“Often the pain of resisting makes us rust like iron, and in order to re-enter the flow of life, we need to be scraped back to our original surface.”
Scraped back to our original surface – our delightful, juicy, all-that-you-need-to-be surface.
It’s easy to forget that the original of you is what you want to get back to. It’s not about creating a new you. It’s about removing the protective layers of rust scrapings that you’ve built up because of:
- what your culture and others have said you should be
- beliefs about how a woman (or man) ought to act
- who you chose to be in order to feel safe
As a friend says “You have been taking care of yourself the best way you knew how.”
Congratulations to you. Taking care of yourself takes strength and a terrific sense of survival. There is a form of beauty, as you can see in the photograph, in your protective covering of rust.
What is also true, as I know from working with clients and from my own life, is: resisting and hiding who you are takes a gimundous amount of energy and closes you off to the possibility of being who you really want to be — yourself.
Being Taught How To Act (a list of “shoulds”)
- I was taught that it was bad to wear my heart on my sleeve so I learned to hide my feelings inside and felt ashamed when my emotions overflowed to the outside.
- My mom told me it wasn’t a good idea to beat the boys at bowling because then they wouldn’t like me, so I learned it wasn’t a good idea to win.
- When I was passionate about an idea or topic, many people stopped engaging in conversation with me, so I thought I was “bad” and worked at keeping my ideas and opinions to myself.
The protective armor of rust I built served me for many years. Until it didn’t. Then it became an albatross – a full-length coat of wet blankets – weighing me down and keeping me from what I really wanted to do. It shut me off to a world of possibilities.
Unlearning What We’ve Learned
Now I work at unlearning the limiting beliefs I have, particularly the annoyingly simplistic construct of good and bad. (Saying yes to people is “good”; saying no to people is “bad”). There are few objective truths.
So I’ve been assiduously scraping back to my original surface: a happy, forthright, rosy cheeked child/adult who finds humor in the darkest of moments, who enjoys a rousing debate, who revels in schmaltzy and who loves easily.
Who is your wonderful original self? Who is the person you were before you thought you should be someone else? Let her shine.
photo credit: from i’mjustcreative.com