What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.
― Muriel Rukeyser
Everyone has a story. Our story is our past. That story gets repeated to ourselves and others –– either consciously and unconsciously or both. We bring it with us everywhere we go. Many times, this story weighs us down like a lead cloak. It prevents us from moving forward in our life. Or it just plain slows us down. We hold on to it tightly. It feels safe, familiar, comfortable. We might use our story as an excuse not take risks and be brave.
Often our story is a mask, so we don't have to reveal our true self to others. We even lose sight of who we are without the storyline. We stop trusting ourselves and our voice.
We forget our truth. We forget our divinity. We forget our wholeness.
Hiding is heavy.
Last week, I was at my yoga teacher training when a young and beautiful girl freely revealed a story with such ease that I was struck. Because I had a similar story. I wasn't ashamed of it, but it wasn't really my story to tell. It was my mother's story. My mother came out as a bi-sexual when I was in college. Not too long after her cancer diagnosis. So not only did I have to come to terms with her illness, but I had to make peace with my mum's sexuality. Not an easy task –– at least not initially. This was 20 plus years ago, and I was young. But I've always prided (no pun intended) myself on being non-judgmental. In my mother's final years, she was in a long-term relationship a very dear woman. "You love who you love," she would say. And I loved her dearly –– no matter what.
This part of her ended up being one of the most truer parts of the woman she became.
She often reminded me: "Our secrets keep us sick." She lived an honest life because cancer had forced her to. Keeping our stories to ourselves separates us. They make us feel alone. And unwell. But the truth is, we're never really alone.
We all have fragmented pieces that stitch us together.
One of the biggest narratives I carried with me was that "I was broken." For years, everything that showed up in my life would reveal this to me. The people and situations would reflect this storyline back to me. I would even say it jokingly in conversation, almost like a badge of honor. When one day, after a fight with a loved one (my husband), as I sat with the uncomfortable feelings, I had a breakthrough. I was beating myself up badly because of what the other person said. But that was their story, and I took it on. It's wasn't mine to carry. I'm not damaged, despite all the tales I'd made up. I'm whole. I have so much love - and joy - and beauty in my heart (and by the way, so do you).
But my mind was blocking it.
"in our own ways we all break. it is okay to hold your heart outside of your body for days. months. years. at a time.
Letting our minds tell us something different than what our heart knows is something we all do. If we get caught in the storyline, we can't see the truth of what's in front of us. There are blessings leading us where we need to go...if only, we can just reframe the story.
I've seen it over and over again in my own life and with the women I work with and know ––as we step closer and closer into our truths, the messier and more chaotic it appears. It's part of our intiation. To give birth to ourselves -––and to shed what isn't ours. To heal.
There's beauty in the so-called brokenness.
If every woman bravely told her truth, the world would be a different place, and frankly it needs to be.
Let the world split open.
I'm anxiously awaiting.