I found myself stuck for many years. I was moving but ever so slowly. I was recently given the miracle of being able to see the disconnect. Acceptance is what I was lacking.
I absolutely refused to accept my reality. I constantly dreamed of a day to come that was not yet mine. I refused to accept the way things had become. It only got worse in doing this.
To put it into context, I believed I would soon become an author, some sort of spiritual teacher, even famous. I believed I would become successful, confident, beautiful, healthy, and love. That’s great and everything, but I was simultaneously rejecting who I was. I wasn’t those things, so my existence felt wrong. I couldn’t accept that I wasn’t in control, had failed at love, was shy, and awkward at times. I couldn’t accept my nervousness or the scars on my face. The list goes on. I despised vulnerability because I couldn’t bear to have another reject me the way I had already rejected myself. I coped in ways that felt unbearable and operated in ways that I didn’t understand. This lead me to believe I was unlovable because, hell I sure wasn’t going to love her.
“If I do that, she might stay,” I whispered in my mind like she wouldn’t hear me.
We can’t have that.
“If I ignore her, maybe she’ll get the picture, pack up, and leave. Then I can became that other girl, the one I like.”
You feel that? It’s a terrible feeling. I’d call it hell on earth.
So someone else had to point this out to me, I can’t take all the credit. In a recent experience, I found myself shaking my head and telling a mentor, “No, no, I don’t understand, this can’t be it.” We were talking about an event we were participating in that wasn’t going to way I expected.
She said, “This is it.”
If I accepted it, then it would be true, and I’d have to deal with it.
Of course it was already true, but I thought I could trick it, and in doing so, change it.
“I can’t.” I said.
“You already are.” She said.
“Could it be that we are talking about more than tonight, and also your life as a whole?”
“Girlllllllll.” I thought in my head. She nailed it, and completely unraveled a huge mess inside me.
When you don’t let things be, you spend a lot of time and energy protecting the house of cards your sanity depends on. When you let it be, you just get to be.
“You’re exactly right.” I thought and smiled as I also still refused to accept it.
She sent me on my way because she knew, but I wouldn’t have it. However, I sat with it, held a space for it as they say.
I repeated to myself, “This is it. This is my life” Over and over until it sunk in.
At some point in my life, I came to the conclusion that I derailed off the path that was meant for me. It was all a mistake and I wasn’t having it. I was in the woods and the path behind me had vanished.
“Hold on Reality, one second Present Moment, yes I hear you, shh, stop, okay, got it, thanks, but I am suppose to be over there.” I said subconsciously, every day of my life.
“This is all wrong,” I thought and I lived my life that way.
In that moment, I realized I had never left the path. I was only holding my breath until I got to the “right one” that never existed. I was on the right one and I was perfect. I could desire change and transform, but I couldn’t skip over acceptance first. I had to go back and accept every thing I’d passed along the way. I had to accept everything I was carrying as mine and as very perfect, all of it. In that moment, I went back and chose to love it, even if it made me cringe. Then I had to be here. Here was always good. I just wasn’t labeling it as such. I had a faulty label maker that kept reeling out, “Wrong. Don’t accept. Shouldn’t be this way. Pretend this didn’t happen. Keep waiting.”
I went back, acknowledged, and relabeled it all. Right up to that exact moment where things still didn’t seem to be going as “planned.” This is where I got unstuck.
When I did this, my life began. I began calling the shots.
I was trying to skip over this part to a future Caitlin that was never going to exist because I wouldn’t accept this Caitlin. I thought my future was more valuable than the present, and I was sorely mistaken. I had become a victim to my expectations.
Expectations are bullshit. You’ve got to ditch them. Have hopes and dreams, but know the difference.
They keep you stuck in a life you were never meant to live.
Here, this is it.
I thought I was going to go to leave college with a husband, and be knee deep in children right now. When I realized that wasn’t what I wanted, I was not prepared, and left college with depression and no plans. Once I noticed my trajectory headed in another direction, I thought everything was wrong. I thought the depression was wrong. Even when I accommodated this, I still felt as though I was missing the mark because I wasn’t that future version yet.
“I should just start over,” I thought, or hold my breath until it’s over.
This is right, all of it. That’s the toughest pill to swallow.
I am 27, single, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I am shy at times, and don’t know what to say. I have acne on my face, and hair with a mind of its own. I am ruled by fear and overthinking at times, and that’s okay. This is my humanness, and all things I tried to deny. I now take great pride in these things, most of the time (eye roll emoji). Take pride in all that is yours. There is no one path. There is your path, and everyone else’s. Each one absolutely perfect. We miss out on life when we try to live someone else’s.
Let it be. Start here, and then move forward.
Acceptance is key.
A practice: I do this thing where I talk to myself. I say, today I am a girl who [insert brutal honesty]
Get detailed if you must. Tell it like it is!
Followed by, “And that’s okay. Here I Am.
I want more, and this is where I am right now.”
The rest will come, but first accept.