Manifesto of The Brave and Broken-hearted
“There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fear-mongers than those of us who are willing to fall; because we learn how to rise. With skinned knees and bruised hearts we choose to own our stories of struggle over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn towards truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories, not villains, or victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. We craft love from heartbreak, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure. Showing up is our power, story is our way home, truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted; we are rising strong.” - Brene Brown
For those of you who don't know me - I've lived a messy life.
For those of you who used to know me - you don't need a reminder.
For those of you who know me well - you've been with me in it.
And for those of you know me from afar - I might have fooled you.
Yes, fooled you. Into thinking the pain of my past life has been magically erased. This was never my intention of course; my motive was never to “fake it.” But I am lethal in the art of hiding, holding the belief that it is unacceptable to stumble and fall - to be with failures and pain. So I make up for my less-than-ideal self by strolling around in sparkly sequin shirts and respond with a superficial “I’m doing good” to keep the pain at bay. We all do it.
There is wisdom in it too. Maybe part of it is because being “real” in real life can be incredibly awkward and draining - not to mention uncomfortable. Plus, I am a firm believer of respecting what's appropriate for certain times, places and people. Not everyone needs face to face contact with our convictions and chaos. Not everyone can graciously handle our setback and failures, not everyone has the capacity for compassion towards our negative emotions, and not everyone needs to. Being selective in the “people” we allow to dig into our soul - to truly be joined to us. Is not only safe, it is tremendously healing.
But I've come across this false assumption that my life must be “perfect” and I have it all together. This misnomer angers me immensely, even though it's my fault. I am an elite performer - we all are to a degree. Its easy for humanity to push aside our wounds and numb ourselves to affliction. Feeling our way through the pain or admitting our failures seems counterintuitive, and I did it for years, until recently.
Ive learned firsthand that pain stuffed down into the depths of darkness produces a harvest of bondage - until it is finally embraced; brought to light. And it is time for me to embrace the darkness, so I can bring it into light, and let it go. Brene Brown states this phenomenon best when she said “Just the way exposure to light brings death to all the gremlins, language and story bring light to shame and destroy it.”
Please know, these writings are issues and pain I have intentionally brought into the process of healing with mentors, my counselor, and intimate friends. These are things I bring forth for healing, not hide within myself. When it comes to pain, community is what restores wholeness, not isolation. So my goal in making these wrestlings public is twofold.
- Being honest in failure and pain encourages others to do the same. A revolution of vulnerability releases compassion towards ourselves and others which enables authenticity to thrive. Knowing we are all doing the best we can with the pain we hold, bonds us all together. Doing away with the “illusion of perfection.”
- I have felt so alone in this journey. Wondering if others struggle, feeling inadequate because I do, and comparing myself to others because they seem to “have it together” has facilitated immense isolation. I want to create a culture where our imperfections never cause us to question our value, identity, and divine nature. A culture where freedom flows, flaws are accepted, and compassion is cultivated for both the abused and abuser, brokenhearted and heartbreakers, judged and judging - because I have been them all.
Those are my passions and writing enables me to do just that - it has brought me vitality for the future and reconciliation to my past. Endowing me with the ability to find truth, sort through sorrow, and grieve the ideals restores the capacity for contentment. So I am creating content called “Memoirs of Grief” - collections of writings that wade into the river of pain.
Your welcome to wade in too - but don't expect clear water. My river is a myriad of shame with murky swirls of heartbreak. It is a powerful force only reckoned by the bravery to show up and step in.
In I will go.