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I remember laying in my bed when I was a senior in high school, overwhelmed with the thought that I had no idea what was coming next in life.
Not in a day-to-day sense, and believe me, I had plenty of experience with life changes and uncertainty, but until then, I’d always known that there was a schedule—a purpose. Go to school, one day after the next, and graduate high school.
The rest was just details.
Then it came time to decide the rest of my life. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I followed the easy path, the expected path to a degree. I graduated undergrad hoping to work on a wildlife reservation, but then…life.
I spent my 20s and 30s always searching for the next thing, the next big achievement. And a lot of that time was spent learning how to survive and get through crises, both my own and those of my friends. I was trying to mold myself into someone who fit in.
And in doing so, I did a lot of things that were totally against my nature.
The career I fell into and the promotion-chasing, career ladder game. Winner gets to work 80-hour weeks and always feel depleted.
The cookie-cutter house in the middle of a subdivision that I bought because it was going to be a great investment. I am not a cookie-cutter kind of woman and I do not belong in a subdivision. Also, it was not a great investment. Not at all.
The relationships that went on way too long.
I did a lot of really great things, too. I went on amazing vacations and found my little piece of the world. I spent a lot of time figuring out what is and what is not important to me. I settled into life.
Which, to be honest, kind of felt like settling. It was too comfortable, in a way.
I liked my life, the lack of drama, and the feeling of having a home. I thought I felt better than ever, but all my life there had always been that next thing to achieve. The next part of me that I needed to heal. The next crisis or drama. The next thing on the list to check off to move to the next position.
I had survived off of this drive to move and find the place where I fit.
In a way, it was disconcerting to not feel bad. Life hadn’t stopped happening, but the bumps were easier to handle because I’d been through them before.
The feeling of settling got so uncomfortable that I went to a spiritual advisor and basically said, “Here are all the things I’ve done that I know are not right for me. I don’t know what I should do next. Please just tell me what I need to do to get past this. Just give me a checklist and I’ll do it.”
I didn’t say those exact words, because it sounds ridiculous when spelled out like that, but that was the sentiment.
We got into discussions of male and female energy and the traits of each. How most of my life I’ve been using masculine energy, first as a way to survive childhood and then to fit in as an adult. How being an empath affects the way I see and deal with the world.
It was a typical conversation, until she said, “All you have to do is just be.”
It was like she was saying I’m enough as I am and I don’t need to fight to get to the next part of life.
Just be. You don’t need to fight.
Even now, just typing those words, I feel such an opening, such relaxation, in my chest. It’s like an invitation to align with my soul, which is always there but mostly invisible because I’m so busy looking the other way.
It sounds so easy, but what I am finding is that it is not. It’s like scouring the internet for months to plan a camping trip, finally getting camp set up, and then realizing that you’ve become so addicted to being on the internet that you can’t even enjoy sitting in one of your favorite places.
I am working on learning how to embrace all of me, especially the feminine energy. It is so much easier for me to be a giver than a receiver, to erect a shield around myself than to let someone in. So much easier to pretend to fit in. So much easier to act than to truly believe in myself.
But I never again want to take the easy path.
I want to revel in all of me and who I am. I want to glorify the goddess and release the feral. I want to sit in alignment with nature and with those who matter most to me. I want to use all my gifts and talents to make the world a better place. I want my weird pieces to shine to attract my tribe.
Of course, I still have to survive and I still have to work. What I love so much about the masculine energy is that it got me to this comfortable, settled place in life. And I know it will always be with me; it will always cause me to strive to be better and do better.
But for now, I will be over here—just being.