Getting back from our Grand Canyon adventure was crazy. I was tired, definitely. Hungry, too. But my biggest craving of all was for the simple routine of Fall, and to rest my soul.
It was a bit broken open by all the things that happened in a short period of time, culminating in the hike in Arizona. What an incredible experience that was. Thank you for all the support. When I step out of my comfort zone to try something scary and challenging, it means everything to me to be encouraged in that moment. That made Marie the perfect hiking partner. She was so rock solid encouraging, amusing and a bright light of fun.
Even when I was throwing up by the pine tree. But that's another story.
It is hard to understand sometimes, but not everyone is excited for us when we step out. I had two speaking opportunities lately, and after one of them at the Vineyard, I was so excited that my mess of a story was a message for others to heal and receive forgiveness, I posted just that. Here's part of a response I received:
"[We] would have done anything for you...your sympathy mongering puts bad light on those including myself who cared. You have friends with no link to your past, so they believe what you say. I know a lot more. Just remember [us] when you're crying poor me."
Even now I hesitate to share this. But I think it's important to know that when you take brave steps to be honest and vulnerable, not everyone cheers. In fact. some will try to use guilt and shame to smack us back down into place. It's uncomfortable for them.
I happened to be reading Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong, when I received this message and here's what's written on the back jacket of her book: "The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness - even our wholeheartedness - actually depends on the integration of all our experiences, including the falls."
That gave me a sense of peace and confidence that this was not my issue, and I was to continue on my path. I said out loud what I often say when someone projects their shadow onto me, which is, "I don't receive that!"
When we each step out onto our fitness path, or into our deeper life's purpose even, we will be met with resistance. It comes in many forms and disguises. Fear. Guilt. Disapproval. Shame. Any response to your brave and honest attempt to improve your life should be rock solid encouragement and love. That's it. If you hear anything else, don't receive it.
It was tempting to say, that's it. No more public speaking. I mean, it's terrifying anyway. This was the perfect excuse. Who cares about my self-destructive choices and how grace and forgiveness changed my life, or how fitness helped me recover my lost sense of worth. I felt the temptation to quit, to keep my story to myself. I couldn't even write last week. But the darkness can't win.
So here I am. Telling the truth. Stepping out into canyons and public speaking venues, being true to my purpose and path as I understand it. I'll keep learning. I'll keep growing. But I won't be shamed into silence, and I won't let fear dictate any more of my choices. I did that long enough. Love is my guide now, and we're doing pretty good together. In fact, I think I'm on a roll.
Be honest. Be brave. Be you!