The Beautiful Messiness of Being Human
Carl Jung said, “the world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.”
The world told me to be pleasant, to be quiet, to be hard working, selfless, and above all good. I not only became who the world asked me to be, I excelled at it. For over 3 decades I warmed myself under the glow of other’s approval. I out worked every person in every room. I made no excuses, I followed the rules, I made everyone happy and I built a beautiful life.
But a life built upon others ideals has no legs to stand on. It works, until it doesn’t. It holds until you push it past its original specifications, until you ask it to carry more than it was designed to carry. I thought becoming who the world preferred would be enough for me. It wasn’t. When I decided I wanted more, I quickly came to realize the very foundation I had built my entire successful life upon could not withstand my bigger dreams.
A foundation constructed of others’ rules, fear, and self abandonment simply could not bear the weight of the woman I longed to be.
It had to tear it down.
All of it.
Destruction was required to build anew. Destruction of what I thought to be true, of who I believed I had to be, of how I thought the world worked, of what I believed mattered most. I had to question everything I thought was real, look at parts of myself I wanted to ignore, and feel all of the pain I’d been avoiding.
I’m still sifting and sorting through the rubble, I’m deciding and discerning what is real and what isn’t. It’s not as simple as I thought it would be. I’m more than the world thinks, but I’m also exactly who the world has shaped me to be, the best of me forged along the way. Resilient. Strong. Unrelenting. Empathic. Compassionate. Kind.
I’m uncovering so many buried treasures as I dig. I excavate forgotten parts of myself I once believed were best left buried. I find broken shards and rusted pieces, discarded, ugly evidence of my humanity, vital pieces of myself I thought I had to hide to be worthy, to be loved.
I see the hurt of a little girl who could not yet read books but could read the room and understood she was more valuable quiet and perfect than noisy and inconvenient.
I find deep jealousy and bitter resentment towards friends I believed had it easier than me.
I see my death grip on perfectionism because it felt like the one thing I could control.
I see co-dependency with everyone else’s happiness and comfort above my own.
I see control as my source of safety and security.
I see so much impatience with others who don’t work as hard as me, pull their weight, or do things my way. I see frustration and irritation with slowness, inefficiency, and unproductivity.
I see rage. A lot of rage at ignorance, hypocrisy, and laziness. Which is why I hate my own ignorance, hypocrisy, and laziness most of all.
I see regret. I see so many missed opportunities to enjoy life more fully for fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of disappointing people whose approval I thought held the key to my happiness.
I see fear of my own light, my sexuality, my real power. I’ve buried these deepest of all because they’ve scared me the most.
I learned how to be good, but I never learned how to be free.
I learned how to please, but not how to be pleased.
I learned how to succeed, but not how to reign.
At one time I thought these parts of myself belonged hidden away, swept under a pretty rug in a room others would find comfortable enough to stay in awhile, but today I see them differently.
I’m pulling them out and dusting them off, examining the beautiful, broken, mess of my authenticity…imperfect, cracked, disjointed, so sharp you might cut yourself but real, oh so very real.
I’m putting these pieces back together. I’m reclaiming and rearranging the broken bits into a beautiful mosaic that is all of who I am.
I’m letting go of the idea that a beautiful life or a beautiful human is without flaws. I’m still learning to honor the parts of myself no one claps for. I’m still fighting to silence the voice that tells me I will be miserable and alone if the world sees the real me. I’m terrified of embarrassing my family, letting them down, or being less than who they believe me to be.
I wish I could stand here triumphantly pounding my fists into the air screaming girl power, and truthfully, some days I do, but most days there’s simply an deafening silence where the world’s voice once lived. The silence itself is uncomfortable. I’m learning to navigate life on my terms, from within. I’m learning to feel a desire and to trust it instead of dismissing it, from what to eat and what to wear to how to run my business, my family, and my entire life.
Instead of asking what makes a good woman and mother, I’m deciding.
Instead of wondering what it will take to succeed, I’m figuring out what true success is for me.
Instead of believing I’ll be more worthy once I arrive at the desired destination, I’m learning to slow down and enjoy the ride. Instead of wondering how many miles until I arrive, I remind myself daily, “I’m already here.”
Many days I feel a little lost and then I remember that where I’m going isn’t any better than right here, right now.
If you weren’t trying to achieve something, what would you do?
If you weren’t worried that you couldn’t have what you want, who would you be?
If you weren’t trying to be perfect, to prove your value to others, to be worthy, what would you stop?
Who are you when you aren't "being good?"
What would you being doing right now if you allowed yourself to be the messy, lazy, bitchy, entitled, pouty, jealous version of who you are?
Stop running from her.
She's a part of you. And the sooner you make space for her to stretch her legs and come into your life, the sooner you'll realize not only did you need to cast her aside...you actually need her.
Light and dark
All of it is required or none of it can exist.
Try embracing the parts of you you think you have to ignore or fix or overcome.
Lean in bitch.
It's where your magic lives.
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