Actually, it was Iyanla Vanzant who made me cry, but it was on an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass. Close enough, right? I don’t even remember what they were talking about, to be honest with you. I was just half-watching while I contemplated my homework for Fierce Love. And then this completely grabbed my attention:
“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Cue the Wile E. Coyote anvil-drop-on-head moment. I think I may have actually stopped breathing for a few seconds.
That moment forced me to acknowledge what I’ve known in my gut, but have been trying to ignore for a few weeks now–because change is HARD, damn it–
I don’t believe in myself. Something in me seems to be convinced that I don’t know how to do anything other than survive the day-to-day.
I haven’t given myself permission to be great.
I haven’t given myself permission to be joyful. (Not happy. Joyful.)
I haven’t given myself permission to be passionate.
Really, in the 28 years I’ve been on the planet, I haven’t given myself permission to be anything other than awake and alert. And in doing so, I’ve created a world where I’m unhappy. A world where I’m stuck because I’m afraid to reach for anything else.
My dad always says that I’ve been an adult since I was 5 years old. He might be more right than he knows.
I’ve never been a big fan of showing emotion beyond the public “I’m OK” face. Hell, I’m not even a big fan of feeling emotions, which is probably why it’s so difficult for me to just sit in them and not box them up for future un-analysis. Feelings, especially the ones that have come from the upending of my life, always seem to grab me by the throat and hold on for dear life, leaving me feeling frazzled and out of control. And I love me some control.
I can hear all of you shouting at your monitors. Just let go, Erin. Let it out, for God’s sake.
I can’t let go.
I’m afraid to let go.
I’m afraid that I will fall and there will be no one to catch me.
Realistically, I know that if I believed in myself more, I could start to turn into that joyful, woo-woo, dreams-fulfilled girl I have lodged into the back of my brain. (You heard me. Woo-woo.) I have to create space for that to happen, which means I need to unload this baggage. Hopefully without burying myself under an avalanche of emotional suitcases.
“We have to know what it is gonna cost you to become the truth of who you are. Because it’s gonna cost you.” – Iyanla Vanzant
For me, right now, the cost is pain. Fear. Uncertainty.
We’ll see how much I’m willing to pay.
Suitcase photo credit: Gideon