We are right in the middle, between Christmas and New Years. I am reflecting on how wonderful, low-key, stress-free and enjoyable our holiday was. It is such a relief to not have to have to open presents on Christmas morning (yes I am serious). It was quiet in our house with just Barry, myself and our fur-babies, Sydney (the pug), Buddy (the kitty) and our newest family member, Poppy (the Thai dog)..
After doing our usual thing (just like we do every other morning) we set about making a dinner for a hand-full of awesome friends. There were six of us all together...and that was sweet. We ate a beautiful dinner and played dice. We laughed our heads off. Thank you to those who made my Christmas. I love you all.
I have been working on my book and I am getting very close. The edits (by knliterary) are done, and now I have a local woman doing the proof-reading for me. I want this book to be as clean as possible. Will it be perfect? No. I am not perfect. I have shared four very vulnerable life stories within it. I sometimes fall back into my insecurities and have awful thoughts about this book. I think things like:
A. Am I qualified to write this book from my own unique perspective? The answer to that is a big YES!!! We all are. This is me. I am a thoughtful, philosophical, curious person, who longs for the "more" of life. I want to live my life full on.And I want to tell you about it.
B. Will the people I look up to like what I have written? Will they support me in my endeavors? Or will they sneer that I am "stupid" and a "fraud"? The answer to that is that I do not know the answer to that. But, I must risk it anyway. I don't want to hide out in my life for fear that I will not meet some person's (out there) approval. That is not the life for me. I want to meet my own approval. Additionally, I want to do "stuff" I want to live fearlessly. I want to have the faith that I have been led here...to this exact place. I feel that way. If this book does not work out the way I would like...then that means it will work out differently somehow, and that "somehow" might be better than I could ever imagine (often that is the case). I believe this....really I do.
C. People like George Micheal are dying younger than I am now (my dad died at 49) so to get to be here this long is a bonus. Do I want to risk dying a life un-lived? No I do not. So what if I make an ass of myself by living and sharing my life wide-open? At least I made something of myself!
D. Does my story have any value? My story (and your story) is beautiful and YES it does. I have been through a lot in this life, and I have lived to tell about it...so I am going to do just that. It will resonate with some of you, surely. And if just one person feels less alone because they see themselves in my story, then my book will be a great success.
E. Will it destroy me to share my secrets with the world? Every single time I put my vulnerability out there, I grow. It is the secrets that we keep, and limit ourselves by, that will eventually kill us prematurely...I am convinced of this. The fact that I no longer want to hide who I am, or who I was, shows me that I am no longer stuck in all that old out-dated shame I used to pack around with me. When I share my secrets, I am liberated from them. They no longer have the power to hurt me. It is magical! That which used to paralyze me in the past lights me up in the now, if I can put my vulnerable self out there, while being present with all my feelings, I will heal.
Just a little note about what I have learned in my 54 years of life: People relate to us when we share that we are not perfect. No one is perfect, but when people try to portray that they are, it scares others who might like to get to know us better, away. If only we can be authentically who we are...warts included, we will have lots of beautiful, authentic friends to journey with. There is nothing like when someone is sharing their secret stories, sans masks, with us (the stories around what we consider to be our short-comings) and their disclosure is met with an empathetic, loving response like, "I know exactly how you feel.I have been where you are. I felt the same way when [INSERT] happened.." A bond is formed within this kind of authentic, compassionate sharing. And...it is such a beautiful thing to experience with a friend. When two people share their authentic truth together it is SO healing. It is a true gift of respect that they are sharing their soul-gems with us. It makes me want more truth. It helps me to accept that my imperfect-self is my most Perfect Self
The illusion of perfection is so boring anyway. No one buys it, and it is painful for others to endure the stories we create around that facade. When we exaggerate, or lie, just to attempt to fit in, it is merely an indication of the work that still needs to be done within. But, we need to have compassion too. We can only ever be where we are, and some of us are so protective because we have been hurt so badly that we cant risk exposing our truth. It hurts too much. I get it. I have been there too. It is a gift to be given the courage to share our blunders. Being locked into our old secrets is painful stuff. Anyway, there you have it. I am choosing to live big and brave by sharing my secrets.
I wish you all a wonderful New Year. I have started to think about what my word for 2017 might be. Words like: compassion, truth, integrity, authenticity are swirling around in my head. I know my word is in there somewhere. Wishing you all the best in the coming year. Thanks for journeying along with me. Thanks for your courage, encouragement, support, compassion and love this past year. I hope I have been at least some of those things for you as well. Because I am grateful for you in my life. <3