Start Over Now. Fear Fearlessly. Love Endlessly. Just Love.
Are there some days you wish you could just start over?
In my mind, starting over would begin at the beginning.
As a child, the meaning of life was inherent in my little soul, filled up with dragonflies and horseback rides. The things I cherished would spring forth as the most meaningful elements, without a doubt, and I would continue on merrily.
Subjectively, life’s meanings ebb and flow like chasing after blue effervescent dragonflies.
Along my way, I decided my meaning in life was to be a horse jockey. My love of horses grew so strong, I waited for the bus every morning at the end of the long gravel driveway, praying to the higher powers to keep me strong and agile, short and most of all, fucking fearless. Some of that dream came true as I grew to be a petite 5’2”. However, I enjoyed pastries too much to be eligible to be as a lean as a jockey. My athleticism and agility grew but the fearless girl did not. A dark cloud started to descend around that time. Fear made a homey little spot within my ego; and I became detached from my sense of joy and spiritual self.
Other voices began to spar with my fearless spiritual self as well: parents, peers, media, and even the shady paperback romance novels I stole from my mother’s bedside table, told stories of the meaningful woman I should be.
The woman in the novel was tall and thin, with curves in all the right places. Completely opposite of the young woman-to-be in the mirror. Confusion clouded my understanding of meaning and happiness, thus making both of those abstract and adored from afar. As a preteen, I suppressed any healthy self-esteem growth and hid behind dark songs by Stevie Nicks, while I smoked cigarette butts left in my parent’s 1963 Jeep. I secretly brought Wiccan books to church and dyed my hair black as night. Defiant? Yes. Fearless? No. I was scared shitless. Happiness was elusive and indicative of my cultural adaptation, or lack thereof.
Foolishly, I began to question the meaning of life and falsely attached it to happiness.
My perception on the meaning of life morphed again into this little diabolical word: perfection. To be attained and maintained at all times; in appearances, conduct and intellect. Perfection was to be attained by skipped meals, long bouts of strenuous exercise, and being able to wrap my hands around my waist and touch my fingers. Seemingly high and starving through high school, size defined my happiness and meaning. Awareness and authenticity were forgotten. Life was smothered by unspoken words within a broken spirit, wild hair and an untamed voice. I feel like the inner child yelled about the meaning of life often. At the same time, it echoed against the canyons of societal expectations, family beliefs and conformity.
In an act of seemingly supreme independence, I moved to Spain. There, I purposely flunked classes as I drank too much, poured my heart into tear-stained journals, spent money I did not have and traveled to places to hear the cries of my soul.
After feeding my feelings with nearly a quart of olive oil a week and cases of wine, I got cursed out by my host mother (“Que valor tienes!!”) for slipping away from my academic obligations. Rather than viewing this time as a time for needed freedom, exploration and independence, I did what I had been conditioned to do. I listened to the other voices instead of my own and flew back home. As my spirit waned with the oppression of my own imprisoned self, meaning slipped from my soul’s vocabulary; basic survival became the only way to continue to exist.
The meaning of life took a turn with an unexpected surprise: motherhood. Motherhood cracked open the vessel of meaning and suddenly love tasted so different. Shocking and surreal, I embraced motherhood while stricken with an intense bout of postpartum depression. I held my baby in my arms all day. Not in a carrier but in my arms. Our bond was so delicate and special. I cried often, grieving the loss of the relationship, for my old self, and the life I could no longer have. The love for my daughter grew every day, gently flowering from a deep place I never knew existed. Motherhood will do that. It changes the essence of your soul, and weaves a new meaning. Without a partner’s help and support, and experiencing a raging storm of hormones within my body, the cracks deepened. The meaning of life fell through. I began to float on a scary self-harming and self-loathing wave.
The Universe tested me many times in the years following.
“Does she understand the meaning of happiness? The Universe asserted that to count on everlasting happiness, one must find meaning? It asked if I understood the delicate dance of life?
Entrepreneur and writer, Steve Altrucher, wrote: “Only build something you really want to use yourself. There’s got to be one thing you are completely desperate for and no matter where you look you can’t find it. Nobody has invented it yet. So there you go – you invent it. If there’s other people like you, you have a business. Else. You fail. Then do it again. Until it works. One day it will.”
I always wanted to invent something. When I was young, it was to make myself into a jockey, then to be someone that society expected me to be. It became apparent that the only way to go from a state of survival to thriving was to reinvent the fearless child into a fearless woman. I had to invent happiness and subsequently, meaning. I invested in myself; building something within that no one else could find. This happened by reading about crystal and energy healing, practicing yoga, meditation, shamanic journeying, and sitting quietly in my body. All the time. Like it was my job, because it was. I was building an empire, within.
There were signs everywhere that change was occurring and the moon was affecting me as strongly as the ocean pulled to a new tide. Failed and toxic relationships began to fizzle or be avoided. Decisions became clearer and more concise after long, quiet walks in the forest. Connections to people vibrating at the same level became necessary and real. Lessons were learned, then sometimes repeated, and finally understood and accepted. My intuitive child came alive and it was so easy to speak from Spirit. This time my voice was loud and did not retract when met with conflictive societal expectations. Instead it rang louder. It did told me to live life, the richest and most sacred life possible. Fear fearlessly. Love endlessly. Just love.
When I began my coaching studies, I was asked to come up with an ideal client because every successful coach has an ideal person they want to work with. The exercise still makes me cringe. At the time, ideas failed me. I wanted to help everyone; while at the same time, I doubted I could help anyone. Fear engulfed me. Ego held tight reins on my meaning, my why.
I have since looked in the mirror and realized the ideal client is someone just like me: someone with strong convictions, an intuitive mind, an empathic soul, a shitty relationship with food, depressive tendencies, and distorted body image. Someone who is striving to be a better mother/parent, who has shattered glass ceilings yet doubts herself, feels the feelings, and yes, is awakened but scared shitless at the same time.
I feel it all, I want to feel it all, BE it all. Every step of the way was paved by these flowery words: I was always in a state of awakening, imperfectly perfect, transparent, authentic and stepping to a highly organized dance called meaningfulness. At that time and in this moment, it is a dance I continually choreograph and never falter at, for every movement has meaning.
Start over now. Fear fearlessly. Love endlessly. Just love.