Thursday, July 20, 2017


“You are a little too real for me.”

That is one of the nicest things someone has said to me in a long time.

Some years ago that comment well might have shattered me. It most certainly would have sent me back into closure. I would have gone back into hiding, reapplying the mask that I had momentarily dared to remove.

I lived decades of my life trying to be what I thought you wanted me to be. My protective coating was everything. I had made the equation that to be real and authentic was to be rejected. And so I played the role I needed to play in order to have a small yet tenuous sense of belonging. The problem was that then I never really belonged within myself. I lost track of who I really was and what was true for me. The roles were circumventing my reality. It was a toxic dishonesty. And it was exhausting.

It took a long time to rediscover who I am and what is real, authentic, and vital in here. It has been risky. It has been scary. And it has been liberating. I no longer base my sense of belonging on what you want me to be. On how you think I should show up or what you think of my choices. I am not interested in being a member of a club that requires that I be anything different from just what I am. I have gotten real.

That is displeasing to many people that are still in hiding. Vulnerability scares many of those who are still wearing a mask. Authenticity is frightening when it veers from the social norms. I no longer want to save face. That can be unnerving. And for me it is nonnegotiable. I am committed to finally staying true to what is essential in here. I am devoted to showing up openly and unarmored. I am strong enough now to prefer rejection over pretense. I am done hiding.

Take me or leave me. This is what I am and who I am meant to be. I am more than willing to see and to embrace the authentic you, and it is my sincere desire that you will give me that option. If you are not yet ready for that level of sharing I completely understand. But I am not going to pour myself into a mold that keeps you comfortable. If I am a little too real for you than I am peaceful with walking away, heart open and head up.

It is for me a beautiful realization that I have finally reached a point where I can show up as me. As is, real. And I am willing to risk being a little too real for you.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


I was listening intently to someone sharing about a deep fear they were experiencing. As I recall they actually stated that it was a deep they “were having.” While staying present to what this person was saying I also recognized that a subtle something was moving inside of me that was equal parts startling and liberating. It first presented itself as the awareness that I rarely find myself in an experience of fear anymore. I do not claim to be totally free of fear. It just isn’t something that has its hold on me very often.

As the awareness continued to unfold I could feel how after many years of persistent practice and committed emotional work what has shifted is that I no longer fear the experience of fear itself. That is really the miracle.

I was fear bound for much of my life. It is only from this current perspective that I realize that I was not only imprisoned by fear. That was its own type of hell. I was also profoundly fearful of the internal experience of fear. It left me feeling so vulnerable, out of control, anxious. Yes, anxious. That is it. My profound fear of fear resulted in the experience of anxiety.

From this anxious place I became a spider hanging in the fear-based stories I was telling myself. I was telling dread-filled stories, scary stories. They were past-fueled stories with even more dire endings. I couldn’t seem to stop the spin. And so I spun the webs in consciousness and then caught matching circumstances in the webs of my own making.

What I feared the most was actually myself. The horrid things I told myself. I was scaring myself with what I was saying but was too lost in the fear to stop the narrative. And so I lived in fear of fear.

I don’t live that way anymore. I have stopped telling myself stories that scare me. I have forgiven enough of my past that it doesn’t fuel my present or get projected into my future. I have enough internal space to watch and not get caught in believing my narrative.

But mostly my freedom comes from having moved beyond the fear of fear. I have become friendly with it. I do not see it as an enemy. In fact, I welcome it as a guiding friend. When I simply lean into it there is always gold to be gleaned. When I move with the energy there is guidance to be had. Embracing the fear I no longer find myself anxious or in knots. I may still have an experience of fear but it no longer has me.

As with any uncomfortable emotion as soon as I release the resistance the energy is free to move in and through me. It is indeed possible to make fear a friend. I know. I have done just that. And though it is a friend that only pays an occasional visit I have learned to welcome it when it shows up. And with every visit if always leaves a gift.