I wanted to hang up the phone instead of continuing to dig into challenges. My coach/therapist (sometimes I'm not sure which I should really call her as all the "business" and "personal" seem to be intermixed so often) and I were deep into conversation.
I always think we'll be focused only on business and somehow we usually end up dealing with versions of my 5 year old self trying to run my business. This time I was finally moving a little later in life though, which was a welcome change. Growth!
It had started with my resistance to allowing others to help me with a particular project. As we drilled into exactly what was going on, we came back to guilt that felt like a dark cloud I had to face.
8 years ago, I left a religious group... I was very involved and pulled others into the group (realization: we each make our own choices, it's crazy egotistical to blame or credit myself with another person's choice, even if I made a suggestion or planted an idea, I don't control the choice).
All the while I was there, I felt that pulling, stirring of my intuition sometimes whispering and other times screaming... but I hadn't learned to trust myself. Instead I allowed the emotions and convictions of others to become my own and knowing it didn't quite feel right, I sought comfort in seeing the assuredness of those around me instead of finding it in myself.
How could I not have seen? Why wasn't I strong enough to make sense of the confusion?
Guilt. Anger. Resentment. Tears and gut-wrenching self-examination.
The feelings were pushing their way into my business again. I was afraid I'd let people down and lead them the wrong way, even though the teaching I do in business is completely different and something I can be sure of.
The reality of truth can be overwhelming.
I desperately wanted to do the right thing. I wanted to understand God, my purpose, all the questions...
And instead of allowing myself time to seek the answers, to discover a loving Creator, I picked up a little box of ready-made solutions and prescriptions to make me perfect. (Don't skip doing the work--if it's the truth, you'll be led back to it. Always question.)
Perfection isn't in a list. It's in every day, the little moments, finding the joy and peace in life and striving to become the best version of who we were created to be.
Imperfection is beautiful. It's what brings us together.
Why share this? I screwed up. I made mistakes. Facing them feels like walking through fire in my soul. And for years, I resisted it, until it became unavoidable.
I was allowing the fear of that fire to stop me, protecting myself from the heat by staying frozen in place... preventing myself from moving forward into what's next...
Keep walking. The fiery feeling proves I'm still alive and I have time to make better choices. Old choices, old selves burn away to allow for the next. And every next is more beautiful, honest and true.
"I chose and my world was shaken. So what?
The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not."
Strength comes from living our own journey in life, learning to trust our own wisdom, pushing through the valleys and climbing the mountains, embracing the darkness to find the light that's inside ourselves instead of seeking it externally.
So I'm learning to be gentle with myself. To forgive myself for the times I couldn't do what I wish I had, because looking back I see more clearly. To allow grace in my own story.
What's the lesson I want to share with you?
Whether you're feeling guilt over past choices or parts of your life journey, seeking perfection, putting your soul through fire, feeling like your world's been shaken... whatever dark parts of life and self you deal with...
...the rest of us need you. So keep moving and be gentle with yourself.
Allow a little more grace in your story. You're still writing. You aren't done yet. And neither am I.
(Note: I'll be back to the regular business blogging and marketing how to posts you're used to from me next week. Got some cool resources lined up to share for WordPress and traffic generation as well as affiliate marketing strategies. Stay tuned!)