Two true stories from two beautiful women*.
Short stories with long histories, broad reach and subterranean depths.
Beauty #1, a lovely, hardworking, dedicated, kind woman who was stuck. Literally and figuratively.
Miserable at work, convinced she was helpless, hopeless and unable to see another way.
She embodied sadness and frustration with constant and repetitive injury and illness.
The limited range of motion in her body was completely reflective of the narrow range she was allowing herself in life.
No movement, no self care, only processed foods. This left me confounded for a long long time.
Until I stopped offering ideas and just asked.
She said, “I think I deserve to feel this way.”
Beauty #2, an incredibly kind, warm woman, full of radiant light. Healing from surgery and a lot more.
On the mend and doing the work and experiencing the buds of renewal, growth and possibility.
She had finally allowed herself to show up, take up space.
To live life instead of just being alive. To find joy and experience bliss.
The suicide of a sibling had instilled a belief deep in her heart, for years, that it wasn’t fair if she could find joy and experience bliss if he could not.
This is neither the beginning nor the end of these stories.
This is not about the comparison or the “before and after” or reducing the complexity to a few lines.
It’s a process and a path and it’s never ever simple or linear.
This is about the lack of permission. The guilt and the untruths over the basic birthrights of feeling good, taking care of ourselves, being happy, creating the life we want.
Our bodies hold our stories, our experiences, our memories. What we tell ourselves. What others have told us about ourselves. It is recorded by our nervous system and embedded deep in our tissue.
If we tend to the physical wounds, but not to the stories they create, the wounds return.
The body whispers, and then it screams.
You have the choice to reword your story, to drop your labels. You are no more noble or spiritual or “good” for holding on to them.
How you do that is hard and takes work and is different for everyone. What you are living with and working through may feel insurmountable. But there is always another option.
To honor yourself. To lift your head and take some steps.
To explore the notion that it is just one story, and you can write a different one.
You are a gift, you have a gift, we need your gift.
When you are invested in ranking your worthiness against an untrue notion, when you are devoted to shoulds and shouldn’ts, you are robbing yourself of your birthright to joy and the world of your gifts.
Open the cage door and set yourself free. You matter.
let’s rock this thing.
*These anecdotes are reflective of the time when I met or knew these women.