It Takes Courage to Be True to Yourself
Have you ever found yourself making decisions or taking actions based on someone else’s well being only to make that person and yourself miserable? Have you ever found your own right path and felt discouraged under the lash of someone else’s criticism and judgment? Has the fear of making a mistake prevented you from taking any action at all?
Twice in the past year, I have taken actions based on selfish, codependent motives. Both times those actions did not produce the desired results and for all intents and purposes looked like 'mistakes'.
In April of this year, I paid over a thousand dollars for training in Lypossage, a massage therapy technique for body contouring. My intentions were to contribute in a big way to our household income by cashing in on women's obsession with their body image. Four months later, I have not had the first Lypossage client.
For the past year or so, my husband and I have been discussing having weddings at our farm. Again our intention was to increase our income as well as providing a beautiful site for weddings and receptions. To use our farm as a wedding/reception site, I had to get a zoning permit. The hearing for that permit was a few days ago. It was denied. It looked like I had made another 'mistake'.
I've never been willing to label those actions of Lypossage training and wedding permits as mistakes. I know the value of my actions are not always reaching my desired goal. Sometimes the value of my actions is simply practicing the courage of action taking and learning from the consequences.
Now, I am enrolled in Life Coach Training at the International Coaching Academy. Recent history would say this is another one of my hair brained ideas. Today I learned that I am ABSOLUTELY ON THE RIGHT PATH.
My husband has been skeptical about "throwing money away" on another one of my ideas with nothing to show for it. His concerns were honest; his delivery was less than sensitive. Today I heard my own truth come out of my own mouth as I was expressing myself to my husband.
For months I have been praying, asking the Universe "What's in my hand? What are my gifts? What am I supposed to do?" My asking was no longer about increasing my income or making my husband happy. My asking was about, "What is my higher purpose in life?" I knew that when that answer came, a life of joy is all that would await me.
So I started asking my friends, family and clients, "What do I do and what do I do best?" The answers mostly came in the form of "You've helped me do this or that . . . You've helped me see . . . I've benefited by now living a centered, awakened life . . . " One reply came in a more direct fashion. One friend said, "There's always the life coach idea we talked about. One of your strong suits is to see into a person and redirect their thinking in a positive way. Sort of like a jump start on the battery of life."
As I was expressing myself to my husband today, I realized that I made the decision to pursue Life Coaching, not for economic reasons, but because I have been lead through asking (prayer) and meditation (listening) that this is what I'm supposed to do for ME. It's not for him, not for our household budget, not for any other reason than I have a HUGE desire to work with others, a HUGE desire to be of service, a HUGE desire to be on my own right path and true to my own self.
My motive is selfish. I desire to work with others to help them grow and heal because every time I share in that healing, a little part of me heals. Every time I share in someone else's growth, a little part of me grows. Every time I have that experience, I am honored and energized; and, it becomes a validation that I truly am in alignment with all good things.
It takes courage to choose what you believe in at all costs. Sometimes our agreements with other people get shaken up when we agree to commit to our own path. Relationships can tremble under the vibration of changing energy just like buildings experiencing earthquakes. Some relationships look like they will tremble and fall. Some do. Some relationships tremble and yet, stand firm and strong.
I must always choose myself. If I am taking actions for someone else’s approval, I set myself up for rejection and disappointment. When I am taking actions from a place of inner guidance and alignment with my higher purpose, I feel joy, peace and happiness.
It’s risky business to commit to being true to yourself. There have been times in the last few days that it felt like I was having open heart surgery without the anesthesia. At other times, it felt like there were spears thrust right into the center of me. AND, there were times when I felt indescribable relief and freedom and peace.
There is a story in the Bible in the old Testament about Abraham and Isaac. (This is not a quote, I am not going to look it up so if I am not accurate or wrong, please feel free to contact me.) Isaac was Abraham’s son, whom Abraham loved and adored. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son on the altar. Abraham suffered from mental and emotional anguish. He suffered great fear and terror at having to choose between his son whom he loved and his god whom he loved. Abraham chose God. He built the altar and became willing to sacrifice Isaac. He surrendered. He became willing to let go of the thing in his life that he was most afraid of losing.
When he surrendered, God intervened and Isaac was spared. Abraham did not have to lose Isaac by sacrificing him on the altar. All he had to do was surrender the fear.
Today, just for today, that is what I did. I became willing to give up the one thing I feared losing for the sake of following my path. In the past five years, the only thing I’ve been afraid of losing was my husband, my marriage. Every crazy, self defeating thing I’ve done has been motivated by that fear. Nothing I ever did made him happy. Many things I did just made him angry.
Today, out loud, I committed to leaving my husband and the marriage if that is what I had to do to be true to myself. Tears poured from my eyes and my body heaved with sobs but I did not take back my commitment. I surrendered and it changed my perspective.
Now what? We’re still married; I haven’t left my husband; my husband hasn’t left me; and, I am free of the fear of losing what I love the most.
The structure of our marriage trembled and looked as if it was going to fall but it didn’t. It’s listing to one side a little. There are a couple of broken windows and a crack in a wall or two . . . but the foundation, the most important part, is still standing.
So I applaud and acknowledge you if you’re asking, “What is my purpose? Why am I here?” It takes courage. It takes surrender. It takes self-love, that thing you probably don’t even know you have, just to ask the questions.