I am writing this blog because I would like to unlearn my ingrained and learned habit of hiding. Editing myself. Censoring what I say and to whom.
My goal is become ever more authentic. This is a deep value of mine.
If you enjoy reading my thoughts and experiences, great. I'd love to hear from you. If not, never mind. That's okay.
I'M CLEAR, AND I'M NOT CLEAR . . . YET
October 2, 2022
I am grounded and clear about my own identity and about what I value. I know that I am innately good and loveable, and I have confidence in this. Not to say I never screw up or miss the mark. I do. Yet, I am always God's Beloved. This is irrevocable, and comes without condition. I know that. I know it deep in my bones.
But does the church know it? Does my family? Am I accepted without condition in those places, too?
Here is the rub. I'm not so sure about my irrevocable belonging everywhere.
This touches on my deep fear of abandonment. It leaves me feeling shaky. Vulnerable to getting triggered and flooded and dis-regulated. It happens sometimes. And it's never fun. I lose my power in those moments (that sometimes last for days.) And even when I'm regulated and calm, I never feel entirely safe.
But what if I could know that if/when other people reject me - or parts or me - that whatever comes out of their mouths is about their own fear and their own unmet needs? What if I could know that in my bones?! What if I could have confidence about that?!
One of my teachers, LaShelle Lowe-Charde, assures me it's true. So does my former therapist, Steve Davies (may he be blessed.)
If I really knew that and kept that awareness in mind every time I went to share something risky about myself, wouldn't that leave me feeling safe? I would be able to care about others, and yet be like Teflon when it came to caring about the nature of their feelings about me.
In fact, I'm quite sure I would be a more caring person, more able to reach out, because I would actually feel safe.
If I receive praise? Well, that's nice. This other person is having some human need met by my actions. Let me ask them about it.
Getting rejection or heat? Well, okay. This person has some unmet human need. Let me guess what that might be and maybe even give them some empathy if I feel up to it.
Doesn't that sound powerful? It sounds like freedom! It's what I long for and what I'm aiming for.
Teflon woman, here I come!
CANT' HAVE BOTH . . .
September 10, 2022
When I joined the church at age 19, I killed myself off. I mean my authentic self. It was a death of my soul. Excruciating. I was the murderer, and I hated myself for it. But I never left the church. I wanted to get to heaven, and I thought this was part of the deal.
When I took my first class in Nonviolent Communication 28 years later I could finally make sense of it. I had made a choice (unconscious) within a system that was set up thousands of years ago.
The class, taught by Miki Kashtan, was titled, " It's Not Just Me: Bringing a Systemic Lens to Individual Healing." I was introduced to the Star of Life. It goes like this.
Us human beings are born into a contradiction. As tiny, new beings on this earth, we are forced to make a choice. We all make an unconscious choice. Either we can be safe and secure and belong to a community/family/tribe/church, or we can live in freedom and authenticity and in the truth of who we are and live without a safety net. But we can't have both. This is the system, as it is set up currently.
This is cruel.
I chose safety. I murdered my authentic self in order to belong to the church, to be safe and have a safety net, and to maintain my belonging in my family and faith community. This was cruel. But it wasn't my fault, exactly. I was just trying to make the best of the two choices I was offered.
Safety vs. Freedom. Belonging vs. Authenticity. These were my choices. And they are yours, too.
But why? Why can't we have both?! I want to belong! And I want to be myself. I want to be able to voice my opinions and thoughts without fear of being cast out. I want to live in freedom and truth.
I am trying hard to do that now. I mean, I am aiming to express myself, even when I fear the consequences.
It is so hard. I am afraid. I am afraid even to publish this. But I'm going to. I so badly want to reveal myself to the world. And to give you the permission to do so, too.
Here's to getting our needs for belonging and authenticity met - at the same time, in the same place, and from the same people!
May it be so.