Seven Keys that Changed My Life; Key #2 – Own Your Story & Authenticity

i-am-enoughFor as long as I can remember I hid my own story and did my best to be accepted and loved by trying to please others. I was constantly performing and it wore me out emotionally. Even worse was always striving for perfection and never feeling worthy because I could never achieve it. I spent so much energy being what I thought other people wanted me to be because I hoped they would just accept me. Never did I want anyone to really know who I was because I lived with shame and didn’t want anyone to know it. I didn’t feel I was good enough on my own to be loved so I had to be someone else in order to connect with others.

The seven keys that have helped me find peace, joy and happiness. The 7-Keys to Health and Freedom™.

Key # 1; Mind; Thoughts Become Things (The Creation of Your Being)

Key #2; Own Your Story & Authenticity (The Power of Owning Your Story)

Key #3; Eating Right (You are what you eat!)

Key #4; Exercising & Sleeping Right (The Art of Movement & Restoration)

Key #5; DNA Health (Healthy Aging & Telomere Support)

Key #6; Cleansing (Aiding the body’s immune system with Super Juice and Ionix Minerals)

Key #7; Mailbox Money (Profits are better than wages to live your dreams)

In my journey to find peace, joy and happiness and to become a better person I watched this wonderful women, Brene’ Brown, PhD talk about the power of being vulnerable and it changed my life in wonderful and miraculous ways. Please watch her TED talk and then I’ll continue below.

Her words pierced my soul. I had lived with shame for so long. I won’t go into the family reasons why I lived with shame because I now have a choice to live a wholehearted life. I now believe that I am worthy of love and belonging.

I embrace the attributes of living a wholehearted life:

Courage. Telling your story with your whole heart. The courage to be imperfect. Before what I thought was courage was to go into the field of battle as an athlete, to compete in the Ironman Triathlon. That was not courage but fear. Courage is being yourself when others may not accept  or love you anyway.

Compassion. Be kind to yourself first. Perfectionists feel they are never good enough. Someone will always come along and do it better than them and so they beat themselves up comparing themselves to others.

Connection. Willingness to let go of who you think you should be in order to be who you really are. This is also the definition of being authentic.

Vulnerability. People that live wholeheartedly embrace vulnerability. What makes people vulnerable, i.e. owning and living their story,  makes them beautiful. The willingness to say, “I love you” first. The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. The willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. It’s awesome to live life that is not predictable! As David Wood teaches, “Accept all offerings!” A life that is more abundant because we do not control any outcome. All outcomes are from the grace of God.

Vulnerability is truly the birthplace of joy, creativity, of belonging, and love.

Just like Brene’ Brown you may have a major breakdown and a blessed spiritual awakening! You’ll take great relief knowing that you’re not alone in your struggle with vulnerability.

She discusses the symptoms of not being vulnerable and the false need to numb our emotions; we are the most in debt, obese, addicted, medicated adults in US history. Because we can’t selectively numb we numb everything else as well including; joy, gratitude and happiness. We become miserable and then start looking for purpose and meaning. While you may not be in debt, obese or medicated, you may have suffered, like me, from a lifetime of pornography addiction that only my work with the 12-Step Addiction Recovery program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints helped me solve. My porn addiction was to numb my darkness and has been called The Drug of the New Millennium – The Brain Science Behind Internet Pornography Use.

Living in shame you’ll expend so much of your heart’s energy to make everything that was uncertain certain. For many people, religion becomes matter of “I’m right, you’re wrong, shut up!”

This is what politics have become as well because no one wants to embrace being vulnerable. There is no conversation, just blame. Perhaps our society is now ruled by shame instead of principle.

We perfect. Are you a perfect perfectionest? While you may not do as she mentioned; take fat from their butts and put it into their cheeks, you may be highly intense and feel this need to “tell others how to do something.” How annoying is that for other people?

Dangerously you may try to perfect your children. I know I did. Today I’m working to connect to them because as I was raising them I wanted them to be great so others wouldn’t think I was a bad parent and would better accept me. She is right when she suggests our jobs as parents are to teach them that they are imperfect and wired for struggle and that they are worthy of love and belonging.

We pretend. We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an affect on people. You can’t effectively be a leader by always pretending. You may end up being a dictator and actually those actions take freedom away from others.

For Me Today. I’m willing to let myself be seen. Not just superficially what I only want others to see on the outside but vulnerably seen; that which is on the inside; my imperfect self.

Thankfully what allowed me to have a measure of success, and really has been the part of my life that I did lived Wholeheartedly, was my daily practice of gratitude and my lean into joy.

It’s a Start and My Tender Story. For me I know I’m on the right path and please allow me to illustrate by sharing a tender story. My mother passed away recently and my sister and brother asked me to conduct her funeral service. It went really well and I was able to hold my emotions together. Then at the end I allowed others in the audience to offer any words they had in their heart. While they were sharing stories I played a list of songs that my mother had really liked. I saved the last song so that I could close the service. It was “Somewhere over the rainbow” sung by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole. As this song was playing my tears of grieve were flowing.

Then the magic of being imperfect and vulnerable blessed my life.

My granddaughter, Paisley, we call her PeaNut, walked to the front of the service, were I was conducting, and she hugged me. We began to dance in front of everyone. I’ll remember that dance as long as I live!!!

Today I believe with all my heart that “I am enough.” 

I think you are enough as well.

I recommend you read her book, The Gifts of Imperfection.