I just finished watching the 2010 and 2012 TED talks given by Brené Brown about vulnerability and shame. She’s amazing. I love everything she has to say. It sounds so true and real and life-altering and I think it probably would be except I have no idea how to get there. How do I fundamentally change the way that I live my life?
At firsts glance, it seems like it should be easy. Just stop. Stop everything I’ve ever done to be perceived as perfect, to please others, to succeed, to follow all the rules written by everyone else so that everyone else will like me. Stop numbing with exercise, food, alcohol, drugs, work. Just decide that I am enough as I am and let go of the rest.
But how can I stop living my life the way I have always lived it for as long as I can remember? I don’t know how to make my brain (or more appropriately probably, my heart) truly believe this: that I am enough, just as I am, all fucked up crying in my sweatpants and scared of my own babies.
I am so scared of my own life. But I am even more scared to try and change it by letting go of all my little and not-so-little addictions and coping mechanisms. What will happen to me? Who will I even be then?
Back when I was pregnant and absolutely overwhelmed by the idea of having two more babies to take care of, I told myself that maybe it was for the best. Because it would break me. It would force me to change, after 36 years, the way I live my life because that way of life and this new reality are simply not compatible. It’s killing me to try to do this without letting go of my people-pleasing, perfecting ways. I have to let go. And trust that the people who really love me (the real me that’s been hiding under all the other crap for so long) will catch me when I fall.