Man, the last seven years have been years of big lessons. I used to think that when I got to my thirties I would have it all figured out. I wouldn’t agonize over decisions or be afraid to state my own opinion with confidence and grace.
Ha! My twenties were colored by delusion. I really/honestly/truly believed that the struggle would stop when I got older, that I would just instinctively know how to solve problems and make my way gracefully and elegantly.
Well, I haven’t learned all that, but so much more. I can at times be graceful and elegant, but I’m so much happier just being me. And while no one is graceful and elegant all the time, it’s really a pretty rare occasion for me. Despite my best intentions. So perhaps this is living without struggle. This is what will bring me ease-stop trying to be someone else and just be happy with being myself.
This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned, but I think I finally got it. And it took Lissa Rankin to remind me. I follow Lissa Rankin on Twitter. I get her newsletters in my inbox. And yet, I was ignoring Lissa Rankin. I finally opened one of her emails, which I had signed up for, and it was exactly the thing I needed to hear.
Isn’t it funny how the Universe does that?
So I was slapped with this powerful message on a day when I knew I needed change. And I heard the little voice in the back of my head say-you need to walk the walk. Cause see I’ve been full of a lot of hot air and it really wasn’t working for me. I got uncomfortable. I was in pain and in panic and making myself pretty unhappy.
Have you heard this story from me before?
I admit I’m stubborn. I have to be whapped on the head with the lesson over and over again before I start to make changes. I have to get really really really uncomfortable.
But here’s what Lissa said that really resonated. Let your freak flag fly. Isn’t that wonderful? Okay, maybe you don’t think it’s really wonderful. Here’s the hidden message. To be truly happy, to have the career, the love, the money, the friends, the LIFE that truly resonates with the core of who I am I have to be unapologetically me. It seems simple doesn’t it?
Me, not Melissa the teacher, Melissa the mother, Melissa the girlfriend. I just have to be Melissa all the time in every interaction I have. I have to let go of the roles and take off the masks and only then can I be really happy. Because being Melissa is who the universe wants me to be. It’s why I was made the way I am. It’s why the things that have made me who I am happened to me. I, like you and everyone on the planet, am unique and gifted and talented and the universe gave me these talents and gifts so I can shine. Not so I can hide.
Most of us try so hard just to fit in. We wear masks to hide behind and fit in. We make ourselves miserable. In our heads we’re so afraid we’re not enough. And man, have I been guilty of this one. I’m always worried that I don’t teach well enough, write well enough, that I mess up too much.
By letting the freak flag fly I can love myself more often. I get there sometimes, but not fully everyday and that’s what I need to live a passionate life. A life where I’m just happy being me. Then that happiness can blossom and create wonderful amazing things.
So the freak is coming out.
Dr. Brene Brown asserts that when we’re not happy with who we are we do crasy things to numb ourselves. She says we are the fattest, most in debt and most drug dependent society in our country’s history. We shop when we don’t have money, take drugs to make us happy, wake us up, get a good’s night sleep, lose weight or have fun. We have a bad day, we have a drink. We accomplish something great, we have a drink. We’re bored, lonely, tired or wired and we have a drink.
We probably all knew that, but here’s what she says that opened my eyes. When we’re numb, we’re numb. We can’t selectively numb. If we numb the sadness, the uncomfortable and the pain, we also numb the happiness and the joy.
And when do you think we numb the most? When we’re not being authentically who we are. When my life is resonating with the core of who I am meant to be I don’t want to numb. I want to dance in the sunshine. When I am masking and trying to fit in and worried that I screw up to much or don’t teach well enough then I’m uncomfortable and my mind is always searching for how to be more comfortable. And the simple, easy answer is to numb.
So I don’t feel joy. I don’t feel inspired or happy or productive. I just feel numb. And how can I have the life I really want if I’m not productive and inspired? I can’t.
So let the freak flag fly! This week I beg you to let just a little bit of your freak out. We all have that part of ourselves we think has to stay hidden away. This week let it out and see how great it feels.
Let your freak flag fly and see if it doesn’t change your life! Be passionate. Be present. Be love.