Let’s get real. Let’s own our human experience – not just the shiny, glittery parts of it, or the aspects that we (or others) deem to be “positive” or “good” or brag-worthy. Not just the flattering photos on Facebook or Instagram, the snapshots and brief words that make our lives appear easy and perfect (whatever that means) and care-free.
Let’s be honest about ALL of it – the parts that are happy and joyful, of course, but also the moments in which we’re at our lowest. The times when we act from fear, when we’re small and selfish and suffering. The experiences in which we fail to act from our highest selves, when we’re ugly and afraid; the lonely nights; the ice cream binges; and our myriad of addictions – to booze and prescription pills, relationships and work and even to our own thoughts.
I want us to blow up this whole façade that we cower behind and empower ourselves to own our truths and our lives. To open a real and honest dialogue around what it means to be human, to live the lives we do – and in doing so, to break the cycle of stigma and shame that surrounds distress and mental health in our society.
Because here’s the thing: as long as we believe that aspects of our human experience are worth hiding – as long as we don’t bring the less than happy or beautiful or kind moments to light – we aren’t able to truly love ourselves. When we’re dishonest about our suffering or our struggles, when we think we’re the only person who has ever lost her temper or reached for something to numb the pain or wished away our lives, we give those thoughts and feelings power. Power over us, power to trap and imprison us in a life of shame. And when we live our lives stuck in fear, when we believe that we are unworthy or broken or not enough, we lose our connection – to other people, to our own hearts and to the magic of life. And when we lose that sense of belonging – when we don’t really love ourselves – we don’t feel joy.
Accept all of you. The thoughts and feelings and behaviors that you’d rather not admit to, that you believe must remain hidden and shrouded in darkness – love them fervently. Those experiences aren’t who you are; they’re merely waves in your ocean, and they all belong.
Stop over-identifying with ego: you are not the mean voice in your head. You are the one who can hear and observe and notice that voice: the space within you that is Light and Love, Wisdom and Truth and basic goodness. So live from that place, love who you are – the good, the bad and the ugly – and know that you were born enough.