“You don’t need to be perfect to be included at the table,” Erin Janoso. This lesson, this reminder about knowing our worth is key. There is a genuine wholeness you feel when you love yourself. It’s far easier than carrying around that weight I mentioned yesterday. We pretend that protecting ourselves is enough when we are desperately searching for a way to be seen. It’s scary to think about letting pieces of you out that you never shared before. Sometimes we keep them hidden for so long that we aren’t even sure how to behave with them. We don’t know how that feels. Sometimes navigating life feels a lot like learning to ride a bicycle or learning to walk. We’re always wobbly at first. It takes a lot to take those first steps or spin on those wheels with confidence. So too is wearing and sharing our authentic identity.
I made the mistake a long time ago of thinking sharing an authentic identity meant sharing every detail of my life. Depending on the audience and the purpose, it’s necessary, but not every person needs to know everything all the time. I thought over-sharing was a display of confidence and now I see it’s a trauma response. I was so hoping to be accepted that I would create a situation where I would be rejected before I even knew someone or they knew me. Sometimes it sticks, but people don’t want to start a friendship with anyone where they need to be your therapist.
The other side of this is knowing our worth and knowing how to provide that love for yourself instead of demanding it from others. When we see our own value, we are less likely to need that level of attention and support from people. We have to know that we are worthy and perfection has little to do with that worth. We are here to share our gifts and supply more light to the world, to ignite that light in other people. When we know our worth we feel complete. Yes, the other side of this means accepting that not everyone will accept us—and that is ok. We aren’t meant to be everyone’s cup of tea. We are meant to be ourselves and find our group and do the work meant for us. We can still find a way to be included by knowing where we belong. And we first belong to ourselves.
When we find ourselves at a table that no longer serves the nourishment we need, we also need to have the strength to walk away. We need to know when things are no longer good enough for us and that we can walk away. We don’t take our sustenance or our light from the outside—we are enough as we are. If the table doesn’t work, we are allowed to walk away. It’s nice to be included, but if that means wearing that 1000 pound mask to make people happy, then it isn’t worth it. Put it down and pick up the mantle of who we are. Stability comes with genuine identity. That comes from knowing who we are and we know who we are when we allow ourselves to experience life and figure out what we enjoy, what works for us, and what feels right. It’s never about perfection, it’s about finding self. Explore, move, be authentic. Love your life and drop the shield.