Own Your Sh*t.

Via Kelly Howard
on Mar 22, 2015
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Warning: Naughty language ahead!

 

Own your shit.

I don’t mean own anything physical. I mean, let’s all own that nasty, yucky, sticky, emotional and physiological stuff that’s been bogging us down, stifling our true brilliance, tarnishing our beautiful souls.

Let’s Own. It.

So…perhaps some of us are living with a troubled past. Or present. Let’s own it.

Food issues?

Completely codependent?

Addictions?

Trust issues?

Commitment phobic?

Let’s own it all.

I could write a novel length list of possible “issues,” hang-ups, phobias, attachments and questionable personality attributes. The cold hard truth is this: we all have shit in our lives that needs to be dealt with. Nobody’s life is perfect. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has gotten a free or easy ride on this attraction we call life.

The first step is getting over any judgment or preconceived notion that our struggle is somehow more important, more difficult or more traumatizing than anyone else’s, because we never know what that person we perceive as happy, grounded and full of grace has had to struggle through. We only see what people want us to see, through a lens of our own twisted perception that creates our personal reality.

We are special and unique because we are beautiful individuals…not because of what we’ve been through. That “stuff” doesn’t define us. We all have our own shit. Let’s get over the idea that ours makes us entitled to anything—a bad attitude, sympathy, permission to treat ourselves or others poorly…no. Just…no.

Okay. We’ve gotten over the twisted entitlements and yes, we’ve got some less than shiny-happy pieces of our lives. Now, let’s take full and total responsibility for it. Own it.

I don’t mean that anything that happened to us is our fault. That’s silly. Sometimes we are made victims and that is a terrible thing. Sometimes we find ourselves in traumatic or just really crappy feeling situations and that sucks. I don’t mean that we have to take responsibility for the actions of others or for pure bad universal luck, but we do have to take responsibility for how we’ve dealt with or reacted to it.

If it will make you feel better, I’ll go first:

I am a co-dependent woman who loves too much. I have a weird relationship with food and use it as a coping mechanism when I’m uncomfortable in any way. I have made some poor choices in romantic partners (and a couple friends) that put me into some scary and traumatic situations. I sometimes seek out affection to validate my worthiness and often find myself fighting battles that are not my own in hopes that it will earn me love.

I own all the previously mentioned craziness. What does this mean for me? It means that I fully recognize that I’m a broken person but in that recognition is a big ol’ helping of some serious self-love and acceptance. I may be broken but I own the hell outta all those little pieces of me and as a result I’m embracing my areas of opportunity and have found the motivation I need to work through them.

Doing the work isn’t easy.

It’s easy to pretend that everything is bright and shiny and perfect, that we don’t need anything from anyone because life is grand just as it is…but as for me, I cannot live another day without embracing my “stuff,” without owning my shit, because doing so would be inauthentic and I just can’t breathe another breath living a lie.

Want some more cold hard facts? Until we own every little piece of ourselves, until we fully see ourselves and own who we are, what made us that way and want to fight to rise above and be our best selves, we will never be happy. We will never have a healthy relationship—with ourselves or with anyone else. Period. Harsh truths.

What can we do? We can hire a therapist. Do some introspection. Exercise our bodies, minds and spirits to exercise out our personal demons. Sometimes it takes some work just to uncover enough bravery and self-love to fully recognize or see your own “stuff,” and that’s okay.

Let’s own our shit, and then do the work to shovel it out of our personal experiences.

It will always be part of our story, but it doesn’t have to be the main plot.

Bonus:
A Lesson for all of us:

Relephant:

32 Truths Every Adult Should Know.

Author: Kelly Howard

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: boemski/Flickr

219,166 views

About Kelly Howard

Kelly Howard is a passionate spiritual seeker that occasionally goes on profanity laced rants and truly wants to be her very best self (as long as that still means that I can occasionally lounge on the couch to watch reruns of Top Chef) and make some sort of positive impact before I croak. I believe in the trans-formative power of positive thought, kindness and compassion and have found these qualities more easily accessible through the practice of yoga, meditation, volunteering and time spent in the company of raucous laughter producing, wine-guzzling friends.

