So…I write some form of the word ‘shit’ 14 times in this post. And it felt good. Not going to lie.
This whole journey has been an exercise in owning my shit. The good, the bad and the weird. It aint easy but it’s the only way to do the work I want to do. We are so programmed to only show our best bits, the highlight reel and it means we feel we need to hide away the things that aren’t considered positive. That aren’t desirable or exciting or happy or fun. But…no one’s perfect. And no one should be because we are then all trying to fit into the same, unattainable cookie cutter mold that is deemed ‘acceptable’.
But that’s why I’m here. I’m here to face the less than lovely parts. To acknowledge them. To admit that sometimes they are the flip side to my more positive attributes. That maybe I can’t have one without the other. They make me who I am. I’m here to recognise the work I need to do. To know better and do better. And I’m working on not being such a cow to myself about all of this. To give myself understanding and a bit of love along the way.
If we are going to do the self love thang…and I mean really do it, then you better believe you gotta love, or at least accept, the shite bits too. Does it mean we shouldn’t work on improving them? Nope. Of course not. But you can’t work on anything if you don’t acknowledge them and you can’t acknowledge them if you always try and hide them away in shame. We need to air them out and own them. We need to own our shit.
The bravest people I know own their shit. Some out of a sense of duty to themselves and some with pride. All because they know. They just know that it’s what being human is all about. They know that hiding them away denies themselves their full experience of life. Shaming them into a dark place makes them grow and overtake. They know what the fears of being ‘found out’ can do to their soul. It’s not pretty. Shame and fear and not belonging are the worst. The worst feelings and the worst kind of pain. Disconnection, loneliness, anxiety…hatred…all thrive in this kind of emotional environment and we just don’t have time for that anymore. Being brave for me means I have to own these things about myself. Own them or change the narrative around them.
Brene Brown says ‘ The truth is: belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater that your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
I kicked this whole blog journey off with a post about vulnerability. I believe it is the bravest, most courageous thing you can do and I truly believe that it is the route to living your best, most honest life. So…I’m all in. Being vulnerable means showing up. Showing up with all of yourself and not hiding bits away. I want to truly believe that all of me is enough.
When acknowledging my shit I know I need to do some filtering. Some things are just who I am and I don’t need to do anyting about them. Some parts of me are stories I was given and not mine to actually own. Stories about being lazy. Stories around the rest and space I need. Stories around the way my body is. I am learning that these actually aren’t shitty parts of my being. They are just the way my body works or works best. And many simply aren’t true. I mostly know now that I’m not lazy. I’m not boring. I’m not broken. There’s a lot of things I’m not.
Some of the shit I do own and I am actively working on like; ways to be sensitive and empathetic without over extending myself or taking on other people’s shit, patience with myself and others, not pushing my frustrations and annoyances on others, committing to the main things and prioritising (ie not trying to do all the things all the time…what can I say? I’m excitable), engaging in contentious conversations or confrontation with calm and grace (ha ha ha…sigh), apologising when I’m wrong or do wrong (I’m sorry husband), and many more.
This isn’t a list of ways that I’m crap. Not at all. Owning these parts of myself means being unapologetic about who I am. It means accepting myself ‘warts’ and all. I can change and modify and accept but I am learning to refuse to feel shame or fear about any parts of myself. To be and own ourselves for ourselves means we need to do that good, good (hard) work getting to know all the parts of ourselves. We need to be brave enough to do it.
I’m constantly reminded of the role I have showing TD the ways of the world. More and more I see my role as showing him the way to himself. To know all of himself and all his parts. To not flinch from or hide away the parts that are deemed to be less than perfect. To own all of his parts and to see how they make him who he is. To know that no one is perfect and we all have things we need to be aware of and that we can work on. To know when he’s messed up and when he needs to make things right. To know when he’s being a dick and needs to own that shit. I want him to belong to himself, fully.
I really feel that the more we own our shit then the more we have the space to allow others a chance to do the same. The more we all feel we can be ourselves and that we truly belong to ourselves, the more connections we can make with each other, the more patience we can have to allow people the space to be their best selves. The more space there is to grow and bloom and create and do. When we are brave enough to take a good, honest look at ourselves, filter out the stories that just aren’t true, file away the parts that we don’t need to change, and pick out the parts that we can work with and on? Well then. We will all be moving towards living our best lives. With pride. With care. With patience. With grace and love. We will belong to ourselves, fully.
Own your shit.