I write and talk a lot about what it is to stand in our power, to connect to and use our voice, to be firm and proud in who we are. I write about connecting to our Self, our body, our soul and learning to listen to and honor our own innate wisdom and intuition. I believe that when we do these things, we can move mountains and part oceans. When we do these things, we will change the world and create a life for all people to be free and feel loved, honored and respected.
I have also written about the cost of standing in our power, stepping into our light. One cost is that we can’t turn back, once we know we can’t unknow and so we are driven to do different. We are no longer able to use the excuses of the past or hold onto the stories that yes tied us down, and also in someways, they kept us safe. We can’t unsee the new perspectives we have. I’ll be honest, this can be frustrating. There are times in daily life when I wish I wasn’t as self-aware as I am. Life would be less complicated. I wouldn’t think through every action and could just do without thinking of the short or longer term consequences. I wouldn’t see the ways I have failed my family or myself or my community and I wouldn’t feel the need to make the repairs that are necessary because of these failings. I wouldn’t know, and because I wouldn’t know, I wouldn’t and couldn’t care.
Most days, most of the time, I don’t want to turn back though. I like that I am creating a different life for my daughter and son and our little family than the lives my husband and I had growing up. I like that I’m connecting to our community and creating change in real and sustainable ways. I like that I can see when I fail and can go make the repairs that are necessary, so my relationships can be healthier and more authentic than they had been in the past. Most days I see all this self-awareness and my ability to stand in my power and my light as good things. Most days.
There are costs beyond the inability to turn back time and un-know and un-see though. Real costs that break my heart. These costs are the people I have lost in my journey to my Self, in my quest to finding and standing in my light, to connecting to my strength and power. They are significant people. People who I love (as in still love, it is not past tense), people who I respected (this is intentionally past tense) and people who mattered or even still matter to me. They are people who for their own reasons could not tolerate me finding my voice and using it. They are people who couldn’t bear what I had to say to them about hurts they had caused. They are people who had a significant role even in me learning to step into my light and power in the first place, people who encouraged it and taught it. People who were important and significant parts of my journey.
These are people who gave me an out, each time, before they rejected me. They offered for me to step out of my light, to let go of my power, to silence myself. They offered to give me the chance to step back and become small again. They offered to stay in my life if I did these things, and continued to do these things.
In a way, I had a choice. I could have chosen these people who I love so dearly over my own truth, over my own authenticity, over my own integrity and feelings of self-worth. I could have, in theory. In reality though, I had gone too far down that path, I was too deep in my own knowing and being. And so, in a greater way, I didn’t have a choice. Because I couldn’t stop being the person I had become, the person I really always had been. I couldn’t shrink back down. I couldn’t remain silent or ashamed any longer.
While my heart breaks over the people I have lost over the years, my heart heals and mends with the love and friendships I have gained. The more I have stood in my own light, spoken my truth, listened to my intuition, the more I have connected with others who do the same. These new people do not replace the ones I’ve lost. And they are important and give me the space to be fully and apologetically me.
There are losses in this work. There are people who won’t be able to tolerate you becoming big, strong, powerful. There are people who will try their damnedest to keep you small, silent, obedient. There are people who will break your heart in this journey, people you thought would always be by your side.
There are also gains in this work. The biggest being comfortable in your own skin and proud of who you are. While you do this, you will also find your people. The people who are doing their work, who are stepping up, who are allowing themselves to be seen. You will gain community, true community, that will support you and push you and stretch you in ways you never dreamed possible.
And together with your new community you will heal the wounds of your own past and the wounds of you larger communities. You will become the change you want to see in the world.
I talk more about what we lose and gain as we embrace our who we truly are more in this video below. It’s about twenty minutes long, so go ahead and get yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and settle in.
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This blog post and video are part of a series to introduce my 12-month circle Wild Woman Within :: (Re)Connecting to our forgotten knowing. You can learn more about the circle and request an application right here.
Want to see the other posts in this series? Here’s a list:
What we lose when we stand in our power (this post)