The title to this little rant was my thought in the shower yesterday…Singing through my mind in the same tone as “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…”
If a person could make a living by asking the question, What is my purpose in life, I think the majority of us would be rich…That’s my hope anyway- Not that we would be rich, but that we would ask the question. I read once in The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, that the most important question we can ask ourselves is, Who am I? Recently, upon my tenth or thousandth reading of Steven Pressfields, Do The Work, he asked me to ask myself, What’s this about? And so, standing in my shower, I asked myself, Who am I? For me this is the encompassing way of asking myself what my purpose is and what my life is about, as well. The answer I heard in my head was, Always the experiment, never the expert.
The problem with me is this; I have yet to let go of the self defeating, life halting fear that my greatest self is not going to be great to everybody else. I am afraid that you won’t like me and that I will have been living the wrong purpose. Thank God for mercy and compassion…because I can read that and in my mind’s eye, hug myself and say,
“Oh, Melissa…whatever am I going to do with you?”
It’s that part of me- The compassionate part, not the neurotic part, that I think I heard that morning in the shower…I’m not an expert. I feel like I spend my life in a constant state of experimentation…but mostly, I think that I’m proof. And you would think that would be enough.
Proof of what?
I used to watch Oprah a lot. Lifeclass, Master Class, Iyanla, Fix My Life…Interviews, and live shows that would lead me to my next book, epiphany, reveal…I would be in awe of the thousands upon thousands of people in the audience and on line. I would ask myself why I couldn’t be like them. Why didn’t I look like them? Have their jobs, their clothing, their ability to change their lives? The truth is, I didn’t know what was in their closets. For all I know, the suit she had on went on the credit card she can’t pay and the tags were making her itch. He may not even have a job…But the way they looked, and the way they acted, made me feel as if we were from different planets. I felt lacking- big surprise there. I felt that I wasn’t as great as them or I’d be there too. My idea of separation was full force and to be honest, I still don’t know how much of that is me and how much of that is Oprah’s production team. The thing is, I’m willing to bet that they are human and a whole lot of experimentation takes place in their lives too. I’m proof of the man or woman, sitting at home on the couch, watching the show and perhaps even more challenged, albeit determined, to change my life.
I’m proof that if I can’t determine, or as it were, FACE my greatness, it doesn’t mean that I have the right to DENY it either. It doesn’t mean I get to sit on my ass, or stand in the shower and think about it. It means that the process, no matter how slow and torturous, works better than doing nothing. It means that you have to start somewhere. I am proof of the process. I am here to say that it’s all true…one day you’re a single mom in the middle of nowhere Wyoming and the next, you aren’t. You’re that and more. If you keep wanting to be more, and you keep doing more, then you are more. I’m proof that if you don’t at least let yourself want it, you will never believe you can have it and then…well, you won’t have it. I don’t have it yet.
That’s the conundrum. I am more, but I’m not enough. I am more, but I’m not that particular brand of more that will really make me feel life I’m more enough. The endless circle of self-defeating behavior is…blah.
As it turns out, I’ve managed to give myself full-blown consent…I’m proof that we will do this to ourselves. Because I am proof of the process, I am confident that relatively soon, I will be proof of learning to NOT do that anymore. It just takes time. Time and a commitment unlike anything I’ve ever known. The commitment I’ve made, or that I am trying to make to the question, Who Am I? And hence, the committment I have made to MYSELF, has shown me something as of late…My fear of committment. And that’s where I’m going to leave this for now. With the realization that no matter what you do, who you do it for- your spouse, your parents, your children…If you don’t do it for yourself, if you aren’t committed to yourself, if you don’t love yourself…that stuckness sticks. I know this because as I write this, as I realize this, my anxiety is so thick in my chest that I cannot continue to write…
They call that a shift.