This message contains potentially-triggering content that relates to the mental health and trauma.
How is everyone doing?
I had a mental health crisis this week. (I know, I write that so flippantly. I've just had so many of them! Haha)
You may have noticed that my social media is deactivated. But I wanted to send a little something to my little group of rad subscribers, because I love you, and because a couple of you might be wondering where I went. I'll totally be back. I can't refrain from posting photos of me in my underwear and ranting about feminism for any significant length of time. You all know this!
Mental health crises are difficult, but if we are supported well enough and if we can hang on to a shred of truth while we are in them, there is usually something big and awesome on the other side.
Our black-and-white, capitalist, evangelical-influenced culture teaches us that pain is bad and to avoid it or push through it. In reality, pain can be a great teacher that brings us to a new, higher level of awareness.
You may remember a while back when I talked about having a spiritual awakening over the High Holy Days. During that time, I heard a voice inside that told me my power cannot be taken away, because I AM power. I knew that this was true for me and for all people, and that the problems we have in the world are about the illusion of lack of power.
Soon, I began noticing how often people blame women who feel exhausted, hurt or taken advantage of, for "giving away their power."
Even in the midst of this mental health crisis, I knew that the voice I had heard inside was true: my power cannot be taken away, because I am power. People have tried to punish me for having power, or convince me that I could only access power through them, or that I had to get their permission to use my power... but my power was not something I "gave away." It isn't something YOU give away, either.
What we have been taught to give away, is ENERGY.
Imagine an athlete who is running into a wall. The athlete's POWER is the same running into a wall as it is running a marathon. Their power is not being "given away." However, their ENERGY is being put in a place that is not cycling back into them, and therefore is exhausting them instead of energizing them.
This was how we can have so much power, and feel powerless.
This is how I had been convinced that the energy I put out was equivalent to my inherent worth, and if I happened to put it in a place that caused me harm or hardship, I was to blame for it.
For years, I was putting energy into fixing myself, because I believed that what someone else did to me was my fault. I had "given away my power," and I needed to get it back. Since being who I was, was what got me into that mess, I had to become different.
Not sexual, not crazy, not loud, not opinionated, not demanding, not depressed, not needy or insecure, and definitely not showing any signs of trauma. That stuff drives the menfolk away!
Earning or achieving worthiness was where I put ALL my energy, and I wanted it badly because I didn't want the trauma to "win me" or "allow myself to be a victim."
Last week was when I realized that the amount of energy I was putting into "being healed" was not giving me the results I wanted, and was instead consuming my life, and draining me of energy.
I am in three coaching groups. I go to therapy once a week. I journal. The only books I read are ones about trauma healing or personal growth. I don't have any hobbies or anything I do for fun. Like, literally. This bitch does not knit, do puzzles, read romance novels... I just gave a bunch of very grandma examples, but you know catch my drift.
I thought to myself recently, "What would happen if I stopped trying so hard?"
If I am trying as hard as I have been, and its gotten me to where I am, and that's not where I want to be... maybe trying hard isn't the answer. Especially if I am burned the fuck out. And heartbroken. And broke.
I have been being ruled by the fear that if I stop working so hard, I will lose everything, while at the same time going without some very basic and very reasonable needs being met.
Maybe this belief I had that I was broken, and needed to be fixed, was the actual problem I needed to get rid of this whole time.
I've decided to put my energy somewhere else. Maybe past trauma is an asset for me, and not a liability.
Past trauma gives me and gives you, the opportunity to be a generous partner, an incredible friend, a nurturing parent, an understanding boss, a patient leader, a wonderful teacher and a powerful advocate.
Not "too much." Not "not enough." Certainly not both (how the fucking fuck does trauma and society convince us that holding both of those polar opposites is even possible?)
Strength, expertise and relatability, come from the fucked-up shit we have been through.
Nobody smart would seek advice or trust guidance from someone who has always had it easy.
No one feels seen or understood by someone who doesn't know pain or struggle.
So, as I continue to recover and recalibrate, I look to the things that have blossomed into something great in my life. Those things never came from a place of struggle. They always came from a place of pleasure.
Let's all find something this week that brings pleasure, and let ourselves have it with no strings attached, no goal, and no agenda besides letting it feel good.
If you need an idea for something pleasurable, I'd love you to join me for Make-Up Power Hour on Monday, November 16th. You can click here to sign up, you'll be supporting me in doing what brings me pleasure (and puts my energy in a nourishing place), and I bet you'll accidentally learn something too.
I love you so much. Thanks for letting me show up as I am, and for loving me in that. You are amazing.Be Truthful, Be Visible, Be Powerful,