A few years ago we attended a celebration of life for our friend John. He was the Dad of my childhood friend. He was a close friend to my parents. Maybe friend isn't even the right word. He felt like family.
I reflect back often on some of the things his family shared during his celebration of life. 3 things stand out, and babe, they make me think of you because this is the kind of man, and Dad that you are.
1. Our friend, John's first born stood before all of us and told the story about starting his business and how it was scary and he went to his Dad and asked for help. He said, but Dad, what if I mess it all up and lose everything. John replied "I've got you."
2. John's second born then stood up to share his memories and love for his dad. The one thing he said that pieced my soul was this. "He put us first, that was his thing."
3. The next person who got up to speak was a long-time family friend, Dennis. He told us all the stories that him and John had over...
"get rid of your emotions"
"calm your hormones"
"getting upset gets you nothing"
"push harder, keep going, suck it up"
"don't let them win by seeing you cry"
"don't air your dirty laundry, keep it positive"
Have you heard one of these before? Have you dished out one of these to a loved one before? I am going to assume both are true. They are for me. Oh are they ever. How I embodied these statements and adopted them as true. Until I couldn't anymore. Until I learned that feeling my feelings was the way out.
Ever heard the saying, the cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek? I have feared my emotions since I was a little girl. Push em down I told myself. I grew up in an era where little girls needed to act like boys to get respect. I grew up with conditioning that made me believe that my feminine side was weak, unattractive, and no man would ever want me if I was emotional or was sensitive or a deep thinker. So I pushed, and pushed and pushed it...
Welcome to my journal. I chose the name The Whole Life because for most of my life I have been chasing dreams in order to seek approval from others. I have spent a lot of time worrying about what others think, and it led me down a path of getting further and further from my self. Seeking validation from the outside also led me to betray my own instincts, my gut knowings, my own desires, and ultimately, my core self.
I chose a career in a male-dominated industry, and I fought my way to being named one of the top female entrepreneurs in the country. I have lost a lot of sleep over the last decade, worrying, striving, achieving, pushing. For what? Approval? Money? Recognition? Titles and labels? All of it.
In 2017 I became pregnant and for the first time I started indulging in self care. Gasp! I actually started taking time for me. I took baths regularly, I went to the spa, got a weekly massage, and I rested. The guilt for resting kept creeping in. I remember telling...