today. reflection in my office door.
i have this idea. the idea is that i come clean with the truth-y guts of what has been happening to me. to write the equivalent of a naked self-portrait and to chronicle this cracked path to wholeness that i am walking on. and then, each time i sit to begin, it all sounds so mundane. so average. so obvious. like i should already have gotten this by now. i start to judge it. i cringe. i get embarrassed. i shrink. i feel shame. i stop.
and that, right there, is the root of all that has been holding me back.
somewhere deep, and right up at the surface, is a tired old rulebook that suggests i play it cool, suck it up, act unimpressed and hold it in. this is the same rulebook that informed me to tighten my belly and hide my thighs. to temper my enthusiasm and quiet my excitement. to pretend, play along, camouflage. that these, and countless other tactics, are the only way i have made it this far.
now, intellectually, i recognize what is behavior and mechanism. i can identify the stuff that little girls figure out when they want to feel safe, loved, and enough. but knowing, as a thirty-nine-and-a-half year old woman? that is entirely new territory. the kind of territory that makes me cry with relief. suggests freedom and the promised land. joy. hope. presence. potential. redemption. death and rebirth.
why this is happening right now makes perfect sense. i've tapped into my dreams. i've paved a way for myself in the world. shouted from the mountain tops, as far away as africa and india, what it is i want to be when i grow up. what i am now, as a grown up. the ship sailed. the plane took off. and now the inner landscape has some major clearing out to do.
geneen roth's book, women, food, and god, is playing a huge role in naming what it is i am healing. a lifetime of judgement where kindness ought to have been, of numbing precious vulnerability, and of locking up what was always meant to be free. i am on my second reading of this book, the first was almost more than i could bear. a few pages at a time and the truth felt like the burn from a magnifying glass in the sun. now, as the warmth of her words are making their way through on the second round, i feel a pleasure and permission in allowing the wisdom she speaks to become my own.
(and now oprah is onto the book. it's not just me? it is possible that i am normal? that we are all evolving together? oh the compulsion to play it cool and act as if i already knew this stuff is crazy making.)
i am learning to sit with, love, and welcome ALL of my hungers. it's uncomfortable. foreign. and feels a little indulgent. much more so than the most decadent meal. my instinct has always been to fix first, heal second. it has never worked. the cleansing, the fasting, the berating, even the yoga, all were wrapped up in the effort and the waiting to be worthy.
and so this is monday me. the beginning of a regular series of self portraits and truth tellings as i go deeper into a change that is integrating everything from hormones to breakfast to prayer, as i learn to offer kindness toward myself. i have no fucking clue what will show up, other than me. that's the truth. but, i'll be here. what has become blazingly clear is that i can no more move further in my work in the world without simultaneously giving voice to what is unwinding madly within me.
i invite you to share the truthy guts of your monday self. unashamed and gently. we'll have a virtual rulebook burning. i'd like that very much.
one last thing: i'm probably a little late to the party here–but if you haven't already seen the latest talk by elizabeth gilbert that is circulating about, take 20 and go here now.