Photo by Michael Shannon
Most recently I have really been challenged with the thought of who “likes” and or supports me and who doesn’t.
It’s not a new thought, but it’s been amplified.
Most definitely because I am going higher, choosing a bigger, more vulnerable and authentic life, and using my platform (for lack of a better word) to encourage others to do the same.
I’m coming out of the closet yet again. 20 years of being behind the scenes with moments of peaking out.
A year ago I finally decided to step up and step out.
To start sharing my story and the deepest most vulnerable parts of my journey from wounds to wisdom.
One of my first posts, after I made this decision, was on Father’s Day.
I shared a deeply vulnerable post about my experience growing up being abused and how through practicing non bias compassion I was able to see it all, and to see him (my father) in a new light, and find the courage to forgive.
It was received very well by the public, with over five hundred comments, thousands of likes and shares, and hundreds of personal emails of people reaching out to let me know they felt heard.
However it was not “liked” so well by my family.
Gaslighting and shaming was apparently my cross to bear and a great lesson in strength, and the courage to stand up for my convictions no matter what was my lesson.
However still looming was the thought of trying to explain and or fix it and to make them see (like) my perspective.
And sometimes, actually most times, at least with them, it isn’t possible.
So why even try?
Most recently, after the announcement that I am writing a book, to be published and in book stores next Autumn, I was consumed with these thoughts once again.
Not in the exact same way but the energy of it felt the same.
I made a public announcement via Facebook Live and watched as everyone joined; to listen, like and comment.
Literally over five thousand people!
However, I found myself scrolling through and noticing who didn’t.
And so in comes the very same energy that consumes me each time I become vulnerable enough to share my experiences with others.
Disappointment and a desire to find out why they didn’t.
However this time, a little older, a little wiser, I decided to take it to self inquiry (my religion) and after a few days and a few conversations, one with my Mother in Law (one of my favorite people to talk too) I had what Oprah Winfrey refers to as an AHA Moment.
I always look for these moments to be so profound but this one was so very simple.
When these thoughts arise, my husband, for probably our entire eighteen years together, has always said to me…
“You don’t know what you don’t know.”
And for eighteen years, I felt I was being dismissed and was triggered
You know what happens when we’re triggered right?
Fight, Fight, Fight, Project, Project, Project.
Like a wounded animal we attack (react).
And for a while now I have been working on Conscious Action versus Reaction.
Conscious Action; standing back and inquiring before responding and Reaction; coming at it like a provoked lion.
One creating peace and one war.
And I want peace.
So however challenging it’s been for me and for those who are in, or who have been in relationships with me, who’ve been conditioned to react and defend.
I have been so very good at taking a deep breathe, walking away and responding with Conscious Action.
And in my experience, it’s worked, every time.
I’ve been able to have deeper, more vulnerable, and authentic conversations, where we both leave with a better understanding of ourselves and each other.
And what I have learned from these particular experiences is…
“You don’t know what you don’t know.”
In the case of my family who gaslighted and shamed me. I might have hit a trigger in which they were not ready to deal with and so I became the target of that pain.
And in the case of those who I believed didn’t show up for, or celebrate me. Maybe they didn’t see it, or perhaps they did and it triggered feelings of envy because they have not found the strength to stand up and step out themselves, or perhaps they just don’t like me for whatever reason and that’s O.K. too!
We all get to choose how we respond and we are all learning at our own pace.
We all have triggers and we all have a different awareness of them and ways in which deal.
Some conscious, some unconscious.
And it is not my, or your responsibility to try and change anyone’s mind.
The only thing we can work on is not taking it all personally and doing our best to become more aware of ourselves and working on becoming non biasly compassionate towards others, because like my husband has been trying to say to me for years, “We don’t know what we don’t know.”
It took me many lessons and many years to finally realize that for myself. Every experience lead me to this one, and through this one I gained this understanding.
And so I say to you, If you are struggling with something, perhaps something that keeps showing up over and over again, give yourself some space, self inquire, self inquire, self inquire and then let go and the answer, your answer, will come, in it’s own way, in it’s own time, through whatever experience is needed to get your attention, and then one day…