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November 25, 2019

I Won’t Apologize for being Real, for being Messy & Vulnerable & Unfiltered.

A while back, I posted something on social media that could be considered a rant.

In the days following, I found myself filled with unbelievable grief, anxiety, sadness, and fear. I was overcome with guilt and shame, and I knew I needed to take a close look at these emotions in order to heal them.

I wondered why I felt this way. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I wasn’t blaming anyone. I had shared my feelings, as raw and vulnerable as they were.

I imagined what people must be thinking of me, and I was spinning in my own negative, chaotic thoughts. I considered taking it down, but resisted. It happened, and I have no regrets. I was raw and vulnerable in that moment, and I wasn’t going to apologize, or make excuses.

What I’ve realized since then is that that post, that moment, was cathartic for me. It was a miracle that led to some deep healing.

It was an important moment that brought me to my knees and broke me open. As Rebecca Campbell says in her book Light Is The New Black, “The world needs you cracked open.”

It was a moment in which I shifted from fear to love. And therein lies the miracle.

A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.” ~ A Course In Miracles

It didn’t happen instantly; it took several days of me reflecting on it, but it showed me a truth about myself I could no longer deny.

I had been allowing myself to be pulled in a direction I didn’t want to go. I was being pulled away from my true self and led by my ego. I was doing the very thing that I was encouraging others not to do.

That post wasn’t directed at anyone specifically. It was a reflection of my state of mind at the time and served as an important wake-up call for me.

I’ve come to understand that this moment was in part the result of a mantra, or prayer, I say every morning. I ask for assistance with the following:

Help me see what I need to see. Help me feel what I need to feel. Help me know what I need to know.” ~ Barbara Deangelis

I’ve learned that sometimes these things show up in ways we’re not expecting. Growth can be uncomfortable and messy.

This event caused me to look within and inspired me to create my message—a mission statement of sorts that I intend to live by:

Be real. Be honest. Be loving. Be aware. Be courageous. Be accepting. Be compassionate. Be kind. Pay attention! When you wander away from any of these, you’ve veered off course.

We all do things sometimes that we look back on, and say, “Why did I do that? What was I thinking?” Beating ourselves up, and being carried away by our guilt, won’t solve anything. It keeps us stuck in our victim story. We must find a way to move through it, and focus on the solution and the healing.

It also taught me how to let go. To let go of the need to please. The need to care about others’ opinions. The need to explain or defend myself.

The other issue that comes up for me is that, as a society, we’ve been taught to bury our feelings—both men and women. We, as women, are not allowed to be emotional. We’re labeled crazy, too sensitive, out of control. Every time we see or hear a woman sharing her most vulnerable self, we have an opportunity to stand with her and support her, or sink into our old, limiting beliefs, labeling her along with everyone else.

Some people are uncomfortable offering support. I believe they feel it puts them in the spotlight, and sometimes, that can feel like a dangerous place to be.

I believe the world needs genuine, authentic people who are unafraid to show up. People who are unafraid to show us their realness, as it were. Those who bring all of themselves to the world, in a beautiful, transparent way. They say, “This is me. I won’t hide myself.”

I don’t encourage you to vent on social media, but if you do, don’t beat yourself up for it. Step back, reflect, and ask yourself, “Am I being pulled in a direction I don’t wish to go?”

Then listen for the answer, and change course if necessary.

If you see another woman struggling, offer her your support. A simple, “I’m here if you need to talk,” is all that’s needed.

Offer love and understanding, and, when the time comes, it will be returned.

~

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author: Jennifer Wentzlaff

Image: Mother! / IMDb

Editor: Kelsey Michal