At the time I was having my children, I lived in Yosemite, aka, the woods, for those not familiar. I’d grown up there and through serendipitous situations, was living and working there as an adult. Somehow, I got it in my head that I’d have my kids naturally, without pain killers. Maybe it was that I had friends having their kids at home, sometimes in the bathtub. No pain killers seemed like a good middle ground. By and large, I did it. I had a little something with the first, because, well, he was nine pounds and a little complicated. But number two, nada. In truth, I think my body was well designed for it.
I remember my Dad commenting that I was a mountain-women for taking the no pain killer route. I wasn’t sure how to take that, but maybe it was a nod to the natural, mountain living, way of doing it. Either way, I’m not going to lie, having them without drugs was a personal badge of honor. Not the first or last time I went for the badge.
Many years later, I decided to walk a marathon. Walk because I’m not a runner and make no excuses about that. Again, my Dad said, “don’t you think you could walk 26 miles?” I did, so he asked me why walk the marathon? To prove to myself I could do it. Ahhhh, there it is.
Proving it. It’s not for the so-called glory. It’s to prove to myself that I can do it. And it’s a path I go down all.the.time. But why? It’s not so other people will notice, or comment. It’s the internal driver. Part of why I used to go out and ride 200 miles on my bike. The company, friends I was with, were a huge plus.
But there’s something about proving it to myself. In my mind, I equate it to a child, adamant in saying “I can do it myself.” I could hypothesize that it’s partially because of my foot amputation at 4 and a drive to show I was like anyone else. But I wouldn’t conclusively say that’s it. In Brené Brown’s work, she talks about it in respect to worthiness.
“Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.” Brené Brown
When we don’t accept ourselves, we work to create the narrative. She’s tough. Persistent. A fighter. You take on the world to show that you’re worthy. Even if you’re only doing it subconsciously.
Truth is, and this is no news flash, I’m far from perfect. Most days I’m a hot mess. And this is nothing new. The difference is that I’m at an age where I understand and accept it. Less inclined to have the urge to prove I’m something other than the person standing in front of you. In the middle part of life where we look long and hard at ourselves and at long last start the process of acceptance.
But there still times my internal “prove it” narrative comes up. It’s my subconscious taunting me. Doubt. The false narrative. And we all have that nagging voice. The work is coming to terms with our own worthiness. Believing that we are worthy, even if we’re a hot mess. When we hustle, when we believe we can’t show up as our true self, we’re not leaning into our authenticity. Only when we’re being authentic are we our full, true self.
What’s your narrative? What are you doing instead of simply being your true self? You’re no worse for accepting your true self. In fact, you’re stronger. We have to stand in our truth, in our authenticity, and believe that we’re worthy. People will either accept us or not, but if they don’t, they’re not our people.
You are worthy. Now. As is. Worthy of love and belonging. Start with accepting yourself and lay down the belief that you need to hustle for your worth. You are perfectly and wonderfully made.
Sending you all the love. Be Brave.