Here I was standing amid a crowd of people celebrating and smiling and dancing and all I could think about was how lost and unsure I felt. Tears started to well in my eyes and trickle down my face. I did not attempt to stop them. As my eyelids closed out the light and surrounding scene, I could feel arms wrap around my shoulders and pull me in to rest my head. In reaction, I let go and my body contracted and released in fits of crying. The celebration around me continued as I gave in to the emotions I had been gripping tightly to to not let show. As my eyes began to dry and my body heaved from exhaustion, I opened my eyes and found that I was surrounded by three giant men, arms wrapped around and holding me. These men shielded me from the celebration that was not congruent with my current experience and made space for me to have my own experience. And then it dawned on me. I didn’t need to suspend my true experiences for the comfort and convenience of others in order to keep them in my presence. Humanness attracts humanness. And when I show up in my own humanness, other humans follow.
For those of you who have felt that you cannot show anyone that you sometimes struggle for fear that you will be seen as weak. For those of you who continuously hold space for other’s to process and be vulnerable, but choose not to process with others because you are afraid they cannot handle your darkness or stress or struggles. For those of you who are therapists, healers, mothers, fathers, partners, shamans, coaches, spiritual leaders, and masters of your profession. Remember that yes you are amazing at who you are and what you do; however, don’t forget that you are human and to be human means that we feel less than desireable feelings at times and that is beautiful. Vulnerability and moments of needing are what connects us together as humans, but only if we share them.
It’s a basic human desire to want to be seen, heard, loved, or held by another person from time to time. We’ve developed a society that praises self-sufficiency and as a result created shame surrounding the expression of need. We call it co-dependency, being “too needy”, or attention-whoring and as a result hide the feelings and desires for comfort or reassurance because we “don’t want to be a burden” or appear “weak.”
It’s ok for us to teach and show others about self-love and then to have moments where we slip into negative self-talk. It’s ok to be a mom of three kids and sometimes have those times where you feel you can’t keep up. It’s ok that you are having a moment where you feel lost, scared, alone, or disconnected at the same time your partner does.
You don’t have to continue to feel this way. But you have to trust yourself enough to show up in it. Trust that you will be ok whether others receive what you are experiencing or not. Trust that you are not the only one who feels this. Trust that you are never stuck with this same exact emotion every moment to moment for the rest of your life. Trust that you are human and by the nature of that design you are good.
Feel what you feel. Own your own experience. Express authentically what you feel. Receive. Allow.
No one is born knowing how to love and to receive love. This is why you must practice by showing up, opening up, and learning. It isn’t always met with positive reaction and that has nothing to do with you as a person, but rather the other person’s own inner self-criticism that is being projected on to you. And when your heart gets broken, instead of collapsing into it, celebrate it. Because this is a sign that you’ve opened yourself up to practice receiving. And you survived and can do it again.
Once upon a time I lost my shit, and someone very dear to me said: “Do you have a large, pink, squishy mass in your head that goes thunk thunk thunk? And a round, squishy, red thing in your chest that goes thump thump thump? Yes? Well that means you are human. And humans have experiences like this. They try to put everything into logical terms, only to realize it still hurts. That’s because we are emotional creatures and our experiences don’t tend to make much logical sense.”
It’s ok to lose your shit every now and then. Accepting and revealing this reality builds connection with others.
Welcome back to the human experience. We’ve been waiting for you.
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