Courage. It’s been the one constant thing I’ve had this year. The journey inside – who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, what I like, who I am really – has been littered with destruction.
If I can paint a picture, it looked like a free fall, tumbling down, down, down into the fiery depths of destruction. And deeper still once the fire was out, lying in the burnt out ashes of my life.
What in the actual fuck happened?
One moment taking a chance, going out there, making life happen, being a go getter. To a life littered with what the fuck moments as whispered to myself “get it together“.
No one told me the journey was going to be so hard. In the early days sitting in healing circles and listening to people tell their stories I felt oddly out of place.
“What am I doing here? I don’t belong here. I’m normal. I don’t fit in here. I don’t talk about my stuff. I just get over it and move on. I mean, life is life. Sometimes it’s hard and you just gotta move on.”
Yet, here I was. I just wanted to feel normal again. Why couldn’t it all go back to the way it was before I fell?
A closed heart doesn’t know it’s closed. “Before” was an illusion. I had no idea how closed off, how autopilot my life was, how much I did what I was supposed to do, what was expected of me and how much of a people pleaser I was. “After” was riddled with constant change and uncertainty as I tried to find normal and hang onto a bit of who I was.
Going back wasn’t an option and staying stuck wasn’t an option.
I hung onto the old me for as long as I could – the part of me that had decided a long time ago who I was, how much I would let people in, how much I would care about people, how much of me I’d let people see.
I felt I was letting myself down – her, that part of me that was hell bent on protecting me. The duality in all of us – the side that is soft and kind and caring and the harder side that emerges because of the experiences we have had.
I felt like a traitor. For so long it was just me, on my own. I don’t need “nobody”… the hold was strong. I didn’t want to let go of that. It was comfortable and safe and home. But I couldn’t grow there. My heart was opening and it hurt but I had to let go.
Courage kept whispering in my ear…keep going. Blending the duality. Accepting of the dark and the light. One believes in the goodness of people and the magic of the universe, who easily forgives. The other has fully seen and experienced the dark side of life, and has not forgotten.
Courage is fear walking and I was terrified.
Courage kept me going when I had no idea where I was going. For the first time in my life I didn’t know where I was landing, I didn’t have an aim, no compass guiding me. I just knew that I couldn’t stay where I was.
I stopped shying away from the darkness. I embraced it, the shadow self and I learned from it. The dark became my greatest teacher.
People say “I wish I had your courage“. Courage is fear in movement. It’s not the absence of fear, it’s moving in spite of fear. It’s being propelled by forces you can’t name or things you don’t always understand but knowing you must move.
It’s like writing for me. Most of what I publish I don’t always want to. But my writing comes with conditions. It’s not all for me. Sometimes I want to protect myself. My life. My stories. My truths that are not ready to be shared, yet.
Life is messy. There are ups and downs. There are hurts, scars and wounds from which we never recover. We can never be who we once were. We are new. We are reworked. We have new coping skills, new normals, new boundaries, new limits that we’ve never had before.
It’s after the free fall, after the fire, after the ashes. It’s in the rise. The courage to get back up and face the world is the hardest of all. While most people don’t notice your fall you can be assured they notice the rise as you are not who you used to be.
You can’t be. Whatever caused the fall changed you. Whatever was in the darkness changed you, opened your heart and mind in ways you couldn’t imagine. You are NOT the same person. And it’s ok. You’re not supposed to be. That’s the whole point.
That takes courage.
My writing is not always mine to keep. I know when something has to be shared and there are times when I want to keep it, to protect it and me. But the inspiration that brought the words to me was not mine. The courage though, to get out of the way, so the message can be delivered is mine. That part I can own.
It takes courage to find yourself. And it takes even more courage to be yourself.
Courage has held me in it’s arms to face what I didn’t want to face. To face the darkness, to let go of who I used to be, so I can be who I am. The courage to accept the new normal. The courage to let things be. The courage to have a faith again.
It takes courage everyday to lead the Wild Souled Women movement; to ask women step into their true power, to break the mould of how things have been done – to carve out a new normal. I couldn’t do that if I didn’t let go of who I used to be.
We’re NOT here to do things as they’ve always been done. The world needs role models of women who are stepping out to create a new model built in love, kindness, compassion, and acceptance and trusting your own inner guidance to lead and light the way.
In order to do that you must find your way through the layers of yourself, you must let go of who you tried to be, who they told you to be, who you decided would be better to be. Then you must embrace the wild… the wild is about trusting who you are and what you know to be right for you.
A wild woman is in tune with nature and herself. It takes courage to be that. We need it now more than we’ve ever needed it.
I implore you to look into the recesses of yourself, your own heart, mind and body to find the ways in which you’ve changed yourself, dulled yourself and given in to the masses. And replace those with who you are really and what you know to be true about yourself, for yourself.
Feel that fear and ask for the courage to walk anyway. Be a model for that, draw others into it. If you don’t know how to do that, find another wild woman, get a coach, get a mentor, attend workshops, ceremony’s, retreats, read.
Find her. That wild woman inside of you. She’s there. Wake her up. It’s time.
The call has gone out. It’s not about being fearless, it’s fear walking. It takes courage to answer the call.
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