It all started one sunny, Monday, afternoon
One moment I was enjoying the the sun on my face as we road up into the mountains in the middle of a Monday afternoon, and the next, I was completely frustrated with myself as my inner critic started in again with its judgments about how I spend my “work” time.
I’ve been feeling unempowered lately, so I figured I’d beat myself up a bit, just to see if a little self-inflicted mental torture might get me movin’.
It’s probably because I struggle with anxiety when I sit down at my computer to work, that I never want to do it. I avoid it at all costs. I’ll call a friend, clean the house, take a walk, meditate, or eat…oh how I. like. to. eat. I’ll do anything to postpone the moment I finally sit down to work. Normally this kind of procrastination results in a 2 for 1. I get zero productivity and a generalized feeling of failure.
But for some reason today was different.
Instead of just falling down the manhole of self-loathing and judgment, I decided to look at the anxiety I was feeling to see if I could unravel it a bit.
Underneath the anxiety, was a lingering feeling of unworthiness, like showing up to a black-tie event in sweatpants.
And I was finding evidence of unworthiness everywhere.
You eat too much! Can’t you see that fat, hanging over your pants? Look at you! You are a slob. Your hair is greasy, you are covered in dog hair, and when’s the last time you took a shower?
From the holes forming in my shoes to the van seats covered in mud from the dog, I can say for sure, I’m a hot mess. My hair is messy, my house is messy and there is rarely a day that goes by I don’t think girl, you need to get your shit together!
This self-talk perpetuates my unworthiness until I finally tell myself, it doesn’t really matter what I do. No one cares and no one is listening...just take it easy.
Then another day passes and I tell myself, tomorrow...I’ll try again tomorrow.
But on this day, I decided to become a detective, looking for the cause of anxiety, instead of running from it. I saw it's an internal system of protection, like a smoke alarm, screaming in my ear to keep me safe from doing the risky business of what my soul came here to do. It seemed to be an internal system designed to make sure I don’t fail.
I also saw how unworthiness often steps in as backup for my anxiety to deliver a complete paralysis so I only stand in the shadow of the life I came here to live, stopping me from feeling the freedom to fully express myself.
But I realized, unworthiness is also the keyhole I must pass through to actually have the incredibly fulfilling life I long for.
As Tara Branch writes in her book Radical Acceptance “Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns...We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.”
Playing small has been a theme in my life lately as I grapple with integrating my soul work of personal transformation with my retail business, Filosophy; I’m not sure how to marry the two. It requires me to do things unconventionally, and I am afraid of getting it wrong. I’m afraid of failing.
I know I’m here to inspire and uplift people, to motivate and help them create their most impossible dreams, but when it seems I haven’t created all of mine...my ego tells me I have nothing of value to share.
Yet I know that’s all bullshit!
The irony is, our soul work requires us to see our unworthiness for the farce it is. Our worth is not earned, it is granted the moment we are born.
We all have something to share, no matter how small. We all have something to give to someone, but like a love letter, the nature of soul work feels so personal, it’s so close to our hearts that sharing it can feel utterly vulnerable.
But that gift we have, It’s also like a fingerprint, it's unique to us alone.
If we are to share our gifts with others, we need radical self-acceptance. It’s the only way to make our work feel authentic. Without it, we are just a copy of someone else’s story, someone else’s purpose, someone else’s process. However, if we honor our natural strengths and work around our weaknesses, we can design a life we love and share our soul work.
So, today I choose to accept where I am and who I am. I am going to honor my process and let go of the results. I’ll make a choice to stand in my power and do something I love to do, even if I don’t get it right, and even if it’s not perfect.
I know joy will guide me in my soul work and from there I will follow my intuition. Then, just like a loving parent, I’m going to cheer myself on with every tiny step I take, knowing I am worthy, even if I fail.