There’s Got To Be Something More
Midlife is not about the fear of death. Midlife is death. Tearing down the walls that we spent our entire life building is death. Like it or not, at some point during midlife, you’re going down, and after that there are only two choices: staying down or enduring rebirth. –Brene Brown
I’ve got to start by saying that I adore Brene Brown. Sometimes it seems as if she has taken up residence in my mind, offering words to aspects of my life I have painstakingly kept hidden. Until now.
My midlife rebirth began with some faint whispers that hummed a song I had never heard before. “There’s got to be something more.” Over time, that voice of Divine Grace (DG for those who have felt her presence), began to get louder and louder. Then one day, walking out of an intense meeting in Mia Hamm on the Nike Campus, I looked up in the clouds for some clarity, and there circling above me were two red-tailed hawks. In that moment, the message was crystal clear and I heard her voice again.
Hey RoRo (that’s what she calls me). It’s DG. Badass Truth-Teller. Listen up, I’ve got something to say.
Enough already. Stop biting your lip and worrying about what other people will think of you. You are running from the FEAR of being judged. Put together. Perfectly scripted. Polite. Holy Hell - that orientation to life is exhausting and you are going to find the cliff if you don’t begin speaking your truth. When you are brave and real, pushing the edges of your comfort zone and taking a stand for what you believe in, you are going to piss some people off. That’s exactly when you celebrate, not hide. RISE ABOVE the haters and you will find your posse.
The world is waiting for courageous, wise, genuine, tender, ballsy women like yourself to rise. And, as you rise, you must look inside and do the hard work around your own healing. I’m talking about shedding the old skin that once protected and served you but now confines and suffocates you. Once that old way of being is released, you can once again give power to your voice.
Life isn't happening to you. It's happening FOR you. Fear is your teacher right now. Open your heart and grow.
Over time, we developed mad respect for each other. She doesn’t say much and often uses images, colors or other spirit guides to share her message. I admire the clarity and expansive perspective of her insight. With honesty and kindness, she always brings me back to being a student of reality.
When life gets hard or stressful, my pattern is to put my head down, push everyone else aside and steamroll through the discomfort – never giving myself permission to accept my own humanity (embrace the messy stuff), acknowledge my discomfort (aka difficult emotions) or ask for support (be vulnerable). The story goes, when I was about four years old, my Aunt Wilma saw me trying to lace my tennies and asked if I needed any help. My response to her was, “No, I can do it myself.” The Fierce Independent, acting as if I have everything under control and taking the burden of responsibility for the entire world onto my own shoulders. After all, “If you want anything done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, and it’s got to be done perfectly, while making everyone happy.” Then bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan.
In the moments when I am hooked by fear of rejection and worried about not being liked, or shame sweeps through me like a raging wildfire and I believe I don’t matter, I tend to hold my voice back and refrain from speaking truth to power. I find myself tip-toeing around making requests for what I need. Not truthfully expressing how I feel. Not calling bullshit on bullshit. Not challenging the moments when myself or other women are being marginalized, dismissed or talked over.
Well that was then and this is now. Today, I am waking up. I realize I am the one holding myself back. I am the one who has believed my voice doesn’t matter. I have cared way too much about what others think of me, measuring my success on external validation. I have used my strength of being an awesome listener as a crutch to convince myself not to share my story.
DG, I’ve got a defining moment here. I’m open to receive. Show me the way.
Well sweetheart, your shoulders are tired and you’re getting a hunched back. Time to turn that narrow external focus of yours right back around toward yourself and lighten the load. You’ve got the pleasing, perfection, performing thing down – all those clever “coping strategies” you crafted as a little girl to protect yourself from being judged and to prove your worthiness. As a plump cheeked, bright blue-eyed, playing football with the boys, no dress in the closet, Farrah Fawcett skateboard poster loving girl, I understand why you did what you did to feel worthy of love. Being “The Good Girl” got a lot of recognition and attention as a youngster. C’mon, “Outstanding 6th Grader” doesn’t just happen to everyone. That approach got you to where you are today. Wise. Warm. Imaginative. Calm. Caring. Strong. Soak that up.
And, it’s time to write a new chapter. Here’s the deal…you’re perfect just the way you are, and it’s time for the Good Girl to release her inner badass. You’ve got even bigger shit to do in this lifetime and the rest of us are waiting for you to rise up and unapologetically speak your truth. You’ve got this.
So, I find myself shedding. Releasing the old stories, ideas, concepts and ways of being that I have always taken as truth and never questioned their validity. The fears and lies that contaminate my thinking is exactly what keeps me small. From here on out, I’m shattering those shackles. That “more” I’ve been searching for isn’t something that I can acquire or achieve, it’s something that’s mine to reclaim. Reclaiming my power. Reclaiming my voice. When I tell the truth about myself, sharing my life experiences – the dark and the light – I no longer have anything to hide and I set myself free. In turn, others are inspired to do the same for themselves.
Together, we can ignite a (r)evolution. And, it starts right now, with us.
Join me, September 20-22, in Sedona , as we Rise Up and Speak our Truth. In Sisterhood. On the Wings of Grace.