A few weeks ago I received an email from someone close to me. He was upset by an email exchange that we had been involved in and accused me of taking every situation and making it about me. At the time, his words stung. I knew he was angry both at me but also at other people and happenings in his life and I knew the situation wasn’t all about me.
The old me would have taken his words to heart. She would have taken them personally and bent over backwards to apologise and make peace. Or she would have been so angry that she would have ended up writing an email that she regretted later.
The new me read between the lines and saw he was hurting from the external things happening in his life and he felt safe enough to lash out at me. Part of me was glad that I was the person he felt safe enough to do that to. And I decided to just let it be and not respond.
However, the more I thought about it, maybe he’s right. Maybe I do make things all about me. I don’t set out to, but let’s face it. For each of us, life is all about us. It’s personal. It’s a mash up of our past experiences and what we’ve been taught and what our values are, alongside our perceptions at any one time.
I know when I was little I was taught to be helpful and not be selfish. To share with others. To be compassionate. And I am. I also happen to be a pretty good empath. But for years I have been an unhealthy empath, taking on energy from others that just doesn’t have anything to do with me. Trying to ‘fix’ situations or people or both.
Over the past few months I’ve been working on being a healthy empath. Listening to my heart and my gut. And learning how to protect myself from the energy vampires I’ve been prone to allow to suck my energy. Closing myself off in a healthy way and relying on my own inner wisdom and strength, rather than endlessly letting others make decisions for me or offer opinions to me of how I should live my life.
It is my life. It is about me. If I don’t make it about me, who will?
I came across this quote by Brené Brown today.
“I think midlife is when the Universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armour is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understood that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armour could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you are still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
I love this. I love that Brené is so good at summing up how I feel.
It’s this courage and daring and love and belonging that are at the heart of believing in me. It’s that whisper from the Universe that helped me start this blog a couple of years ago. It’s that whisper that has helped me look at my actions and interactions with almost every single person in my life and make changes to my behaviour where I felt I needed to. Not where others thought or told me I did, but where I felt in my gut I needed to. It’s that whisper that guided me to quit my job more than two years ago and start life coaching. It’s that whisper that tells me that surrender these days is more important to me than attack. That whisper tells me that everyone has their own perceptions of me, of others and of themselves and to allow them to have those perceptions.
That whisper tells me to be vulnerable. To show up. To love who I am.
That whisper also tells me that I am adventurous and courageous. I have been blessed with so many gifts, some of which I’m only starting to explore and recognise. And in addition, for me, that whisper calls me to travel.
This past week I’ve driven the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and saw one of the most amazing coastlines in the world. It’s a trip I’ve wanted to do for more than 25 years. I finally got there this week accompanied my youngest daughter (which made it even more special!). It was a magical few days together and we enjoyed every minute of our time together.
Tonight I am on flight to Amman, Jordan which is another place I’ve wanted to visit since I was a child. The Universe whispered loudly to me that I needed to do this trip and made everything for it to happen just fall into place easily. I’m nervous as I’ve never been to the Middle East before, I’m traveling on my own and I’m a woman. But I also know that if I make this trip about me, by listening to that whisper from the Universe, I trust that this trip will be amazing.
I’m surrendering to the whisper.