there and allowing myself to feel vulnerable, possibly and likely rejected by at least a few, and to realize that I survived.
I survived the worst case scenario. I posted. And I lived.
I’ve realized that this fear of rejection is the symptom of a deeper ache. I’m still in the process of looking myself in the mirror and thinking, “yup, I approve of me.”
So I’m doing a thing. Every day in May, my birthday month, I will be posting. I am the result of many wonderful people who have held space for me, loved me when I just couldn’t quite yet, listened to my aching heart, dried my tears, and then told me to get my ass up and moving because I look real shitty in Victim. From deep gratitude for these souls, I will be posting a little paragraph and a song that reminds me of them. I put all the names into a cup and pulled them out at random – and I’m super duper excited to share these Dear Lifesavers with the world as I gingerly make my way out from under the covers.
Much love & hope,