When my ex-husband and I were really struggling in our marriage, I was embarrassed. I didn’t want my friends to know how tenuous things were emotionally, how much we were struggling financially, how fearful I was of the future, and how badly I felt about myself.
It wasn’t that I wanted them to think I was perfect, I just didn’t want them to know what a complete mess I felt like. Even though my girlfriends were super loving and supportive, when we would talk, I’d feel my muscles tensing up and would find myself saying things like “Well, you know, marriage is tough! It’s work! But we’re working on it.” I talked about my marriage like I talked about the weather.
I didn’t allow myself to fully admit to them – or to myself – how sad and lonely I felt. Instead, I wanted to get on with fixing it, so I would finally have some good news to report. But as time went on, things just got worse. We grew further apart, I felt lonelier and more resentful, and neither of us knew the answers.
Then, one day I received a call from a girlfriend. She asked me “How are things?” I gave her my standard answer, but she didn’t accept it. She kept digging, and digging, and digging. The more she dug, the more uncomfortable I became. I wanted her to just leave it alone, but I also felt her love for me and I allowed myself to begin to let go of the death-grip I had on the truth.
I bawled my eyes out in that conversation. I admitted how painful our partnership had become, how confused I was, how ashamed I was that I couldn’t figure things out, and how much I was using my work to avoid our issues. It was in that conversation that I realized I had to make a change…
I had to decide to break free from misery.
I didn’t know how, but I knew that ignoring my issues with money, my marriage, and my lack of true self-care and a spiritual practice, wasn’t going to make them go away or be resolved. I had to stop obsessing about the work on my laptop, and start doing the inner and outer work on my life.
Through this practice, in the past several years I have come to embrace the idea that…
The world will be set free
by women who are free.
Sisterhood is the key.
If it hadn’t been for my amazing friend standing for my freedom and self-expression, and the other girlfriends who rally til this day, I don’t know where I’d be. I was in such deep avoidance of nearly everything in my life, and in such overwhelm with my work, that I spent most of my time feeling like I was nearly drowning.
THESE 3 QUESTIONS USHERED ME TOWARDS FREEDOM:
1. Am I accomplishing my tasks and taking care of the rest of my life?
When we’re living with the illusion that when we just complete our work, there will finally be more space to focus on other important things, we’re often living in just that – an illusion. To Do lists are like laundry – you can take care of the whole pile, but the next day, there will be more. Yes, of course you have to take care of business, but if you’re ignoring other aspects of your life, you’re working from a place of misalignment. It’s time to step back and share your attention with the other areas of your life that need you – your spiritual practice, relationships, finances, health, etc – so you can realign with your desires.
2. Am I telling the truth?
It’s easy to talk about important things in life like we talk about the weather. Maybe it doesn’t seem like small talk, because we’re discussing important stuff, or maybe it feels too uncomfortable to “go there”, but the truth is that until you can tell the truth to yourself and others about what’s really going on for you, you’ll be stuck in the shackles of shame. Let sisterhood be your salve.
3. Am I enjoying my life?
Deferred pleasure is a sign of us not being truly free. I don’t mean to say that we should nap all day and forget about the contribution we’re here to make, but I’m talking about the deep pleasure that comes from living in alignment with our desires, and cultivating pleasure moment-to-moment. When I’m tense, I can take a deep breath. When I’m bogged down with work, I can create some space and reassess. When I’m walking down the street, I can appreciate the beauty around me. When my relationship is in turmoil, I can ask for support.
I want you to know that your heart is beautiful, your desires are divine, and all the courage you need to create what you want is within reach. I am so grateful for your presence here. Thank you.