Sunday, April 24, 2011

Complete Allowance

Where I am today is complete allowance of all that is. Not all of you will understand this blogpost, and that’s ok. It’s written for those of you it resonates with.

A few weeks ago I told my mom it’s a miracle I’m feeling my feelings. She said, “Rebekah, you’re human, so of course you’re feeling your feelings.” No. Not true. I have used everything to escape feeling my emotions – food, television, books, crushes – anything besides feeling them. The fact I’m now feeling my emotions really is a miracle. On Friday night I felt sad and lonely and a little crazy and instead of reaching for something to distract me, I just felt my feelings. I wanted to use affirmations, put a positive spin on all of it, but ultimately I allowed what was.

I am completely allowing myself to feel my feelings: good, bad, and ugly. I am no longer forcing myself to feel better or trying to hide parts of myself for fear others will judge me. Not just my feelings, but all parts of me. On Friday I even *gasp* went to the pool without shaving. It was perhaps the first time I walked into the pool completely unselfconscious. It was perhaps the first time in my life I allowed myself to be who I am in public without fear, without hesitation. Most of the time I’m only my true self when I feel it’s safe to do so: in the comfort of my home, with friends, at spiritual retreats. Friday was the first time it didn’t matter to me if I was being judged.

This all comes at a great time because I finished editing my book and I sent it to a professional copyeditor. I’m freaking out because that means someone else is going to read it! That probably sounds really funny because, um, when you write books you generally want people to read them. And furthermore I blog regularly about my personal life so why the commotion?

The commotion is Just a Girl From Kansas is not my blog. It’s much more personal. People are going to read my journal entries. They’re going to read my most intimate thoughts and feelings. They’re going to experience all the highs and lows I went through when I first moved to California and everything after that. It’s not a light and fluffy account. It’s my real life in its most raw form.

I’m scared because after this there is no more hiding. There is no pretending I’m a “normal” girl with a “perfect” life. All my crazy will be on display and how will people react? Except I’m not sure it matters all that much, because like I wrote a few weeks ago, those that mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. What it really comes down to is me. Allowing myself to be all that I am, allowing myself to be who I am without limits. Allowing all expressions of myself, allowing all parts of myself to exist and know they’re all ok. No one part is better than the other. Even my unpleasant feelings are acceptable. Even my sometimes-hairy legs are acceptable. I can allow all of it.

I dream of a world where we allow ourselves to be all that we can be. A world where we give ourselves permission to do so. A world where we show up for our lives and let things be what they are. A world where we love ourselves unconditionally, even the parts we don’t necessarily want the world to see. A world where we live in complete allowance knowing self-love is what matters the most.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

People are People

Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but whenever something goes wrong in any of my relationships I assume it’s my fault. It’s because I’m weird or said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing. I am always to blame. Except. . .I’m not.

I had an encounter with a friend last week that showed me other people are to blame too. I’m not always the bad guy. Yeah, I “knew” other people had flaws but somehow they didn’t register because the really flawed people I don’t associate with. I somehow assumed everyone around me was near perfect because they didn’t club baby seals. My rose-colored glasses finally fell off when I looked at my friend and really saw him. He can be impulsive and live completely in the now, which means he doesn’t always think things through. A little part of me worries about typing that because, “What will my friend think?” but honestly he probably won’t think much because -- it’s ok for me to not be “perfect” and it’s ok for other people to not be perfect as well. We’re human. We all have our character flaws. All of us. Even the really nice lovely people. Even those we cherish the most. So when I’m fighting with someone, no, I’m not solely to blame. No, I’m not the only one who makes mistakes. I’m not the only screw up in the room.

Other people have free will, other people are allowed to make choices and mess up, and yeah, that will affect me. No one else has all the answers or “acts perfectly” or has it all figured out. No one else has a manual for how to go through life. I thought they did, I felt like an alien invader, but now I realize everyone else is just trying to figure it out too. Some people put on a better show than others, but really everyone is just doing their best putting one foot in front of the other.

I guess I’m saying I finally understand relationships involve other people. (Duh Rebekah!) Other people are allowed to air their dirty laundry, to play out their character defects, to blunder through life. I don’t have to hold myself to a different standard, either higher or lower. People are going to be who they are and oftentimes it has nothing to do with me. I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t elicit a certain response. People are just. . .people.

I’m not conveying it very well but I feel such relief because I finally know my part in things, and it’s not everything. I finally understand how much is my stuff and how much is other people’s stuff. What a relief to not constantly take ownership of other people’s flaws! What a relief to acknowledge where I went wrong and where other people went wrong! Not with judgment but with acceptance. What a relief to say, “Oh, I see, they’re being impulsive, or acting out their control issues, or miring in entitlement,” or whatever and realize it’s theirs. To be living completely attuned to myself. What a gift.

