Denying the Truth
Nope, I’m not talking politics. I’m talking about goals, dreams, purpose, wants, needs and desires. I’m talking about all those things that we get told we don’t deserve, shouldn’t have, can’t have, are too expensive to have, or are just plain crazy. We all have them and we deny ourselves the right to have them, often based on that feedback from the outside world.
Growing up, my parents had given me a very short checklist of things to do in life. It was the typical “shopping list” which included a full-time union job with benefits, house, car, a husband and some kids, and pets were okay too. That was it. If I did that life would be stable and there would be no risk. I was told to let other people take chances. I should just get a teaching job because it was stable, paid well and had benefits. Happiness wasn’t on the menu either. Did you notice that? It was only about being stable and having the “correct” life. It didn’t necessarily have to make me happy, it just had to look right to the outside world. Don’t rock the boat!
Back in my late teens and very early 20’s I was a walking natural disaster. I had dropped out of post-secondary school. I was working a minimum wage job and living by myself. On their own, those things weren’t really the problem. It was the lifestyle I had built around them that was the issue. I was hanging with people and doing things I probably shouldn’t have been.
When I look back now, I see that narrow path that had been laid out in front of me that I couldn’t stay on. I drove it drunk, swerving violently from one side of that track to the other. I did that because it wasn’t me. It didn’t acknowledge huge chunks of who I was. Unfortunately, I had already tied a large portion of my identity, of who I thought I was (or was supposed to be) to that narrow little path. What that created was an internal conflict that went on until just recently.
The lifestyle I had created back then was a rebellion of sorts. I drove the path drunk because it wasn’t my path. It was my mother’s path and I had taken it on as my own. To be clear, I don’t blame my mother, I don’t even blame myself. She was doing the best she could as was I. These are valuable life experiences. Whether the lessons are learned at 25 or 45 doesn’t matter. The important part now is that I figured it out.
How did I figure it out? It started from a relationship that formed when I was 20 years old. It was a pretty unsuspecting thing. He picked me up at a party ( a social for those that know what those are) and it went from there. It wasn’t planned or expected. Sometimes things just happen. He was put in my path and he saved me from myself, unknowingly to him. He stopped me cold. It was something I needed at that point. Later, he would convince me to get my degree. He didn’t push, yell, or force. It was just a conversation we had at one point, but whatever he said at that moment gave me whatever it was I needed in order to begin getting my life on track again.
I kind of knew, even then, that I wouldn’t be in the classroom teaching little kids forever. That just wasn’t it for me. But I began to recognize the need for the degree. It was something I’d wanted since I was 5-years old. It was a life dream and something that I had almost given up on until that moment. The moral of that story is that I got my degree at Brandon University four years later.
Fast forward to today and I’m still working out who I am while removing all those old messages that weren’t my own truth. I’ve spent the last six years or so, re-creating my own identity around who I am, what I want and who I want in my life. I’m almost ready for the big reveal, but that’s a story for another day. He was part of my journey back then and he will be again now. For many reasons I’ll begin to share over time, we couldn’t be together for a long time, not the least of which was my marriage to somebody else. It was all part of the old programming that I’ve been slowly tossing out.
Why am I telling you all of this? The train wreck my life has been up to this point taught me who I was. There was a purpose served in everything that’s happened to me. It’s through those lessons that I want to help others so they don’t have to do what I did. There’s nothing wrong with learning the hard way as I’ve done, but there is also an easier way that is possible once we allow the truth to be the priority instead of the outward appearance or the lies.
I don’t regret anything that’s happened. I don’t begrudge anybody around me for their choices. I try to be as easy on myself as I am on those around me. Learning to be okay meant letting everybody, including myself, off the hook. It meant understanding that everybody is doing the best they can at every moment. Sure, I can look back now and see what I was doing as crazy. I can shake my head and wonder what the heck I was thinking back then. But I also know that it was the best I could do at that point. If I could go back now with the wisdom I’ve gained and do it again, of course, I’d do it differently. But I can’t beat myself up for what I didn’t know at the time. What I can do from where I am now, is learn from those experiences and do better going forward. That’s it. As the saying goes, when you know better you do better. It’s time to stop beating ourselves up for what we didn’t know.
My truth includes a lot of people and things I haven’t allowed into my life until now. My truth won’t look right to many of you. My truth requires me to pave my own trail. That’s scary as hell, I might add, but worth it. My truth is teaching from my own and life experience, as many entrepreneurs do. My truth won’t be the same as yours and that’s okay too. Life isn’t meant to be lived the same way by everybody. How boring would that be? Life is meant to be lived and experienced uniquely by everybody that chooses to experience it. That is what I’m going to do. What are you going to do?
Sending lots of love.
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