In short, she is: a traveling, hippie vegetarian homebody pacifist that enjoys a good UFC fight, homemade meals and puppy dog snuggles; a massage therapist with a weird hang about being touched by strangers; a health nut sugar addict who can’t quite say “no” to cheese and “yes” to cardio; a patient, quite relishing wife who rolls her eyes at her incredibly loud (yet incredibly loving) husband; a mostly happy, music loving, craft making, food enjoying, mantra chanting, hopelessly optimistic 30 something.

Comments

17 Responses to “Own Your Sh*t.”

  1. Dave Luis says:

    Love this piece. And it’s so true. In 2012 I hit rock bottom and as part of my healing, I started blogging my addiction and rape recovery, unpacking the process and writing it out, shouting out to the world “I made bad choices. I got hooked on drugs, I was raped – but I’m taking accountability for my sobriety and my healing and I’m coming back to life”

    I do therapy for codependency and I don’t shy away from confronting my past as something to rewire and use as a foundation for a happier, clean and serene life.

    Thanks for writing this post – it affirms for me this journey I am on.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this!!!! I teach Mindfulness to runaway homeless youth and this is one of my main lessons which coincides with radical acceptance. You have been hurt, you will again, but get in line because so has everyone else. The fact is, pain and anger are not acceptable excuses because they are a part of every human experience. You are not a victim unless you make yourself one. I am a survivor not a victim! I own all of shit in all of its glory. I was homeless, I was an addict, I was in a totally dysfunctional and abusive marriage for more than a decade, I have epilepsy, I have PTSD and a TBI from a wicked beating from my ex. I have struggled with those in the Mindfulness community who have outright admonished me for crying when telling my story. I am so happy to know that there are others who believe that evolution is not about pretending we are Zen Buddhist priests but rather wholly accepting who we are even when we cry. Thank you so much for this piece it touched my heart!

  3. AnneMarie says:

    I absolutely LOVE this!!!! I teach Mindfulness to runaway homeless youth and this is one of my main lessons which coincides with radical acceptance. You have been hurt, you will again, but get in line because so has everyone else. The fact is, pain and anger are not acceptable excuses because they are a part of every human experience. You are not a victim unless you make yourself one. I am a survivor not a victim! I own all of shit in all of its glory. I was homeless, I was an addict, I was in a totally dysfunctional and abusive marriage for more than a decade, I have epilepsy, I have PTSD and a TBI from a wicked beating from my ex. I have struggled with those in the Mindfulness community who have outright admonished me for crying when telling my story. I am so happy to know that there are others who believe that evolution is not about pretending we are Zen Buddhist priests but rather wholly accepting who we are even when we cry. Thank you so much for this piece it touched my heart!

  4. noreen keegan says:

    YUP. Enough of blaming everyone and every situation. Own and carry on!

  5. KellyH says:

    Thank you so very much for reading my piece as well as sharing your reaction and experiences with your own "shit". Its so refreshing to know that we are not alone on our journeys and that freedom can be found through embracing our beautiful brokenness. I can empathize with many pieces of your journey and know that the steps that you are taking every damn day are worth celebrating. The "work" isn't always easy but as cliche as it sounds,… it really is worth it. The work that you are doing with recovering codependants is SO important and I thank you from the bottom of my little, taped together heart for doing it. It takes a special kind of bad-ass to facilitate that kind of monumental healing. You rock.

  6. KellyH says:

    It's an interesting mix of emotions that comes up for me as I read through the wonderful and inspiring accomplishments you have achieved after going through what many would call extreme struggle… empathy, understanding and sadness that others have experienced things that are part of my own story; extreme happiness, pride and triumph that we are building a strong, self-aware tribe of bad-ass individuals that OWN every piece of their experience because they see the value in living a truly authentic life experience. Hell yes!

