I’ve committed to living my lessons out loud, because I believe that we learn so much through story. Through truth-telling, transparency, and the willingness of others to be all things real and human.
I’m living and breathing today because of sweet strangers who told me their stories and listened to mine. I found the courage to leave a toxic relationship because of the brave individuals who bared their souls in blogs and left their words online for me to stumble across. I’m where I’m at in my life, work, and relationships because I found just the right messages at just the right times in random places throughout the years. Not to mention the many brilliant authors who took slivers of their souls and bound them into the books that gave me wisdom and guidance in times of need.
So, I pay it forward. I speak my truth. I share my stories. I let people know they’re not alone, even if I never know their names. I live my lessons out loud.
Sometimes, though… I don’t know how to tell you the stories I want to tell you. Sometimes I don’t have words for the moments that crack me open and force me to step into new ways of showing up. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed by the absolute absurdity that is living this life and doing this deep work that I simply cannot form strings of coherent sentences.
I did a bad thing recently.
The thing itself was fine and good, but the reasons I did it were all wrong. So wrong I knew in that very moment I could no longer choose to operate from that place anymore. I could no longer be the me I was before that single instance in time—I had to choose an entirely new way of being or I simply wasn’t going to survive, let alone grow in all the ways I desire.
There exists this point in the work of becoming who we’re here to be that is nothing but pain. It’s not pretty or graceful or fun to talk about, let alone live through.
This point of pain is inevitable, because you’re standing smack inside the in between. You’ve become too aware of your patterns, limiting beliefs, and old ways of being that it actually becomes EXCRUCIATING to continue operating from that space. The bending and folding and trying to fit damn near kills you—literally, actually, physically—despite the fact that it’s the very thing that’s kept you safe, secure, and successful up until this point.
But even though the old way of being is unbearable to the point that making choices from this space feels bad and wrong and oh so awful… you’re also not quite sure how to step into something new or different. Claiming what you desire is downright TERRIFYING. Owning your worth, setting clear boundaries, and facing the level of loss that comes with stepping into it all—it feels like you’re being ripped clean in two.
That’s why most people don’t do this work… why they never quite actualize their potential or bring their visions to life… why they slip back into old patterns and continue the cycles of years past.
Because it’s frickin’ hard.
Because it hurts the way it does.
Because it requires leaving so much behind.
Don’t get me wrong… there’s been plenty of laughter and love and beautiful moments I will cherish for the rest of my life inside the in between. There’s SO MUCH GOOD woven alongside the pain of this transition, but there’s pain nonetheless.
That’s all it is, though: transition.
It’s just the feeling of growth at this level.
It’s just what your cells feel like as they change.
It’s just the experience of shifting how you show up.
It’s just the grief that accompanies the losses as you let go.
As Anaïs Ninn writes, “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
I did a “bad” thing recently, but it was also one of the best things I could have done… because it showed me that I’ve reached a tipping point. A point where the pain, terror, and risk of stepping into who I’m here to be—really, fully, truly—is far less painful than operating from those old patterns, limiting beliefs, and ways of being. It’s become far less painful to show up than to hide out.
But only because I don’t beat myself up or get stuck spinning. I keep moving. I keep doing this work. I keep committing to seeing my stuff, facing my wounding and shadows, and feeling everything ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
The transition can hurt.
And that can actually be a very good sign.