What kind of women do you envy? The skinny ones? The rich ones? The ones who are getting engaged and having babies “on time?”
Me? I always envied women who seemed to have “arrived at their totality,” as a friend in Mexico so wonderfully put it.
To me, that means a woman who embraces all sides of herself and expresses all those sides completely and unapologetically.
>> She doesn’t hide her huge smile
or her tears
She laughs out loud
She doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable emotion
When she’s angry, terrified,
she shows it
no matter how “messy” it might look,
it’s who she is, all of it
To hide it, to shy away from it, would be denying herself…
And that would be totally out of the question <<
So, where are you on the spectrum of “arriving at your totality?”
Far off and looking for a map? Or are you getting there just still on the road?
For a good portion of my life I was closer to the “far off” side, the side we don’t want to be on…
…and I got comfy there, expressing just a fraction of who I was.
I expressed the side that “didn’t making waves,” and because emotion often makes waves, smiles and silence was my safest bet.
But at some point, my “pleasant” approach to life and relationships became unbearable, suffocating even.
As much as I tried to hold it all together, to hold it all in I just couldn’t anymore. I felt like I’d explode. Not expressing was, all of a sudden, no longer an option.
The specific night I cracked open, I didn’t stop crying for hours. It was in front of my best friend and I was horrified. Up to that point, vulnerability (especially among girlfriends) was not my thing.
But surprise, surprise, she didn’t tell me to “stop crying” or “pull myself together” or to “stop being so emotional.”
Actually just the opposite. She made expressing seem safe. She made it normal. She transformed the act into something beautiful.
Thanks to her, and many other women in my life to follow, I got one step closer to my totality.
Since then, I’ve been trying trying trying to practice openness myself (not always easy) and to practice drawing it out in others.
>> I’ve learned that showing ourselves more completely doesn’t only make us feel good individually (so liberating!), it’s also a gift we can give others every day. The act is contagious. It makes others want to try it too. It then brings us closer to those same people. By simply letting our guard down, intimacy grows <<
Win, win, win, win.
Bottom line is, if you too find yourself envious of women who have arrived at the fullness of who they are, let go of envy. All that you see in them is within you too.
If you’re having trouble moving along the road, like I was, give these steps a try.
1. Notice women who have done it. How will you find them? It’ll likely be women you’re drawn to – maybe you’ll feel a magnetic pull towards them and won’t know why. Chances are it’s because they’re living in the fullness of who they are. Take note of how they carry themselves, how confidence shows up on their faces, in their bodies, in their interactions, and how that way of showing up effects others around them.
2. Deepen your friendships with other women. It was only through making my friendships a priority that I found women who would pull my truth out of me. Get lunch, go to yoga together, host a sleepover.
3. Practice saying what you actually feel, and then acting in accordance. This brings me back to the women in your life. Ask your girlfriends to hold you accountable. For instance, tell them to ask, “how are you?” and then ask, “but how are you really?” Come up with some very simple questions that can help each of you get more in touch with your truth. Let your guard down!
What will your first step be?
If at any point you’re overwhelmed with the growing pains (chances are there will be some!), well, then, let’s talk!