It all started in childhood—as things do. I learned not to speak my truth. I learned that speaking my truth meant hurting other people—even if I was reporting the facts, even if was just saying how I felt. I also learned that speaking my truth meant that I would be hurt—rejected, criticized, and misunderstood.
As a result, I have been hyper-vigilant about sharing the “right information.” Trying not to say too much. Not calling a spade a spade when someone wants to believe otherwise. Anything and everything that I can think of to stop the hurt.
All this time, I believed what I had been told: that the hurt was my fault. Because I spoke the truth. So, I tried to hold it in, hold it down, explain a million times what I really meant—hoping to reclaim the truth of myself with someone else’s permission. I also noticed that I was not “allowed” to lie. Not telling the truth was like walking into an electric fence, the outcome of which I would be feeling for a long time afterward. Even the little stuff, the fibs and small concessions.
It’s easy to see how these experiences create stress. If I tell the truth, I hurt others; if I don’t tell the truth, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. Throughout my life, I have come up with many creative solutions to this challenge, because I believed that I was the problem. I have never been like other people. This is not a claim to uniqueness born of an arrested adolescent belief that I am unlike others so that I can claim my individuated expression. This is a life lesson, hard-won after a lot of observation. I am simply not the average. I have spent my whole life teaching people to understand me. I paint the path. I show the steps. I warn them about the things that they are likely not taking into consideration. My hope has been that if I can create a clear enough path, I will be understood AND I will be loved. When people realize that I am good and loving, then it will finally be safe to speak my truth.
These deep wounds have not totally held me back, but they have dimmed my light. I have lived in their fearful shadow. I have lost my way because of them and not fully stepped in to my truest service: my mission to embody love and to speak truth. This kind of mission is not completed by just stepping in at the end, victorious. This mission is realized through the
deepest possible level of devotion—walking the path of life. The path where I learn step by step what truth is and how to speak it. Along the way, I have been gifted with more and more people who hear my truth even when I keep it inside. Because of them, I have become stronger.
I have also been gifted along the way by people who have taught me through their inability to hear me. While these are painful lessons, I recognize them as just as important. Because of them, I have also become stronger. So, I walk the path of this life to see myself and others as divine and perfect creations, and to offer us all the love we deserve. I walk this path to learn how to hold the truth in everything I do. I live in service to all the hearts that have not been seen and the voices that have not been heard.
Most of the people whom I work with are driven by something greater than themselves. They feel a call deep inside to make a difference in the world. I am like this myself.
One thing that I have noticed in myself is that there are two parts to this drive that benefit from being seen as distinct: my personal/egoic need to be something as a result of life influences (often because of damage) and my deeper soul’s calling to my true mission. Very often when I go to create something in the world, it is inspired by my deeper Self but driven by my injury. This very often leads to experiences that I see often in other people’s lives as well: varying results, frustration, being overwhelmed, and even burnout.
As a result of these experiences, it is easy to ask the question, “Am I even on the right track?” And then, “What is Truth, and what is fantasy?” For some people, this is followed by, “Should I give up my dreams and do something ‘reasonable’?”—“reasonable” meaning whatever we have been told is the correct way to live our life. I have come to see this process—for those of us who are unlocking our true gifts and rising to our calling—as refinement. I have come to see this process as that of an old soul who knows better than to set up their life in a way that can get too far off track and who instead orchestrates things to play out so that the ego is thinned and the deeper self can truly shine through.
And so I have learned to be grateful for the frustrations that show me exactly where I am aligned with the lesser aspects of myself. I choose more and more to see this and make the necessary shifts, rather than seeing the obstacles as a sign of my lack or inability and then judging the worthiness or potentiality of my mission. The answer for me is in letting go of the idea that my mission is an outcome and seeing it instead as a process—a beautifully unfolding evolution of a way of being that I cannot fully understand and of which I will never entirely know the impact.