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The Stories We Tell

Dearheart,

Today I woke up with one of the worst hangovers! Not the kind you may be thinking. This hangover had nothing to do with spirits; it had everything to do with Spirit. Part of me wants to keep this to myself. The bigger part of me feels compelled to share.

Let me begin by setting the stage.

I’ve been away from home. Hubby and I were fortunate enough to spend the better part of the past month traveling across the country in our 2nd home on wheels. It was an amazing time. The closer we got to home, the more I felt my heart, though.  Remember, as a child, when you would wander away from a parent or other “security blanket?” The tears didn’t (usually) fall until you were returned to safety and realized the potential peril of your situation. The relief of being reunited flooded your heart.

It was something like that. Once I arrived back home, the degree to which my heart missed the family unit became overwhelmingly obvious. (It’s been a week and my tender heart still prompts a few tears each day.)

Before even getting home, I knew. Nothing had changed but everything was going to be different. If you know me, you know this is a point of view I’ve applied to other aspects of my life. If you’re getting to know me, you’ll see that I actually love this outlook – except maybe right now. You see, I don’t want everything to be different. Not yet. And last night it came to a head. Publicly.

After several days of trying, the family unit that is my personal world came together. Not only the usual faces, but a few new ones, too. As the night went on, my heart swelled, bigger and bigger until I physically hurt (in a wonderful way).

These people are my everything.

As a relatively guarded (ok, a lot guarded) human, realizations like this always knock the wind out of me. What do you do when it hits? You cry. At least, if you’re me. I cried. In front of my family, including my son’s partner who was meeting us for the first time. Ya. That brings me to the issue of the day.

Last night, I recovered quickly. My oh, so gracious family patted my hand and smiled as the conversation returned to normal. Today, the hangover – the vulnerability hangover, honestly made me want to retreat into hiding.

It took a few hours for the stories to run their course.

“You embarrassed yourself.”

“You embarrassed your husband and children.”

“You’re an overbearing, clingy mother.”

“You shouldn’t drink wine during family dinners.”

As these stories had their way with my heart, I became so aware of the overwhelming feelings they caused:

shame and loneliness

Fortunately, I have learned to recognize my own bullshit. Why my ego would want to take me to a place of despair I may never know. I don’t know if I even care. All I need to know is that those stories, had I believed them (and I once did), would have kept me from what I want and deserve, the love of and connection with wonderful humans.

I’m happy to say the hangover has passed. I realize that part of being human is to be vulnerable. Part of my personal experience in this lifetime is to learn to become comfortable with vulnerability. I believe this so much that I have penned this little note to you.

Showing up can be hard. It can be messy. But if you move beyond the bullshit stories your ego will tell you, you’ll see the beauty of it all. You’ll see the beauty of your soul.


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