A wise man once said, "if you are not in mortal danger, let fear be your compass." Our fear response is an innate part of our biology, intended to help us survive. To continue on as a species. But we've created and built so many structures in our lives to support our survival that our fear no longer serves us. It is a distraction. It keeps us small. For the past 9 months, I have been running towards things that scare me. Sometimes it's a sprint, sometimes I'm dragging my feet. But I'm running nonetheless. I am doing this because I know the things that scare me most will be the things that truly help me grow. The things that push me over the edge. I am at a point in my life where I am choosing discomfort because I know it will create a better version of me.
In February I left my amazing, secure job to pursue the life I've always wanted. To pursue my purpose on this Earth. Anytime I've doubted my decision, I've thought about what another wise man said - "This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed*."
Since leaving Google, I have been traveling in South America, and time and again I've been reminded that I made the right choice. Because that's all life really is, right? A series of choices that we all have the privilege to make.
This trip has been amazing. I've had the opportunity to see some of the most incredible places on Earth - Patagonia, Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu, the Amazon. I've become closer and more intimate with my partner. I've met incredible friends - new and old. Most importantly, though, I've learned to fully love myself.
True self love comes from really knowing yourself - warts and all. It's about making friends with your monsters. As Brene Brown says in The Power of Vulnerability, it's about loving yourself not despite your mistakes, but because of them.
My whole life I thought I had to be perfect. I thought people would like me more if I was always right. If I never messed up (it's okay, you can laugh). I remember every word I ever misspelled on a test (feild - 3rd grade, rasberry - 5th grade). In 4th grade I made a 78 on a test about bird beaks and feet. I hid it in my underwear drawer because I was so ashamed I didn't want anyone to see it.
As part of this journey to self love, I've had to admit that I did this to myself. My parents were loving and understanding. I put the pressure on myself to be perfect. I don't know where it started, or why. And it doesn't really matter. What matters is that I see it, and I'm choosing to give myself a break. I'm loving my imperfections. And I'm finally recognizing that my power comes from messing up, not being perfect.
As I begin to love myself fully, exactly as I am, I begin to love others fully, too. We are each mirrors, reflecting different facets of the same Source, allowing each other to see exactly what we need to see. As my beautiful friend Rachel so eloquently says, "from self love, comes all love."
*Terrence McKenna is a wise ass man.
Full quote: “Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed.”