Don’t we all desire to be empowered, intentional women who move through life with grace and make the world a better place? Um, yes please. So as I work toward that impactful and graceful woman that I know lives in me (and you), I simultaneously find myself hoping that other people are witnessing my actions and going: Woah. She’s got her shit together. And sometimes, I do. I won’t self-deprecate or try to appear small for fear of seeming boastful. But it would be inauthentic of me if I also didn’t say that some days I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. The ‘what the hell am I doing?!’ days. The ‘everything is making me feel on edge’ days. The ‘are you effing kidding me right now?!’ days. The ‘how did I let things get so stressful’ days.
Currently, I’m in a place of self-discovery.
I feel many women are in this space too during this pivotal time in human history. You can feel it. Hello, look at the natural disasters and the President and violent atrocities in the US alone. This is the uncomfortable awakening from unconscious to conscious. Our darkness is being revealed so that we can stop ignoring and start CHANGING. So know that this is my lens on life these days.
Ok, where were we. Aaah yes. Some days my life is not instagrammable. Some days I feel anxious and depressed and rage seemingly out of nowhere. Some days I feel my efforts to better the world are futile.
Want to know what old, less-conscious Lucy would do?
Ignore that shit. Steamroll right through. Not acknowledge it and tell myself ‘stop it you’re selfish for feeling that way, look how privileged you are in the grand scheme of things. Sadness, anger, anxiety, etc is not productive.’
I did that method for about 19 years until I landed myself in the throes of deep depression and massive, debilitating, panic attacks where I felt like I might literally die. Like chest-caving-in-on-itself, obliterated-into-nothingness death. Logical? No. Felt massively real? Sure did. (Fun fact: prior to experiencing depression and anxiety myself, I thought folks with these mental health conditions were just not being positive enough. Weren’t really trying. Ugh what a dunce I was. Oh how little I knew… oh how much I still don’t know).
So this was the beginning of my conscious awakening.
Want to know what becoming-more-conscious Lucy does these days?
Acknowledge it. Sit with it. Get really uncomfortable.
My therapist (shout out to my girl Lori Krett!) shared a metaphor that has stuck with me (and you know I love me a good metaphor!). It goes a little something like this:
Not acknowledging your darkness is like trying to shove a beach ball underneath the water. The longer you hold that sucker down there and the harder you struggle to keep it from coming to the surface, the greater force it will come bursting back up. But if you just acknowledge the beach ball–whether it gets thrown over or slowly makes its way over to you–then it will float away peacefully on its own.
How good is that?! I probably come back to this metaphor three or four times a week!
The Perfection Paradox.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to be the light in people’s day, the one who can break the tension, the girl who is #BOSS.
But in not letting people–or worse, not letting myself–see when I am vulnerable, I set myself up for a massively unpleasant cosmic slap in the face to wake the hell up.
So if this resonates with you, give it a try. It’s worked for me. There’s strength in vulnerability. It helps me be of even more service to myself and others.
And here’s the icing on the cake: being honest about when we don’t have our shit together makes us have it together even more.
Written By: Lucy Ross, Editorial Direction for LikeABossGirls.com.
Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.