Many years ago, in the hopes of figuring out how to create a truly fulfilling life, I made the commitment of radical self-devotion. I wanted to know what would happen if I made the decision to put myself first, each and every day. I wanted to know the kind of results I would get.
I knew that at the core of this would be figuring out how to get my needs met and that this kind of radical self acceptance would be not just a practical journey, but a spiritual one. I also knew that getting my needs met in fulfilling and sustainable ways required that I experiment with what worked, and what didn’t, and more importantly, that I had to step fully into self responsibility.
I knew that every action, or the lack thereof, is always an attempt to get our needs met and that if I looked more carefully, and truthfully, at my actions, I’d find what I truly needed to create freedom and fulfillment.
I thought I was golden and that I had to key!
Honestly, I was hoping to be able to write this blog and tell you all that it went swimmingly. That I was devoted to mornings of rich self-care. That I meditated for hours a day and that it was all on point. That I set boundaries like a mo fo.
I wanted to be able to say that when you radically devote yourself to your own well-being that life becomes a magical adventure.
But, that isn’t exactly what I found out.
What I found out was that when we decide that we are going to do something, our shit comes up real quick like. All the reasons why we haven’t been doing the thing we want to do start to show up. And we get to choose what we do with that information. We can put our tail between our legs and hide, or we can look ourselves straight in the eye and move forward.
Honestly, I did a little bit of both.
But, what I wasn’t expecting was to find something even more profound than that.
What I found was that when we look even deeper than the needs that simmer under the surface of everything we do (or don’t do) we find our primary operating system. We find the web that is holding it all together. We find our foundation and structure.
We find Love Or fear.
I had been dancing around this awareness for quite sometime, years even. But, those years gave me the felt experience of both and, as a result, what was once an esoteric idea floating around in the ether has crystallized in a way I’ve actually been able to embody it. It’s no longer just information that sounds great in theory, it’s information that I can move forward with and apply in my very real day-to-day life.
And it all comes down to this:
We are humans. Humans have needs. When our needs are met, they serve as a catalyst to freedom and fulfillment.
But oftentimes, we have many (many) misguided ideas about what those needs actually are and about the most fulfilling (and sustainable) ways of getting those needs met.
We think we need the latest and greatest iPhone. But what we really need is belonging. We need to connect to ourselves, the people and causes we care about, and our planet.
We think we need more cute clothes, and shoes, and OMG that bag. But what we really need Autonomy. We need to express ourselves in a way that is free from the confines of other people’s opinions.
We think we need more stuff. But what we really need is Safety. We need to feel cozy and at home, in our bodies (and in our homes).
And we think we need a bigger house to hold all that stuff. But what we really need is Love and Reverence. We need to know, down to our soul, that we are worthy of love, respect.
When we operate from unconditional Love we can clearly see the difference between what we think we need and what we actually need.
Love shows us that we always have access to everything we need inside of us. It shows us that we are deserving of our needs being met, no strings attached. Love shows us that we live in an abundant universe and that when we open our hearts and raise our consciousness, we can see that there really is plenty. Love shows us that when we get still and quiet, we can literally feel that everything really is OK.
Fear tells us that we are too needy, too much, too sensitive. Fear tells us that we have to manipulate or hurt others in order to get our needs met. Fear tells us that we have to hang on to the crap that isn’t working because nothing better will come along. Fear tells us that we are selfish. It tells us that if we could only do more, be more, buy more, give until we break more, then and only then will we be enough.
I know this because these years have shown me, quite clearly, that my motivation was deeply rooted in fear. And that I was operating from outdated and misguided beliefs that I wasn’t enough. I often found myself in pits of shame, despair, and depression.
Sometimes, it took me a while to catch myself and bring myself back. And it wasn’t always easy. Sometimes, it took an army of peeps to help me remember. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if I was getting where I wanted to go.
But as I begin my emergence to the other side of what felt like hell on earth, I know that it was worth it.
I am grateful for it all because I feel like I’ve come home to myself. I trust that my body (not my mind!) will tell me when I am operating from Love, or fear. I trust the expansiveness of love. And the contraction of fear.
And I am so grateful to know the difference.
As I embark on this next phase of my life, I invite you to come along with me as I ask myself:
Am I operating from Love or fear?