I was cleaning out a drawer last weekend and I found something I wrote almost ten years ago. I had just come through a divorce, and I was beginning to really dig into the idea that I could create the life I wanted to live – I could create the woman I wanted to become. So I made a list. God knows I love a good list. I wrote:
I want to be….
Forgiving. I want to be able to forgive others and forgive myself. I want to let go of the past.
Generous with my spirit and my gifts – time, talent and treasure.
Loving. Able to give and receive love freely.
Fearless. But not foolish.
Compassionate. One who seeks first to understand, then to be understood.
Honest. Always. With myself and with others.
Direct. But diplomatic.
Silly and Serious. I want to be able to sit comfortably in both of these without fear and be able to enjoy both of them freely.
Faith-full. As in full of faith. To live every day grateful for God’s perfect love, and sharing God’s perfect love with the world.
Flexible. To be able to embrace change whether it’s change in my routine, change in my breakfast cereal, or larger scale change in my life.
As I read my words from years ago, I felt the strangest feelings bubble up in my chest. I felt sort of sad, then sort of happy, then sort of peaceful, then sort of…ohmygod…sort of…this is so weird…sort of…proud of myself. Then when I realized I was sort of proud of myself, I became immediately ashamed of myself. All of the messages had started playing in my head “you’re unkind”, “you’re disrespectful”, “you’re selfish”…. Those messages that had started out as external messages, and had quickly become my inner voice of doubt and shame. There is that icky feeling again.
Then something really amazing happened – something that should have happened a long time ago. I got really mad. All of a sudden all I could feel was this deep, pure anger. I’m not talking about just being really pissed off – it was bigger than that. But I’m not talking about being enraged either – it was more authentic and focused than rage (which to me has always appeared to be out of control and terrifying). This felt distinctly powerful – even primal – it was a flash of life-force sort of energy.
“NO I’M NOT!!!”
Omg – who is this woman? Who is this beautiful warrior? I like her.
No I’m not…three little words that turned my inner world from anguish to acceptance. Three little words, just seven little letters, that brought me back into focus. Those messages simply were not true, and I could finally see it.
Thank you, primal warrior voice from deep inside me. I’ve been looking for you for a very long time.
I should have silenced those messages a long time ago. But I couldn’t do it. Because I believed them. I believed I wasn’t kind enough, I wasn’t respectful enough, and I wasn’t selfless enough. I just believed I wasn’t good enough.
Now I know better.