  7. Gabriella Sweezey says:

    Kelly, this was a great piece! I loved reading it, and deeply understood and related to your words. There's something so powerful in taking control of your life and yourself, the good, bad, and ugly! Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us to take it all in and keep moving forward.

  8. Sabrina says:

    Owning my own shit is exactly what I've been trying to do for the past few years. It's not a fun process and I'm still in the thick of it. My personal demons are more resilient than expected. It was great reading this right now as I am in the trenches fighting my fears, my judgements and all the negative beliefs instilled in me over my lifetime. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Jon says:

    Excellent article. As someone with a more troubled past than ‘average’, I needed to hear this. I would recommend though that people be cautious about ‘hiring’ a therapist – which is a good way to think about it, by the way. A lot of them will not give this kind of direct, quality advice.

  10. Louis says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    This reminds me of Dogen’s advice to the Shogun on converting his demon’s by accepting them. Peace to all.

  11. Cassandra says:

    My partner has just left me, this article came right at the right time for me. I am pretty directionless right now. I have an appt with a counsellor today. Im not giving up hope. Not ever. Thank you for this. Love and light to all.

  12. Ben W says:

    Have been experiencing strong paralyzing anxiety for a long time. In February I sought help again to talk thru things. This time was different. The Pyschologist also happens to be a Zen Buddhist.

    Early in our discussions he asked if I knew what meditation was, benefits, how to do it? Fast forward to now and I've learned so much about myself (also that I'm not crazy), still working thru a lot but now armed with tools to continue to grow. Its been very tough at points as it digs up a lot of demons but so worth it.

    Much love to this topic and the many mental benefits. I've recommended this to many people in my life.

  13. Kelly! I LOVE everything about this article how do I find you on Social Media?
    Where are you based? I won a fitness program in Santa Barbara, CA. I would love
    to conect with you!
    Jenny Schatzle

  14. Kelly says:

    Hi, Jenny! https://www.facebook.com/kelly.w.howard find me on Facebook! I am based in Charlotte, NC and am always open to new contacts. Let's chat!

  15. Ange says:

    Great stuff. What an enormous relief to be real. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Nathan says:

    We all tend to shy away from those parts of ourselves which aren't whole, aren't flattering, don't show us in the light we'd prefer. And, given that concealing those parts of ourselves is (a) difficult and (b) futile in the long run — at least, if we intend to pursue any meaningful, intimate relationships — maybe it's time to start at least thinking about owning that shit. [OK, ok… for me, it's WAY past time, but you get the idea, lol.]

    Thanks for sharing your experiences; it's always easier when somebody blazes a trail.

  17. Kim says:

    Fantastic and what I have been working on for a few months now. For me accepting even the parts of me I thought were ugly and should be hidden has been a huge journey. I teach this stuff but I hid behind that for a long time so that no one saw my shit and now I am owning it. I am a reiki master teacher, teach workshops, do sound balancing and past life regression along with intuitive and medium readings. I have always hidden my own stuff and many think because I do this stuff I am supposed to be the Buddha and always happy and perky. I help everyone I can and often sacrifice me to do that. I am learning to say no to others so that I say yes to me more. My shit? For the longest time I had zero self esteem (much better now but still sneaks up on me.) I was married to a narcissist and alcoholic for 23 years as well as a father who is the same minus the alcohol, add in a dash of paranoia and a boat load of repressed anger. Financially I am working through lifetimes of lessons there and I struggle daily with money. I have made bad choices, not done what I knew I needed to at times and I still go into fear mode over money. I am a major procrastinator and a darn good writer who has yet to get more than a chapter written and I tend to make excuses and complain here and there. I am growing so much facing my shit and it is not often pretty or comfortable but boy is it worth it.!!! Thank you for sharing. fresh wind in my “shit facing” sails 😉 Fantastic!!