The first time I remember lying to myself was when I was nine...
I had just experienced something that no child should ever experience and I didn’t know what to do with what had happened. It seemed so unbelievable that I didn’t think anyone would listen.
Suddenly it wasn't safe to just be a kid. I shut down the vivacious little girl I was to protect myself, creating a way of being that ate away at my self-esteem. I began making decisions about my life from a place of fear and survival. I told no one what had gone on, believing my abusers when they threatened more violence and shaming if I did. Telling just didn't seem like an option. It would be 20 more years before I spoke a word about that summer.
As I grew up, it felt safer to lie or not tell people the truth about how I felt, what my life was like or what I needed.
I got so good at not telling the truth as a child that by the time I was an adult I had no idea how to tell myself the truth.
Until 9 years ago when I was faced with a series of truths that I just could not ignore. I was a rock star at my job and had landed a spot in a prestigious leadership program. But I also hated that job because of an abusive coworker, was single after yet another failed relationship, deep in debt and drank like a 22 year old sailor on leave. I was also no stranger to several pregnancies and miscarriages. Lying had cost me the chance to bear a child.
And then my doctors found brain lesions - the first signs of alzheimers, a disease that runs in my family. I was headed straight towards an early diagnosis. Brain lesions can be caused by stress and my life was full of it.
It was the sign I didn’t know I’d been looking for.
I could no longer afford to lie to myself, to self-medicate and ignore the extreme stress I was experiencing.
The first thing I did was quit my job. That solved the issue of daily abuse, but it also left me without income, with a lot of debt, and with a considerable identity crisis. What was my value if it wasn’t my earning capacity?
My entire self worth was tied up by what I could buy and what I would allow others to buy for me.
For years I had been trying to fill a gaping hole in my self-esteem by spending money on clothes, shoes and vacations. I wouldn’t even let someone I was dating buy me a coffee because I thought it meant I was a failure.
This led to bankruptcy, which led to no debt, which led to realizing I was way out of integrity.
I was left feeling like I had completely fucked up and was a total loser.
I had no idea what I was going to do next, but I did know three things:
So, while I figured out what I was going to be when I grew up, I dove into my spiritual practice. I finally had the time and it felt like a place I might get some answers.
I read ALL the books and took ALL the courses and studied ALL the gurus. I took leadership, speaking and business development courses. I became certified as a clinical hypnotherapist (this created huge shifts in my life, but didn’t fill the crater-sized hole in my hurt heart).
As many ah-ha moments as I had through these avenues, all of the info was over there, with them. It wasn’t mine; not my experience, not my journey, not my solutions. Not my truths.
I needed a way to find my own answers, something actionable and aligned with my values that would help me get real results, in real time, in my real life.
Bankruptcy, failed relationships, drinking, brain lesions — they weren’t the problems, they were symptoms of the problem. The problem was me not telling the truth, for years.
The truth was: I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I had spent so long worrying about what other people thought of me that I had lost myself completely. Years of stuffing down grief and shame from childhood had eaten me alive, from the inside-out.
I had looked for programs and mentors and found some great ones. I still pay some fucking amazing people to support me.
But I never found exactly what I needed, until I created it.
It’s the roadmap that can help you get anywhere, give you direction when you need it most, and tell you where to look when you can’t find exactly what you’re seeking.
Telling the Truth and using it as your guide isn’t easy. It’s scary as hell. We’re working against the primal brain that says if you really look at why you’re not happy, the Truth will be too terrible to survive. (It’s trying to protect us - sweet really, but not helpful.)
The moment we tell the truth, the primal brain lets go of its hold.
Finding the truth and telling it to yourself isn’t the end. It doesn’t magically heal everything. But it is the first step in taking back your power, of forging a new creation story of who you are and will be.
It’s the beginning of your story of your own holiness, worth, value, grace and purpose.
And when we live aligned with Truth, that’s when everything changes.
Today, I do work that aligns perfectly with my values and fills me up every day. I have a love relationship that is incredibly safe and kind with a partner who I can count on to support my evolution. Most days, I wake up in awe of where I am and where I’m going.
I no longer bend over backwards to make everyone else happy, while staying silently miserable.
And nothing is perfect.
This work isn’t meant to give you the perfect life. This work is to give you tools to be present, clear and grounded, so you don’t miss a moment of joy. And, when grief or pain comes, this work helps you welcome it as an experience, not a reason to suffer, not as a defeat.
That said… remember those brain lesions? Eighteen months later, my neurosurgeon was astonished to learn that they shrunk. He couldn’t explain it.
But I think it’s because I kept showing up in and with my Truth over and over again. And there is more healing power in Truth than current medicine can fathom.
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