Advance, retreat. Advance, retreat. I’ve never fenced but I’ve heard that’s how it goes. For me, on my journey to discover and embrace my true self, I’ve found this to be true. Even on ‘normal’ days. I may come across an article on sexuality or business or love or health… and I will feel the instinct to contract. Step away. It’s too much. It’s too hard. I can’t keep being bombarded with new information about the things I love to learn about, talk about and teach about. And so I want to run away. And maybe I do. But then, I come back. I decide to open again. Just like I’ve done with my heart several times in the past 18 months. I show up, I grow, I soften & expand… and I get crushed or broken or confused… and ultimately I grieve. And then my heart asks me to do it again. And again. And again.
Clearly, I am training for the Gold in Olympic Soul Fencing. And I’m SO proud of that. As someone who already holds a heavyweight title in ‘Being Hard on Herself’ (don’t believe me? Ask literally anyone who knows me), it’s a monumental feat. My sensitive little spirit just wants to run & hide. Pretty much ALWAYS. My heart pounds, my eyes blur, my brain turns to mush… and I’m expected to take on this new information or to open this piece of me… and it can feel like there’s NO way. I can’t do it. I can’t open any more. I can’t expand any further. It hurts. I’m terrified. I’m DONE. But I’m not. I just need that moment. However long it lasts. A moment to say ‘no’. A moment to come back to myself. A moment to tell myself I am ENOUGH. Just as I am. Even if I don’t learn this new thing or meet this new person.
That is TOUGH. And I fail. A lot. And usually when I attempt it, my body & brain will scream at me that that’s bullshit. That I am decidedly NOT enough and I clearly need to learn this new thing or meet this new person and WTF is wrong with me, anyway? But once that kind of violent opposition to my ‘enoughness’ subsides… I just have to grin. There is calm. I know I will find my way to the path that is perfect for me and at the perfect time. As long as I keep deciding to stay open. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Sometimes every minute. I decide. To say no to the panic & the urge to run… and to admit I still want to grow & find more ways to be happy & fulfilled.
Oftentimes, our fear of expanding into joy is so much greater than our fear of staying in the shadow. We have to fight to be in the unfamiliar place. We have to acknowledge our fear and then keep going.