As accomplished as I may seem to be, (resume two pages and growing) I experience imposter syndrome, which tells me I will never be enough.
As public as I may seem to be, I realize how much I was hiding, out of fear of not being loved if people knew about the way my mind works sometimes. A friend had asked me a few weeks ago, who I was closest to. The truth is, I know a lot of people, but not a lot of people really know me. I can name about half a dozen who are allowed through the portal into the inner sanctum. I have spilled my guts, shone the light in the cob-webby corners, exposed some of the messes I had made in earlier years (hard one since I pride myself on being low maintenance, not wanting to inconvenience anyone else) with these folks… and whatya’ know, they’re still here. They haven’t run screaming. Whew! It gives me permission to be fully human, rather than the “alien baby left on my parents’ doorstep,” that I only half jokingly told them I was. This being human is a roller coaster ride that has me clutching the safety bars and raising my hands in the air, shrieking. I had done both nearly a year ago on my first visit to Disneyland.
As confident as I may seem to be, I realize how hesitant I can be while standing on the precipice, wondering how to traverse the expanse. My wings have been tested over and over, and each time, I question whether they are sky-worthy. And each time, the Divine sighs and asks “Have I ever dropped you? Hasn’t there always been a soft place to land?” And each time, I sigh too and surrender to that greater wisdom that overshadows the terror. And each time, I leap in trust. And each time in free fall/free flight, I am safely caught and held.
As accomplished as I may seem to be, (resume two pages and growing) I experience imposter syndrome, which tells me I will never be enough. I can tell you all the stuff I have done professionally that could make your head spin. When I am interviewed or when I speak at events and my bio is read, I think “Wow, that woman is busy!” And still I feel a need to prove myself over and over. Throwback to childhood when asthma made it challenging to keep up with my desires. The song “Break My Stride,” (Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride. Nobody’s gonna slow me down. I’ve got to keep on movin'”) became my theme. Of necessity, a year ago, a heart attack did indeed do just that. I have eased back into a pace that is least half as speedy as once I was. Naps have become a regular non-activity when previously, I avoided them, thinking that if I was sleeping, I wasn’t being productive. What I have come to discover is that my creativity increases when I nap. I even write articles in my sleep and awaken with them sometimes fully formed. All I need to do is sit before the computer and the words pour out. The funny thing is that my thoughts zip through more rapidly than the computer can keep up. I notice that it and I are so linked that when I am ignoring my fatigue, the computer sometimes freezes up as if to tell me it is time to take a break.
As loving as I may seem to be, I have my judgments about the choices people make, especially if they impact on others in negative ways. My belief is that no one has the right to consciously do harm to others. My hackles get raised when I witness or hear about it and then my protective Mama Bear comes out. I have a visceral, gut clenching sensation and have to step back and breathe and then respond, rather than react. I know that each of us operates from our level of consciousness at the moment. As much as I have my “if I ruled the world,”opinions of how things ought to be, the only person I can change is myself. As I am healed of my own wounds, I am better able to be a force for good.
As compassionate as I may seem to be, I sometimes lack the ability to hold myself in that same manner; instead, holding myself to impossibly high standards. I am learning that if there is limited self compassion, there can not truly be enough to share with others.
Come out, come out, wherever I am…
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.
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