Courage

Now I become myself. It’s taken

Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken,

Wearing many people’s faces…

- May Sarton, “Now I Become Myself” (excerpt)

An astrologer once told me I’m like a large vessel with a small opening;

my birth chart aligned in a way that confirmed what I’ve always known. I hold things in my mind and body like a sponge, absorbing seemingly infinite amounts of information from the outside world.  I sift these pieces through my intricate system of filters and analytics.  I live with them.  I let them impact me. Then, like a large vase with a narrow bottleneck, I release small drops, relieving my contents slowly and carefully, over a long period of time.

I feel that vessel now, as I write what has been building and burning inside me for so long. Every ounce of me wishes the bottleneck were bigger, and these words could flow eloquently out of me at rapid speed, but (sigh) here I sit… Agonizing over every word.

I agonize because I don’t believe in fluff. At least, not anymore. I’m at a point in my life where I have very little tolerance for bullshit (my own or anyone else’s). I hope it continues. I’m not interested in sugar coating or playing by the rules anymore; I’m intensely interested in authenticity, vulnerability, and honesty.

In this way, I think, my vessel is changing. Maybe the opening is widening. Maybe the walls are becoming more permeable. Or maybe… it’s turning inside out. This feels accurate.

For the first 27 years of life, I was more concerned with others than I was my own wellbeing. As May Sarton says in the poem above, I wore many faces. Too scared to wear my own.

Something has shifted.

From the outside, you see that I quit my full-time job. You see that I’m diving into fitness and nutrition coaching. You see that I had my hair dyed purple.

You see these things, and if you’re my parents, you may worry. If you’re my friends, you might be curious. If you’re my acquaintances on Facebook, you might be like, “what the fuck?”

Change seems to have that effect on people. It’s confusing and messy and doesn’t make sense. Until it does.

My intention is to share my authentic experience. To feel into this truer version of myself and hopefully inspire others to do the same. I believe that the unrest in the world today is a reflection of the unrest that exists in all of us. And I believe the healing that the world needs starts with each one of us accepting the whole of who we really are, and living from that place.

No bullshit. No fluff.

 

“The word courage is a heart word. It's from the Latin word 'cor,' meaning 'heart.' The original definition of courage, when it came into the English language, was 'to tell your story with all your heart.' I think we only have two choices in our lives; that we walk into our story, and we own our story - the good parts, and the bad parts, and the hard parts, and the easy parts - and we own our story. And we love ourselves in the process of owning our story. Or we spend our lives living outside of our story, hustling for our worthiness. And I just don't think the hustle is worth it... We own our stories, and I think that's the bravest thing we'll ever do.”  – Brené Brown, The Self-Acceptance Project