Do you know much about the women around you? Do you know if they too have struggled with motherhood, with sisterhood, with daughterhood? Do you know if they too have battled their bodies? Do you know if they too have felt alone or full of shame?
I wonder about our hesitation to share all of ourselves, our histories with one another. I am struck by just how strong we feel when we share the hard stuff and feel heard. I am struck by just how strong we feel when others share their stories and we resonate with them. I am struck by how strong we feel when we learn how much we have in common and how resilient we are able to be.
Sitting with women who have battle scars, I feel an invitation to share. I too experienced miscarriage. I too have the deep wound of losing a parent prematurely and in an awful way. I too was devastated by the cheating and lying that came into my relationship. I too have felt as if I was barely able to keep from drowning; the overwhelm put me in over my head and my heart was broken. I didn’t think I could recover my humanity, that I could ever muster any strength other than that which was needed to keep getting up in the morning and caring for my child. I did, I have, and I continue to do so. Some days, weeks, months are a struggle. Some minutes, moments, hours are a breeze, full of joy and reconnection and a strong sense of feeling powerful.
Sharing my story has helped me. Articulating the depth of pain, the fear of the unknown to still come, the helplessness of not having any control, any say…being able to find hearts that would and could listen when my own was so wounded, it was not participating. Loving myself, even just liking myself enough to care for any of my own needs, felt impossible. It still often does – I don’t feel I have the luxury of including me in the considerations of creating a stabile and joyful and thriving home. And I must include me.
My full self had to not only build up the stamina and endurance to tread water, but also accept help from those I knew well and those I barely knew at all. Generosity was so hard to accept when all I wanted to do was hide even more. I have never needed help like I did – feeding us with food stamps, WIC and the local food pantry.
So who am I? Who is the Full Me? Do I have the courage to share that?
I am a daughter and a twin sister. I struggle with patience, judgment and expectations of myself. I am a mother, an older one at that. I am a divorcee, twice over. I am confident. I am not soft spoken, but I am an introvert. I am an artist (judging myself right now on that one – does your art hobby qualify you as an artist, really?). I am an energy worker and healer. I know death and sorrow. I know fear and disappointment. I know a con artist to whom I gave my heart. I know mistrust and loneliness. I feel unhealthy and struggle with the commitment to move that needle. I am a coach and trainer. Here goes the hardest – I am enough. I am strong enough for two. I am a protector. I am an inspiration. I am worthy…of honesty, of respect, of courage and of love.
Now you try. Who are you? Who is the full you?