‘You look so happy and healthy!’ was the comment from my friend when I posted this picture on my social platforms Friday.

‘I am!’ was my response. But I’ve spent all weekend lamenting that comment. Because I think I need to unpack the scenario for you.

Why?

Because I’m over the Polaroid moments of Social Media and the inability of women to be vulnerable and honest with each other so that we can support each other and show each other that the shit we are going through is typical! And….that we are not alone.

I rolled over and saw the clock at 2 am Friday morning. Not gonna lie. I’ve been struggling with some stuff in the last few months. When your world changes as much as mine has, it is not unlikely to feel like you are treading water in shark infested waters with a raw steak tied to your ass.

I had just had a really disturbing but poignant dream. I’d been kidnapped, I’m assuming. Other people were arriving daily that had also been taken from their lives. There was this particular man/guard/drill sergeant that was absolutely terrifying and horrifically mean to me. Everything I did, everything I said, I wasn’t good enough. I tried to be like the rest of the people that he was less horrible to, but even if we did the same thing, I was singled out and ridiculed.

I am a sucker for dream interpretation, but I didn’t need to look this up. I knew that the sergeant was a metaphor for my life and I was feeling less than worthy, noticed and confident in my path.

There were 2 am tears. I’m talking snot bubble sobs and cries. Because it is normal, my friends, despite what we are culturally encouraged to believe,  to have times in your lives that it feels like everything is a shit storm. We don’t acknowledge it. We don’t talk about it. And therefore we walk around thinking that there is something wrong with us…..THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH US!

No matter where you are on the spiritual path, the self-discovery and improvement path, the personal growth path, there is this habit of making things rosy all the time that I want to blow up right now. It’s call spiritual by-passing and I’d caution you to really question the integrity of someone who tells you that their life is perfect 100% of the time. That they never get angry, that life just flows in front of them, that things always work out in their favor. I’ll tell you that if you feel that this is how you are supposed to be feel if you are living The Pleasured Life, then stop that right now!!!

There is going to be challenges and friction of differing degrees in your life. That is a given. How you choose to deal with it? That’s what we need to discuss.

First of all. Acknowledge it. Please acknowledge it. Byron Katie says that things happen for you and not to you. If you can embrace that concept, you can know that there is a lesson to every so called problem that you are experiencing. But first you have to give name to the issue. Drop the mask. Come clean. Grieve. Weep. Rage. And acknowledge what the heck is going on in your life. Find someone to share with and to listen to you name it. I’m so grateful for Ken, who at 2 am heard my cries and held space for me as I worked through my uncertainty and my anger. Oh the anger! The emotion nice girls don’t have, came rushing out in mad torrent from my very soul. I think it was Martha Beck who said that anger is the immune system of the soul. Don’t make anger a bad thing. The other side of anger is passion. We want to move from what we are angry about into what we are passionate about.

Second of all figure out how your UNIQUE self needs to work through it and feel it. How you can support yourself and find compassion for yourself? How you deal with friction may not be the same way someone else does and that’s why it’s so important to figure you out. The relationship you develop with yourself is the most important one there is. That includes getting to know yourself, accept yourself, warts and all.

I look at the picture of myself and can recognize that I do look happy and healthy. Vanessa was right. The reason I do is that I took myself down to the coulees to move my body. To dislodge the remnants of that dream, to ask to be shown the next best step forward for me, to get as close to the Divine spark in nature that is also in me. To understand my needs and more importantly to have both the courage and the vulnerability to fulfill them and to state them.

There’s so many concepts that we could unpack from this. But I really want to end with this.

I just want to be really honest with you, while the majority of the time things are ticking along pretty great in my life, it is a very human condition, and one that for some reason we have deemed undesirable, that at times things feel kind of shitty. I want it to become normal that I can say that I spent the day crying on the floor of my office, because I have. I actually want you to respond with, ‘That’s AWESOME’ instead of ‘Oh no, what’s wrong with you?’

Because there is nothing wrong with me, or you. This is the journey that, if you want to grow into the highest and best versions of yourself, is the only one that is going to get you there. The journey of authenticity.