Remember

Once there was a person in your life who had incredible belief. Faith in the seemingly impossible. A tenacious persistence that refused to let you give up on that vision of what you were capable of. This person was always there for you. Always held you when you cried. Always coached you when you stumbled and weren’t sure you could get up. Always insisted that you GET up and that it was, indeed, worth it.

This person was open and expressive, heartfelt and feeling. Brave, bold, fearless. Willing to stay up with you, to get lost in the timelessness of creation, meet you the next day, do it all again. This person insisted that rejection was just another opportunity to find the right door. Reminded you that you had a lovable heart and believed in every good thing in you. Saw the goodness in others. Wanted nothing more than to see you find a way to live your dream, do your art, express the gifts within you.

Never gave up on you, even when you did.

Do you remember this person?

Do you remember…

You?

Swallowed whole by cynicism

It doesn’t take long before cynicism becomes your second skin.

And, in an environment where everyone is out for their own gain, who can blame you?

You have to protect yourself from getting used and hurt, as much as you can. While this makes sense and in some ways is necessary, there is a spiritual cost to it.

A chronic attitude of distrust makes it very hard to receive.

When you protect yourself by not being able to receive, you block the flow of life’s blessings coming toward you. You close down and shut out and your first response is No. You become chronically defensive in your life.

Now, I know the reality is that there really aren’t many people you can trust. And there is always a need to be wise and perceptive and see beneath the surface of things. Protecting yourself is necessary and healthy.

But you aren’t always in danger.

Not everyone is bad and self-seeking.

Life can surprise you in ways you don’t expect.

You see, the difference between having a healthy self-defense and being a cynic, is that the first one lets you make decisions about people one at a time, while the second is a generalized belief about all people.

I am a firm believer that you get what you look for in life.

You can find anything you want: it’s all there. Bad, good, ugly, beautiful, cruel, kind. Where you place your focus is what you’ll mostly see.

And you get what you expect. If you’re a cynic, you expect people to be untrustworthy, self-seeking, and to use you.

You expect to not be valued as a worthy human being.

If cynicism is your dominant energy, you will attract people you can’t trust.

But this isn’t just about what you attract. This is about who you choose to be in this world. It’s about the energy you bring.

Your energy matters.
You are responsible for the energy you bring to this world.

You can be wise, discerning, say no to people your gut says are untrustworthy, while still bringing an energy of positive trust and generosity to this world.

You can hold a general belief in the goodness of humanity, while still protecting yourself against the bad ones.

And, when you shift your energy to be life-giving, you attract people in your life who match your energy.

But more so, you become someone who is grounded in the energy of generosity, and the fear of being taken advantage of, used, and hurt diminishes.

You know that no matter what happens to you, you will be okay. Being who you are in this world — moving from the energy of love, generosity, trust, faith, power, courage — becomes more important to you than anything else.

Some people call it moving from the energy of higher compassion. Compassion is wise, it sees through the surface of people’s fear-based motivations, and lets you relate to them on an authentic level. It breaks down people’s scarcity beliefs and helps them reconnect to their true inner power.

You have the power to be a life-giving force in this world.

The choice is yours.

How to disappoint others in order to be true to yourself

In business, you learn to say no to others. It’s part of leadership and it’s part of how the Universe steers the right people to the right projects. Saying no to work that isn’t right for you is a healthy part of professional integrity. People get disappointed, but hey, that’s business.

What’s much harder is disappointing people who matter to you personally.

You are under a ton of pressure to keep people happy. To make decisions that others feel right for you. Agents, lawyers, producers, investors, friends, family, partners. You have relationships with these people. Some are built on business and money, but they’re all built on trust. They claim they want what is best for you.

But what happens when what is best for you isn’t what they think it is?

Some of these people you can fire, but some of them you can’t. Some of them hold your sense of self-worth and esteem in their hands. Some of them hold your sense of purpose.

Everyone tells you that you are in charge and yet, so many conflicting forces pressure you that it feels as if you have very little say over anything.

It’s hard to change mid-course. It’s hard to declare that a relationship is no longer working. That you’ve changed.

~~~

You are allowed to change, love.

Not only allowed, but you are responsible to change. Because we all grow. We all outgrow our dreams (or our dreams outgrow us). We outgrow relationships. We outgrow versions of ourselves that used to define us, used to work, used to make us come alive.

And they just. don’t. anymore.

We outgrow other people’s definitions of us. And we’re complicit in allowing the illusions to continue. How many of us have known in our gut instincts that a relationship or job was no longer a good fit for us and we kept our mouths shut?

We allowed the other person or employer to think that everything was the same and believe the illusion that nothing would ever change?

I spent a good portion of my 12-year marriage keeping the illusion alive. Not intentionally, not to be hurtful, not knowingly dishonest. I was scared of what my inner knowings meant. Scared of what bringing those truths to the surface would mean.

We’ve all been there in some form or another. Until the truth becomes so loud within that we can’t keep silent anymore.

That’s the moment when we disappoint others.

We let them down. We break our promises and the illusion that our commitment, passion, relationship, feelings, what we claimed we once wanted were permanent.

You have to be willing to destroy untruths in order to live new ones.

You have to be willing to disappoint the people who love you in order to be true to your Self. 

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

-Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation

Faithless and therefore trustworthy. Trusted to be true to who we are.

~~~

Why does this matter so much?

We are born into this lifetime true to our Selves. Fully expressed incarnations of Spirit. One of our deepest needs for survival is not love, but to be real, to feel authentic, true.

