Yesterday, when I was talking with a friend about the self-work I’ve been doing, she (lovingly) told me that I’m way too hard on myself. She’s said that before, and I hadn’t quite put my finger on why it stung me so badly to hear that. I didn’t feel like I was being hard on myself in the context of what we were talking about. So why did it sting so badly?
Usually, when friends kindly call me on my shit like that, I appreciate it. And if you are really solid in Who You Are then it doesn’t matter if someone has a mixed up perception of you.
I figured out why it stung, it was because it touched a wound. And that wound was from spending so much of my life misunderstood by others, but being blamed, criticized, and abused for their perception of me.
I’ve heard all kinds of interpretations of my self-work over the years, I’ve been told a few times that I’m too hard on myself, that I’m insecure, that I need to not think about these things so much- I’ve been told these things as generalizations of who and how I am, not as assessments for particular situations. I’m human, and, yes, at times I am hard on myself, I do have insecurities, I can overthink. And I tell my stories, I expose my wounds, and I share, in real time, my journey to healing these wounds that we all have. I think because of that sometimes people see my wounds more than my healing process, and how these processes make me better, stronger, wiser, healthier… happier.
This self-work is just like getting a tattoo. When you get a tattoo you willingly have someone drag a needle across your skin, and scrape the same places, over and over. It’s painful. But in the end you have a beautiful work of art to show for it. And this art will be a part of you for the rest of your life. Something about that formula creates quite a rush. It can be addicting.
The same is true of this self-work. Sometimes you have to keep scratching the surface of your skin to get through to deeper layers. It can be painful, but in the end you have something beautiful to show for it. Only this time, YOU are the work of art. And the work that you’ve done to get there will be a part of you for the rest of your life. The formula can create quite a rush, and it can be addicting. I’m addicted to it.
The big difference is that a tattoo is something you are adding to you, and self-work is about removing layers, the illusions of self, to get closer to the truth.
And that’s just it. I believe that God, or The Universe, is simply Truth. The words could be used interchangeably. When you live in truth, integrity, and authenticity, you are tapping into, and aligned with, the flow of the Universe. But as the divine Miss Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free. But first it’ll piss you off.”
In doing this work, in trying to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be in the moment, in getting closer to the truth, before you are set free, you might (probably) find yourself in some form of pain for a bit. And that’s ok. As long as you keep going- so you can transcend past that pain, and live in truth.
I’m a firm believer in “you gotta feel it to heal it.” Allowing yourself to really feel everything, even if it’s not pleasant, is actually a way of being loving with yourself. When you fully inhabit what you are feeling, instead of pushing it away, you are no longer at war with yourself.
That means that if you need to cry, cry. I actually really enjoy crying. So many people see crying as a bad thing. I do not at all. Crying is a catharsis. It’s a way to drain the wound. You also release toxins and hormones through tears. Which means it is literally good for you to cry.
So let yourself cry. Let yourself flail around in the experience of your emotions. But be gentle. Just like when you get a tattoo, you must take good care if want to properly heal and be the beautiful work of art that you endured all that pain for.
We are works of art. Divine beings carved from the Universe. But we hide our truths to protect our wounds. And sometimes we have to tend to the wounds, and endure pain, to access that truth. It is not a bad thing. It is a beautiful thing. It is not being hard on yourself. It is being loving with yourself. And living in that pure Truth is better than any drug- recreational or medicinal.
My friend did me a favor. She showed me another piece of myself, which only helps me do this work that I love so tremendously.
So I will continue to do my work, to keep investigating until I hit gold, and to keep exposing my wounds, and showing you my truth. For I am a truth seeker.