It is not uncommon to see my clients struggling to own their stories. Struggling, especially, to own every single part of their stories. We can all struggle to own, let alone, accept, embrace and maybe even like every single part of ourselves and our stories.
I've been point blank asked by a client, "How do you just put it all out there? Without any qualms or fears?"
To which I made sure to be very real, very honest and very brave.
Owning all the parts of my story, even on my strongest of days, is born only through mustering up major courage.
And, this courage simply does not exist without a dose of fear.
On the good days I say who I am, I say my choices, I say my mistakes without skipping a beat; palms dry, voice steady and my passionate light shining through.
On the harder days I say who I am, I say my choices, I say my mistakes while stumbling over my words; palms clammy and hot, voice shaking, and yet, I still make sure my passionate light shines through.
It has only been through my own brutal work with my therapist and my work through The Daring Way™ that the ownership of my story has strengthened. It is only with this continued work, practice and fight for my recovery that my shame dwindles more and more each day.
But never assume that this courageous ownership is done without any fear. As it is only through working my recovery every single day that my story is told without much shame and my fear is more easily mastered to speak and own it all any way.
I will continue to own and tell my story to help and change myself and hopefully others. And I can only do this with wholehearted bravery, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Because, if I leave only one legacy on this earth, I hope it is the shining light of truth that this is the only way back to ourselves, back to peace, health and happiness and to find our ever upward.
However, I was also recently challenged on how much I am able to own my story within the limitations of our world's judgments.
We all judge, some definitely more so than others.
We have all been judged, some definitely more so than others.
I am not sure we will ever be able to fully escape the very human experience of judgment. What I do know is that the more I accept, embrace and own my story, all the parts of my story, especially the really difficult, misunderstood, invalidated and judged parts of my story is that this judgment really doesn't have any room to grow.
Really sit with this; it is really difficult to truly judge someone who wholeheartedly accepts, embraces and owns themselves and every single part of their story.
I am not sure there will ever be a day that I am not judged on my story;
judged for not figuring out how to try more rounds of IVF, both financially and emotionally,
judged for knowing and outwardly stating that we are not choosing to adopt,
judged for accepting a childfree life and yet leading a very childfull life,
judged for living this all out loud,
judged for attempting to change the shamed silence of infertility,
judged for authentically living my work in recovery,
and judged for being the genuinely vulnerable therapist that I am.
But I dare you to hold on to your judgments as you read my words let alone hear me speak my story.
I dare you.
I am a survivor of infertility and IVF.
I stopped treatments after two failed rounds, because for us that was enough.
I know adoption is not my path to my family.
I bear the soul scars of three never to be babies, and yet I am still a mother.
I am resolving to know more than one happy ending.
I am an open and honest therapist who fights for her own recovery.
And, I dare you to judge me.
Because, without a doubt I have faith and trust that when I own every single part of my story, through my fear, shame and all, your judgment will become just uncomfortable enough for you that your world will open up.
You will learn. You will see me, all of me. And, with that sight I can only hope you grow a little more educated, a little more compassionate and a lot more brave yourself.
And, I assure you, I will not allow your judgment and your misunderstanding to dim my light.
I will own it.
All of it.
Because only then do I find myself again.
And, only then will this light shine bright enough to hopefully give others the ever upward courage to do the very same.
I dare you...
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