Sitting here at my laptop after rearranging my office for the third time this year, I’m picturing Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail.
She had a cool desk arrangement.
I wanted to sit at that desk.
So finally, I have my desk looking all cute and thrown into the middle of the room in a decorator kind of way.
Where I will hopefully begin typing amazing words that express what’s in my heart.
But, getting it right takes time.
Anyway, we all experience an authenticity crisis at some point in life.
Usually around age 40.
And for some of us (ME)… it revisits quite often.
THREE AUTHENTICITY CRISIS QUESTIONS
This crisis boils down to 3 questions:
1. Who am I?
Or, who the hell am I?
(Hell is added when we’re seriously doubting things.)
2. What am I doing here?
Or, what the hell am I doing here?
And here’s the where the rubber meets the road question:
3. Will my life measure up to what I thought it would be?
That’s an authenticity crisis right there.
It’s a brave question to ask.
Because for now, this is the one life you’ve got.
And the very idea of not living fully…
Well, it’s a horrible idea right?
No one wants to think their life was a waste.
Like you didn’t experience what you were CAPABLE of.
So, for you, so that your life IS lived fully…
And you’ll walk your truth by being true to your soul.
Are you fulfilling the promise of your life?
Meaning, are you showing up for yourself?
Self-respect for what you feel compelled toward.
That thing you think about ALL the time.
How many more years will you think about it?
Yes, life gets in the way.
So we say.
However, is there ever a good reason to keep yourself parked on the bench?
I don’t think so.
Actually, it’s a resounding: NOPE.
Your soul is the truest part of you…
And life needs to conform to what your soul is here for.
Your soul is here to love and be loved.
Your soul is here to serve.
If you don’t carve out the time… you won’t do it.
Human nature says that we will continue to avoid ourselves.
So, show up for yourself and your soul.
Elton John sings…
Look in the mirror and stare at myself,
And wonder if that’s really me on the shelf.
Are parts of you left on a shelf…
Ignored, and you’re wondering:
What the hell?
When did that happen?
Why am I leaving it there?
What is going on with me that I’m allowing this?
When my 40 something self heard that song, I thought all of those things.
My inner poet… on a shelf.
My sadness… on a shelf.
My femininity… roaming in the woods.
Helping humanity… on a shelf.
The leader in me… ditto.
Why do we ignore parts of ourselves?
There’s only one reason, and you know what it is.
Oh, and fear.
And maybe laziness.
Ok, that’s 4 reasons…
And all legit.
Fearing you won’t, you can’t.
That the universe doesn’t care what you do.
That you don’t have what it takes.
“You can’t have it all.”
Other people are doing it better…
But, here’s the thing…
When you ignore key parts of yourself, You’re not being true to yourself.
If part of you is on a shelf…
Only you can pick it up and take it off the shelf.
You don’t have to do somersaults with it.
Just give it your attention for crying out loud.
Because if you don’t, your life will feel OFF.
It takes a lifetime for some of us to express the truth within us.
I have much more I want to do and be.
How about you?
Either in your relationship or in service to this aching world.
Please don’t ignore key parts of yourself.
Because true joy comes from being true to all the sides of you.
If part of you knows there’s more to you than has surfaced so far…
by Gail Sheehy, she talks about the midlife passage of entering age 40 or more.
The age when you realize that you don’t have forever.
And if you want to live in a way that deepens your connection to yourself and this universe…
Or you want go after a dream.
Or you want to express something to one person…
Time waits for no one.
As it’s been said, Time waits for no one.
Don’t let any person stop you.
And don’t let fear and self-doubt make your decisions for you.
Because the desire you carry you have for a reason.
It has a definite reason.
But this takes some courage.
The joy that comes from a life fully lived…
And the fear that your soul will be left lying limp…
The thought of souls lying limp around the world… ugh.
I saw Pixar’s Soul this week, so beautiful btw.
And it underlines the beauty and promise of each life.
So, I’ll ask the hard question…
Are you fulfilling the promise of your life?
Just a question to ask going into 2022.
A year of change and promise.
Wishing you a healthy and fulfilling year.
One of the greatest writers of all time is Leo Tolstoy.
In his short story, The Death of Ivan Ilych, the main character is successful by most standards in life.
He was a respected judge, he had a beautiful family, he was rich.
But on his death bed he wonders…
Was my life all wrong?
That’s a sobering thought to have before you take your last breath.
What do you think he’s referring to?
He wasn’t true to himself.
He was a judge, maybe he wishes he owned a coin shop.
He was married…
Maybe his marriage wasn’t what he wanted and he had no idea how to fix it.
He was a father…
Maybe his son never wanted to spend time with him.
The hero of the story wasn’t happy with the life he was about to end.
Leo Tolstoy is considered a spiritual leader as well.
Because he wrote about man’s connection to his own spirit, without saying it straight out.
When a man ponders his life from his death bed…
He’s probably talking to the deepest part of himself.
He’s possibly talking to something greater than himself.
Many people might be fine with their lives in general.
They feel fortunate to have what they have.
But, some inner aspect of them is not being fed.
And they ignore this hunger.
That hunger is where the magic begins.
Because the hunger leads you where you’re meant to go.
In your personal life.
And in your work.
Pay attention to your hunger.
Because it’s telling you something important that your soul needs.
There are times in life…
When the hero in you must rest, and the part of you that crawls carries you through.
Crawling is defined as the difficult times in life.
You’re moving slowly on the ground, you’re learning what you need to fulfill your destiny.
We crawl through our grief, heartache, fear, etc.
Then, somewhere in the middle of your crawling, you’ll find your own puddle.
Your puddle is defined as the place within you that goes deeper.
It’s profound to know your own depths.
It’s honoring yourself when you allow your unique experience without self-rejection.
Your puddle is yours to dip your toes into.
Whether your puddle is filled with grief, heartache, anger, fear…
Or all of the above.
Swim around in there.
Wade in the water.
Then, there will be times…
You’ll be so deep in the puddle, that you can’t see light.
You’ll wonder if you’re strong enough to be in there at all.
Because we aren’t given more than we can handle.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO SURFACE?
Then, at some point, you’ll hear a voice suggesting it’s time to surface, and you might not be ready.
Just say, I need to be in here longer.
I’m not ready to come into the light.
As you’re in the puddle, in this place of depth and safety, you’re healing your life.
Nature wants you to soothe your heart.
Nature wants you to heal.
And this is a sacred time.
However, eventually, you’ll be ready to leave the puddle as part of your destiny.
And… ask for help as you need it.
You deserve a life free of old heavy energy.
And you must do the work to leave that old energy behind you.
Therefore, the inner voice that tells you it’s time to surface from the puddle will become more pronounced over time.
Like a drum beat that gets louder and louder.
Because staying wounded does not serve you at some point.
You will know when.
Trust that part of yourself.
And remember, you can always return to the puddle when you need to.
Your puddle is your sacred place… and it’s always there for you.