As a child, I created a storyline, which I internalized as a belief, and have held it for most of my life. Like all stories, they feel true until we are willing to look at them fully and deeply. Looking into stories can be painful, and we've all also learned to avoid the pain. I did. I learned not to feel my sadness. I was often told not to cry when I felt really sad. The adults in my world wanted me to feel good and be happy, so their admonishment came from a good place, for sure, but I learned to not feel what was present for me.
The storyline I created sounds like this: if I'm more like you and less like me, then you'll love me more. I learned this storyline deeply--embodied it--and I practiced showing up in life more like the people whose love I felt I had to earn, or whose love I was afraid to lose.
My friends, it's hard to be someone else.
I'll make a distinction between emulating someone we admire--whose positive characteristics are ones we desire to cultivate in ourselves--and believing that someone will reject us if we don't become what they want us to become.
This belief I took on was my own choosing, offered to me by loving adults, who also told a version of this story to themselves. Most of us take on the fearful belief that we must be less than the fullness of who we truly are in order to be accepted and, ultimately, loved for who we are.
Beliefs are deeply powerful and personal ways that we create meaning about the world. When we arrived here as babies, we were open-hearted, pure love, and intimately aware of our connection to the Divine. We were also wholly dependent on others for survival, and it was our deepest desire to stay, with our family of origin. So we attached ourselves to the adults in our life as we began Earth school.
Most of the adults we chose, though, had been completely conditioned and therefore, most had wholly forgotten their own infinite nature. As we grew, we created a mental construct to reconcile the conflict in our consciousness between what we knew and what we experienced in the world around. The stories we created were to help us make meaning. The resulting beliefs cause us pain, beliefs like:
I’m not good enough.
I can’t have what I want.
Nobody listens to me.
I must follow the rules to receive love.
When we name our own, painful beliefs, we begin the process of unraveling our stories and coming home to ourselves. Part of this process means letting go of our ways of masking the pain.
My primary pain-avoidance practice has been busyness, because as long as I'm too busy, I can't take time to look at my own pain. I've over-invested myself in caring for others, building a career, and ignoring parts of myself that I just didn't want to see.
This work of slowing down, of learning who I am, and of being the fullness of me, is my life's work.
Last year, I left my corporate career and, now, I can see the gift I gave to myself. I stripped away all the outside busyness--the things in my life that gave me no choice but to be very, very busy. For months, I felt lost. I felt fearful, because there is nothing--outside of me--to point to and say, "that's the reason I can't be all of who I truly am."
If we desire to feel a peaceful freedom from the stories we've created that cause us pain, the only option is to own our beliefs because, unless we own them, we can't change them.
What this planet needs now, more than ever, is humans who are willing to be the fullness of who they are. Will you join me?