DAY 4 // 100%
Where in your life are you not showing up 100%? Relationships, love, sex, jobs, roles, dreams, goals. etc. How often do you talk yourself out of saying things you need to say or doing things you really want to do because you are afraid of rejection or judgment?
“DON’T you dare!!” He said.
It was Sunday morning. What started as a conversation on our future quickly dissolved into a breakup exit interview. I didn’t understand. We had just started the fund for our 10th anniversary vacation. We were going to do it big. I felt my face grow hot and my eyes well as the life I thought was going to happen came crashing down around me. You would imagine I had a meltdown. I didn’t.
I blinked my tears back, took a breath and followed his silencing command like the “good girl” I was.
My mother’s nickname for me is “peacock”. The first time I got my hair professionally blown out at the salon I refused to move my head until I got home, for fear that one movement or gust of wind would ruin everything. I wanted it to stay exactly the way she styled it, hair for hair.
Funny thing is, I’ve kind of lived my life like that ever since.
Like most middle children, I was the peacemaker of the house. And as such, I learned to keep and delay my emotions for the sake of the greater good. As I got older, I found more creative terms to put a positive spin on what essentially was a habit of swallowing my feelings for the sake of other’s comfort; I’d say we came from a family of “stoic” women. I’d call myself “strong”; say I was just “being an adult” and no one has time to put up with “tantrums”. I buried hurt, masked pain and never asked for what I needed, for fear that the gust of wind called my emotions would mess up the hairs of my life.
And so, I was a “good girl”. Never ruffled too many feathers, never argued, never asked for too much, never cared that he didn’t call, never spoke up at work. And, bit by bit, I watched life pass me by. Friends got promoted, married, divorced, married again. Colleagues purchased houses, moved up into management, saw dreams come true. meanwhile I dutifully showed up and went home from work, showed up as just a body in my relationship, showed up and stood in front of my dreams, refusing to take a forward step.
And it’s funny how the universe works. How people work. If you never step up and say what you need, the people in your life can’t give it to you. If you never own your desires, the Universe will respond in kind. I got back exactly what I put out. Just Enough. Until one day enough just wasn’t…enough anymore.
I have taken to the practice of letting people know when I wanted something. When their requests of me were too much. When my commitment to them felt lopsided. When I had a goal. And it’s been hard. It is hard. I don’t always do it. I’d never realized how accustomed I had become to swallowing my reactions. But I’ve shown up. I’ve cried. I’ve raised my voice. I’ve told him, “this isn’t enough for me, I need more”. And it is messy, un-glamorous and gloriously un-perfect. But I’m here. And my goal, my commitment, for the rest of my life, is to not just show up, but be loud. Be here. Be present. not just as a body, but as a living, breathing, feeling, needing, perfectly imperfect me. Full of emotion, desire and the audacity to share. To accept an abundant existence, with all its highs and lows. To be 100% present.
And it is all I wish for you.
Conceived by GG Rene of AllTheManyLayers.com, the #30Layers30Days Challenge dares writers to dig deep with thoughtful daily inspirations meant to promote introspective thought and mindful journal practice. I will be posting my more inspired entries from the daily challenges. You can follow the #30Layers30Days hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or follow GG Rene at @ggrenewrites.