I am always the strong one. At least that is the illusion I told myself. I am the one who remains clear headed and calm while the chaos ensues around me. I’m the one that handles the crisis during the crisis. The cost is I don’t get to my feelings until much later after the chaos becomes calm.
After the crisis and before I get to my feelings, I am cranky, bitchy, nitpicky. And when I let loose, it is like my insides are falling out of me. I cry tears that could fill the oceans. I sob out loud and I just let go. And man, am I tired when I’m finished. It takes so much energy to hold up the world and keep it together when I just want to cry in that moment. But if I did, then I wouldn’t be the strong one. Or would I?
This is how I grew up. This was the role I created for myself. My unique ability. My “look at me and what I can do talent”. The action I took for approval and love. What I felt I had to do to be loved. Yet, I was already loved. Loved before conception, loved the second I was conceived, the moment I came into this body on this earth. I am love.
Somewhere along the way, I learned being dependable was strong and approved (approval = love) and showing lots of emotion was judged as weak. So, funny, I live my life in a colorful world mixing colors constantly. Yet for this huge decision, I looked at only 2 choices, black or white. My fear erased color and with it possibilities.
I did such a good job playing my “strong one” role that when I shared my feelings with loved ones and began taking off my mask, they responded with “you can handle it, you are strong”. Often, that made me super angry to hear. I wanted the perceived nurturing I saw going to the “weak”. The rescuing. I wanted to be rescued.
And so I tried my hand at being a victim. I didn’t get the reaction I wanted. I received tough words and tough love. And that made me angry and kicked off more fears about me not being loved. A self-fulfilling prophecy?
Life is about possibilities, endless possibilities. Today I am still great in a crisis with my feelings hanging out or running down my face. I allowed myself to see other possibilities. I no longer have HUGE releases after a crisis that drain me of energy. I gave myself permission to feel in the moment. I am the strong one because I allow myself to feel and express my vulnerability without becoming a victim.
And I am grateful for this beautiful awareness. I am grateful for the times I believed in the illusion. And I am so grateful to know the difference. This awareness I pass on to my son. Feel your feelings, acknowledge them. Crying is a release. Admitting you are sad, frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, AFRAID, doesn’t make you weak…it is what you do next that becomes your story. Do you become a victim of woe is me or do you keep moving, find gratitude and live your life, human, vulnerable and strong?
How do you begin reframing what you believe and your behaviors? I’ll share with you what I discovered. My magic powers I’ve used for years…
First you become aware. Then you create an intention. How do you want to embrace your life or a specific aspect of it. Stick with something that stretches your comfort zone and yet you believe it is possible. Sometimes it is your intention that helps grow your awareness. And then develop an affirmation, an I am statement. Something in your own words that you desire and can believe. Both your intention and affirmation may be works in progress. That is absolutely okay.
And finally, gratitude. When I live in gratitude, my fears are quieter. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but fear doesn’t get so loud that it controls my life. And when it does, I discover I have forgotten my gratitude.
I realize this may sound too easy or possibly lame depending on your perspective. All I know is it works. It works in my life. And I have the incredible delight of witnessing it change the lives of my clients.
I sit in gratitude almost daily focusing on an intention and affirmation to guide me or grow me that day. And sometimes I have the same intentions and affirmations for a few weeks as I allow myself to change. My gratitude notebook goes everywhere with me in my purse. When I feel something, I write it down. And when I’m struggling, it helps me remember. Some days it might be gratitude that I am breathing or the sun is shining.
I realize this seems so simple. How could something this simple change your life? Try it consistently and watch yourself soar. And if you dare enough to try it, write to me and tell me how your life is changing. I want to dance in celebration for you and with you.