I dream of a world where we can recognize people as people. A world where we understand everyone is doing their best, everyone has their character kinks they’re working on. A world where we understand what belongs to us and what belongs to other people. A world where we live on our side of the street, knowing it’s more than enough to take care of.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Only One Judging Me is Me

“I’m wearing brown boots with a black jacket! People are going to judge me!” “I didn’t meditate as long as my friend! What’s he going to think?” Here’s a little secret: No one is judging me as much as I’m judging myself. People are generally self-centered creatures and more often than not are thinking about themselves. So while I’m contemplating judgment for pairing brown boots with a black jacket, the person I’m passing on the street is probably worrying about how people might judge her for wearing sunglasses while it’s cloudy.

I know it seems trivial but when I can finally let go of self-judgment (or even judging myself for how others will judge me) I get to show up in the world. I get to be me without fear of repercussions. I get to do what I feel is best. I get to know and experience joy because I’m doing what I want without fear of what others might think. It can be paralyzing, the fear of others’ judgment. Not wanting to step out of line because the neighbors will gossip. But really, it’s usually just me judging myself. And when it’s not, well, there’s an excellent Dr. Seuss quote that addresses that: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

Yes. How true. Those that I love and who love me will not pass judgment on wearing brown boots with a black jacket, or for anything else my mind can think of. And if someone does think I’m a clueless fashion train wreck, I don’t necessarily want them in my life, now do I?

I suppose what I’m saying on a deeper level is the person who judges me the most is me. I’m my worst critic. I’m the one who berates myself, who says means things. And everyone else is doing the same. (At least I think they are. I’ve heard tale anyway.)

Where I am now is trying not to worry about what others think, yes, but also not worry about what I think others will think. It is safe for me to show up in the world. It is safe for me to express myself. It is safe for me to do things and say things and wear things that are in alignment with my heart without fear of judgment. I can give myself that permission, to be all that I can be. To rejoice in life. To accept myself as I am because honestly, no one really cares and the people who care aren’t worth associating with.

I have to admit I’ve been a bit scared to show my true colors, but I see now, I don’t have to be. Because the only one judging me is me.

I dream of a world where we stop judging ourselves and each other. A world where we know it’s safe to be ourselves. A world where we live life to the fullest, expressing the truest part of ourselves. A world where we love ourselves and each other. A world where we let ourselves be. A world where we give ourselves permission to do so.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Age is Just a Marker

I have this “thing” about age and success. I am riotously envious of those who are young and successful. Success in this sense means they wrote a best-selling book or started a business or head up a major department at work. It may seem strange for me to talk about success when only a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how only love is real. I do believe only love is real, but at the same time I know I am here to birth certain creative projects, and I have a desire to see them succeed. I feel envious of people (even fictional ones!) who are doing well for themselves under the age of 30. Somehow in my mind if you’re successful and you’re young, it’s a double whammy. A double achievement.

There are many issues I could touch on here – how success may be defined in numerous ways, how success doesn’t guarantee untold bliss and happiness – but what I’d like to focus on is the link to age. Why is it such a big deal for me? So what if some kid became a millionaire at age 12? So what if someone started up a billion dollar company and retired at age 32? Does age really matter? Why is youth such a trophy?

You know what? It’s not. Ultimately age is not important, it’s just a marker of when something was accomplished. I can take out my pressing need to do things quickly and while in the bloom of youth because really it’s the idea, the project, the art that’s most important. When I focus on age I lose sight of that. Yes, only love is real, but I am a human and I was put on this Earth to engage. To be a conduit for the divine and transmit certain messages. That’s what’s important. Not when I transmit them. “When” doesn’t ultimately matter as much as showing up for my part. If I accomplish something sooner it doesn't make it more valuable. Let me say that again. If I accomplish something at the age of 15 or at 50 neither is better than the other.

Admitting “when” something is accomplished is not important is difficult for me to accept because I’ve been focused on the “when” for so long. But honestly, I’ve known in my heart all along the creation is what’s matters most.

A friend of mine said to me years ago young people who join 12 step programs are so lucky because they spend fewer years acting out their addictions. My response to him was even experiencing one day of sobriety is a gift. It doesn’t matter when you become sober, just as long as you’re sober. The same can be applied to dreams I think. It doesn’t matter when you accomplish your dreams, as long as they are accomplished.

I can now release my want to do things immediately and before I’m 30 because I know there is plenty of time. I don’t have to rush. Everything falls into place when it’s supposed to, and the idea success is even greater if I’m young when it happens can drop off because that’s all in my mind. I don’t have to believe that anymore. And I have the same wish for others.

I dream of a world where we all lose our hang up with time. A world where we understand “when” doesn’t matter, as long as our heart and soul’s desire comes to fruition. A world where we understand perhaps benevolent forces are at work that have a broader perspective about “when” it’s best for something to manifest. A world where we live freely without comparison and judgment. A world where allow ourselves to be, to dream, to achieve, knowing whenever our projects manifest is when they’re supposed to.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.