When we don’t experience that, when there is disconnect between our authentic truths and our outward lives, we suffer. We lose our ability to fulfill our destiny callings. We don’t show up in the full power that authenticity creates.

This matters, love. It matters more than I can ever express to you.

You feel it in your soul. You know when you are moved by what is real and authentic. You sense how diminished you feel when you can’t be real.

The pressure of fame closes in on you and seemingly leaves you little space for any true transformation. There are huge amounts of energy suppressing you and disallowing you to deviate from other’s perceptions of who you are.

~~~

So how do you break free?

You get to a place where the inner pressure builds until it feels as if it’s a life or death situation.

Which, to your soul, it is.

Your truth equals life, you can’t get to what is next for you until you stand up for your Self and break the illusions.

You need to remember, too, that when you are aware that your truths no longer match up to what you’re living, the compassionate thing to do is to be honest about it.

People living in illusions of each other miss out on the potential of real connection and intimacy. The longer you stay with what no longer fits, the more you risk not finding what truly does.

Sometimes, we have to dream bigger and imagine more for ourselves than the best we have ever known.

Fear keeps us from setting ourselves free. We have to have the courage to let go of the known and familiar, of the limiting beliefs that try to convince us that staying is safer and the kind thing to do, and we have to believe that Something Incredible exists for us out there.

~~~

We also have to be able to tolerate being the one who breaks someone’s heart, changes someone’s life, alters the course of a business or project.

That’s not an easy thing for goodhearted people to do, but it’s necessary if you are to truly live and truly be You.

In my experience, the hardest part has been convincing myself that I have the right to change my life. I never doubted the rightness of ending my marriage, but I had to grow into my belief in my own worth to do so. Anytime you disappoint others, you become “the bad guy.” It’s really hard for nice people to become the bad guy.

But it’s necessary.

The true “bad guys” are those who know their truth and never find the courage to broach it, who live half-lives because they allow fear to make their decisions for them. Who allow others to live in illusions and never touch what is real.

You have the right and the mandate to change.

People aren’t going to like it. You may risk everything you’ve built because life is calling you to be something you weren’t up until now.

Listen hard to what your intuition is telling you. You won’t be able to ignore it without causing a lot of suffering in your heart. You HAVE to do what your inner truth is leading you to do. Even though it’s scary. There is no way out of this but through it.

What if your inner truth means completely changing your life?

When you get to a certain level of professional success, it becomes a self-perpetuating story. Our creative identities define us. Writer. Actor. Singer. Director. Musician. For most creatives, our central calling is where our gifts lie and so we stick to doing what we are gifted to do. But sometimes you need a change.

A big change. As in, I’m not going to do this creative work anymore.

Only you can know the status of your relationship with your creative calling. Do you still move into the flow when you’re doing it? Does it still make you feel most alive and satisfied? Are you continuing to work because it’s what you want to do or because it’s what is expected? Would you seriously quit altogether or do you need a thorough and complete break from it for some time? Are you tired with your calling or just plain tired?

Lifetimes are short, love. Now may be the time for you to look at the other things you always wanted to do and never did. People may or may not understand your reasons. Frankly, it’s none of their business.

And in all honesty, what feels like a major life decision to you with huge risk and uncertainties will just be a few hours of headlines in the media. People will move on. Immediately.

Which is all the more reason that you have to live your truths for You. Because you don’t move on. It matters to you.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver

Be You.

Keeping the core of You alive

Reclaiming your Self is a process. Once you begin to dig yourself out, you uncover more and more pieces of yourself that got scattered and lost. You get to choose what fits and what doesn’t anymore.

You make changes. You shift perspectives.

You find and re-find your courage to believe that You matter.

YOU. matter.

You start living in ways that honor who you are, your tolerance for bullshit and pretense and what’s fake evaporates. You see things for what they are.

Living true to who you really are becomes compulsory.

You move at the pace of your creation. Sometimes, you move suddenly. Massive shifts happen in an instant. The moment a thought you haven’t had before enters your mind.

Sometimes the slightest revelation melts you to your core. Sometimes fear disguises itself in ingenious fashion to convince you to remain safe and the same.

Sometimes depression convinces you that it’s all pointless, that you are the only one fighting for your truth and freedom.

Sometimes it just seems easier to be who people want you to be.

That way, no one gets hurt, no one’s life gets disrupted. People can continue on in their comfortable illusions.

But you can’t.

I know from experience, it’s lonely being the only person who believes your truth matters.

It’s lonely being the only person fighting for your freedom. It’s hard to sustain your own belief when no one else around thinks your truth is necessary.

Don’t give in.

You will be the only one fighting for your freedom. You will be the only one convinced your truth, who you really are inside, matters enough to disrupt life as they know it.

People will pressure you to stay the same. They will try to convince you that you are selfish, destructive, ungrateful, and call you all kinds of horrific names.

Don’t give in.

Your truth matters more than you can fathom.

Why?

Because this is not all about you.

It’s about you being You among the rest of us.

It’s about being aligned to your authentic Self so that you are in the right place at the right time to impact countless other people on their journey.

It’s about showing up, being who you are called to be in this world, and having faith that when you do, your Presence here fulfills the reason you entered this lifetime.

Reclaiming your Self matters more than it will seem.

Until you get to the end of this lifetime and you realize you can say that you lived true to who you are.

That you were You.

Don’t give up, love.

Don’t ever give up.