Four years ago, I walked into my new counselor’s office and said “I feel oppressed and I don’t know why.” At the time, I was a low-power animal-protection lobbyist (is there any other kind?) in a draining and volatile marriage. I knew I was in a rut but I was asleep to how I’d gotten there and how truly dissatisfying my life felt to me.
I didn’t know then that over the coming years I would drop my clients and join in a public and grueling fight to hold my best political ally accountable for abusive behaviors.
I didn’t know then that I would leave my husband and move out of my family home, living in friends’ basements and sharing custody of my son while I grieved a marriage I wish I’d had.
I didn’t know then that I would finally confront my upbringing, full of gender roles and polite racism, and set real boundaries which aligned with my moral compass through painful conversations with my loved ones.
The process has been one of confronting fear and construct over and over again until I can finally hear the sound of my true inner self chirping excitedly in the distance beyond the other voices. She’s enthusiastic, she’s on my side, she’s the greatest comfort when I can hear her. She’s helped me challenge the rules the world taught me. I had to hold them up to my own principles to see if they could stand.
As I did my hard work I started to hear the word “brave” from friends, family members and colleagues. I knew what they meant- doing hard things to find alignment with your true self IS brave. But it felt strange to wear the label since, in the heat of it, I wanted to skip the covers and crawl directly under the bed. I started to wonder if my doubts, insecurities, and fears meant I wasn’t brave after all. Was I a fraud? “Nah, sister, you’re a human” I heard my true self chirp from the distance, “the pain is for learning.”
These days I am free of toxic, draining relationships because I have said no to people who sink me and yes to those who help me fly.
I have honest, respectful work relationships like the one with my brilliant business partner, near daily coach, and heart sister Lisa Pedersen because I will tolerate nothing else.
I have refinanced and redesigned my home to include a basement apartment and workroom where I can live with my beautiful family and have the space to take care of myself while we keep trying to untangle our harmful patterns.
I am building the most amazing partnership with my sweet husband who was brave enough to come along with me for this wild ride. I have seen him transform radically. He says I inspired him to do that and I wonder if he did the same for me.
I am feeling, daily, the joy of a connection with my son that is only possible because we resist parenting from the construct and started connecting with him as a unique spirit in the world- already fully whole- and in need of the love, connection and encouragement that we all need.
And now I am standing on the cliff ready to jump into my life’s work trusting the outcome to the universe knowing my part is to create more alignment in a difficult world. Have you ever jumped off a cliff like that? It’s scary but here’s what I know:
I am brave and so are you.
The work of setting myself free from my personal oppression is the most rewarding and scary journey of my life and I’m still in it. No matter when you read this…I’m quite sure…I’m still in it.
I don’t want to coach you because I’ve arrived. I haven’t figured it all out. I want to coach you because I have experienced radical transformation and I know it’s possible. I want to coach you because I’m flawed and growing, just like you, and I know with certainty the journey is better with a partner.