Yes, I know—It’s been a year since I’ve posted an essay. And yes, I do have my reasons… I’d love to explain. Honestly, the truth is, I have this thing about how I move through times of transition or change in my life. I simply get stuck. Are you confused yet? Bear with me…
Honestly, I still am. (Stuck, that is.) And this time I’m not going to judge myself on that. I’m starting to reorient my thinking in regard to cycles of change. I’m in the beginning stages of integrating the idea that some cycles in my life will unfold on their *own* time, and not through a forced effort on my part. And yet, there are instances in which I need to be disciplined, self-directed and show initiative in gaining apprenticeship in new terrain that I’m seeking to learn about. So while I used to be quite concerned and consumed by intuitive development in the last several years, I have found myself in this last year, more focused on fitness and health within the body. I’ve spent the last year as a personal trainer and have referenced intuition as a sidebar rather than a more integrated element of my connection to my work in the healing arts.
And yet, through this past year, I have judged myself sporadically for not being more in tune to my intuitive work. I felt at times that I was turning my back on myself and failing to be true to the highest potential of my life’s path. Meanwhile, I’ve juggled my part time work, kids schedules/activities, household responsibilities (social life etc etc etc). Just seeing this in print, makes me realize just how harsh I’ve been toward myself in this process.
Does any of this sound familiar? Is this a similar way you might frame your own lives when you haven’t lived up to some perfectionist ideal of how things “should” be? It’s at times like these, that I do my best to check in with myself and ask: Is judging myself against some false standard of perfectionism serving me? Or you? No? Then, allow me to quote Martha Beck (who non-apologetically repeated this concept throughout her time with us during a retreat I attended last summer). “You don’t get to keep that.”
You just don’t get to keep that.
Being critical towards ourselves is a form of self-abandonment. When we do that, we leave *ourselves*. We leave home. And we do it all the time. I know I have. Unfortunately, we become comfortable in relating to ourselves in this way after a while. And there are a myriad of ways we can easily self-abandon. I was just discussing this with my teenage daughter over lunch a few days ago. I’ve taken her out to lunch and shopping/or movie a lot this past year. It’s become a really fun and safe way to connect on pretty much any topic we feel ourselves drawn to. Sometimes it’s just good old fashioned vapid fun. Oftentimes though, she shares certain dynamics in her relationships that confuse or frustrate her. Our last lunch conversation veered in this direction:
Her: I get so annoyed because **** is always mocking me for things I like. But then she turns around and likes them too. She doesn’t have any opinions of her own!
Me: I know that’s frustrating—But my feeling is that she really doesn’t have a clear sense of *who* she is and *what* she likes yet. She kinda seems to get hijacked by other people’s agendas because she doesn’t value her own worth. She tracks her own esteem against whether or not she’s accepted by whoever happens to be closest to her at the time. She basically abandons herself, but she doesn’t know it.
Her: Yeah, that makes sense. She always seems to change her mind based on who’s her best friend at the time.
Me: She’ll get there. It takes time to grow into your own self. And she probably doesn’t have a crazy mom like you do that always talks about “soul contracts, projection of the unconscious shadow parts of the psyche” and all that other blah blah blah every time she drives you to dance class. 😉 And you know, we have the same problems as grown ups too.
Her: Hahaha! Can we go to Hollister first when we get to the mall?
Returning home to ourselves is the sacred call of the soul. I’ve noticed that when I am consistently in a healthy, self-referencing, space in my life, I don’t choose to self abandon. I generally show up in for myself. I do that by being honest in the ways I speak to myself, and others. I make better choices. I hold healthier boundaries and yet can also be more generous of myself as well. I am present. It’s easier to be compassionate to those around me because I’m likewise treating myself with compassion. I actually trust myself more authentically.
We know the basics of this at such an early age. I tell this story about my daughter (who I just spoke of earlier) often…She was a toddler of about 2 and ½ years old. I remember sitting on my steps with my head in my hands. I was caught up in my head and grieving the fact that I could not make a decision that I felt I needed to have clarity on. This was our conversation then:
Her: What’s wrong mommy?
Me: Oh nothing, sweetie. Mommy’s just having a hard time making a decision. It’s ok.
Her: (taking both my hands and placing them on my heart). Oh, you just need to listen to your heart Mommy!
I’ll never forget how she walked away chatting about 2 year old stuff. I asked her later about what she said about listening to my heart and she responded by talking about her little toy stethoscope. I will always carry this message, given to by my beautiful daughter as a gift and soul reminder.
Yes, she actually spoke in that type of sentence structure, as crazy as that was at the time! She even tried to use the word “brilliant” not long after, but had to pronounce it : bwillient.
Home for me. What is home for me? I can’t wait to find a Home for me.
Listen to the callings of the heart. It will remind you to pay attention. It will pull you toward a self-referencing, meditative return to the observation of your interior landscape. It will give you the courage to be vulnerable and emotionally honest with yourself and the people you love. It will likewise remind you to dig within yourself, follow your passion and listen to the voice of your soul.
Return home to yourself.
(Oh and by the way—That part of you that doesn’t believe that your interior compass will immediately begin to set course coordinates for the greatest potentiality of your life’s path *the second you ask with true intention*…. You don’t get to keep that. 😉 )
Namaste and lots of love!