It’s (finally) okay with me to want what I want – and to let you want what you want, too.
In my own dance with my work and the braided forces of the world, I am coming to understand a few things which may also be awakening for you.
1) It’s okay to want what I actually want. (Another way of saying this, it’s okay to be me – the real me.)
It’s okay that I want to be beautiful and sexy and healthy and whole.
It’s okay that I want attention and praise and kindness.
It’s okay to stop working so hard.
It’s okay for me to travel in search of wonder and beauty – even if other people say, “There’s plenty of that here!”
It’s okay to want an ordered, organized life.
Wanting what I want – and having it – is not criticism of those in my life who are not interested in these things (like my husband). It’s okay for me to want things he does not want – and to find, purchase and/or create them. It’s okay to bring them home.
It’s okay that wanting these things makes me feel raw and scared and vulnerable.
My rawness, terror and vulnerability are okay, too.
It’s okay that wanting these things also makes me feel alive.
– which is what makes it worth risking, owning and getting to know those other feelings. Cuz here they are – and here I am, wanting stuff – and I don’t want the reason I didn’t reach – didn’t live – to be that I was afraid to be afraid.
2) I am special – actually special.
I forget this sometimes. I get to thinking that I have to prove myself, have to push and strive and wear myself to a frizzle-frazzle to be worthy of the approval of the world.
The astonishing truth is: the world doesn’t mind (or much notice) what I do. Some days, I can be soaked in rainbows and rolled in glitter and no one cares. Does this mean I should rev up my game – get louder, brighter, more sparkly? Nope. It’s not about them – and every time I get caught in that story, the glitter itches, the rainbows run in the rain.
This weekend, during meditation, I was given the most beautiful, simple truth. I was granted new visions, new abilities – I could see things I’d never seen before. I was astonished, delighted, tickled from the inside with angel feathers until….
My ego noticed. It started whispering in my ear, “Wow! You could make money with that! You should blog about that! You could get famous with that!”
Ugh. I thought. Go away stupid ego!
I tried to return my attention to my breath, to the beautiful colors of the vision that had, just a moment earlier, shimmered into form before my closed eyes.
Suddenly, I heard another voice – a truer voice – the voice of the one who sees all of this and knows who I really am. The voice of the soul.
I watched as it gathered up all of the illusions and self-aggrandizing BS that my ego had spun to cloud my vision and put them in a pile. I watched as the pile shimmered out of existence. Just disappeared.
No fireworks. No magic spells. Just whoosh… and ahhhhhhh.
I was left with a room of clear, clean spaciousness – and a simple wooden table upon which appeared four shimmering words. A shining sentence, pregnant with meaning:
You actually are special.
I laughed as my belly filled with effervescent joy bubbles.
I really am a good writer. I really can read energy and patterns. I really do help people. I really am a good mother, a beautiful woman, a whole and valuable human being.
And then, oh my! I understood: I really am here to help heal the world. We all are – and we are all special.
All of this time, I’d believed ( in a place that I didn’t even know was there) that I had to prove myself, had to earn my keep on this planet before I’d be allowed (by the jury of ‘everyone else’) to simply bring my gift.
What I saw in meditation was this: we don’t need to prove how special we are. We just need to get to work.
3) You don’t need me and I can’t rescue anyone.
I am a guide (and a capable one) but I am not the bridge. It’s my job to say, as clearly as I can, what I see; to post signs and drop pebbles and draw diagrams that lead to the bridge. But it is not my job to carry you across. That’s your job.
This truth is very hard for me. I grew up taking care of people who should have been taking care of me. I was trained from a very early age that my energy was up for grabs and that, if I didn’t give it away to anyone who asked, I was hurting them.
This is a lie.
We can’t fund another person’s life with our own reserves. We may want to – but we can’t. We can’t carry their pain. We can’t make them change. We can’t (not really) heal them if they don’t want to heal.
This is a thick, tough root to pull out of the psyche – and out of the collective. We are taught that suffering is bad and that people in crisis and pain NEED us to give away pieces of ourselves to make them better.
It turns out that this is the opposite of true. As my father, who has lived his whole life with a disability taught me, “Everyone’s disabled – and everyone is special.” When people would feel sorry for him for what he could not do (or when they’d feel super-impressed with him for what he did accomplish), he’d say, “That’s their illusion – don’t put that shit on me.”
That’s the raw truth.
People who are struggling, or in crisis may need support and community and counsel. But not always – and they never need pieces of you. What they need, no matter what they may think, is the courage and will to carry their own lives – and their own suffering.
And when it is time for them to cross their bridges to healing and wholeness, they must cross alone. You cannot build them a bridge, you cannot even find the bridge for them. you can try but as I am sure you’ve discovered, if they aren’t ready, they will not see the bridge – and they will resent you for trying to push them.
In fact, as I’ve learned from raising my kids into their 20s, people need to find or build their own bridges. Crossing those bridges is also their job – and their choice. And often, they’re gonna choose a different bridge than the one you’d like them to cross.
The only real job I have (or you have) is witnessing their journey and letting them learn to carry their own lives across.