Have you ever felt like you kind of woke up somewhere within your life, looked around, and wondered where in the world you’d been, and what in the Sam Hill had happened, exactly?!
That happened to me, just recently.
I found myself on this kind of ‘releasing’ kick, and as I sat at my desk one day, what that looked like was deleting hundreds of old emails. I had emails going back at least 6 years, many of which I’d never again even looked at after filing. Why I had kept them to begin with, I dunno. Some of them, though, I was super grateful to have kept. Some of them were street signs leading me back to mySelf, as it turns out.
I started reading old newsletters I’d sent out (back in the My Mosaic Life days). Some were (amazing!) replies folks had sent me to those newsletters. Some were newsletters from other websites I’d built and worked on over the years. Just lots of old stuff. A folder full of ‘Kind Words’ from people that I’d saved over the years. So much to look through and take in. It took me only a matter of hours to go through, and delete, a huge percentage of the emails I’d saved, but then two days more to process those old newsletters & responses to them.
What I noticed as I read, in chronological order, was that the more time that went by, the more fearful and closed off I became. I stopped being quite as open and honest and REAL in almost each successive email. I could see it, but more… I could feel it happening. I didn’t consciously realize at the time that this is what was happening, but I can see it with the benefit of hindsight.
Photo by Tom Gainor on Unsplash
And in the time since (three years, almost exactly, since I sent my last newsletter and walked away from all of it), I have been so afraid of being seen that I all but disappeared.
I stopped blogging. I left social media for a year (and spent that year deep in the pit of Depression). I pretty much withdrew from anything and everything that before had held so much meaning for me… and I did this for the past few years, not even realizing what was going on. I don’t know how I didn’t see it, and I’m not sure what’s different now that I can, but I can see that I was so afraid. I was hiding in so many ways.. ways that I still don’t want to talk about, and about which I feel some guilt and shame.
I was thinking earlier that it was the fear, and the hiding, that’s been making me sick.. but maybe it was more. Maybe it was that guilt and shame too. Either way, doesn’t matter at this point, as long as I stop. Stop hiding. Stop making crappy choices (like spending money I don’t have). Stop being so afraid of what others will think that I can’t even allow myself to be seen. Just stop.
Stop all that, and start allowing.
Start allowing myself to be seen on here, and to write in the ways that come most naturally to me (holy hell had I been stifling my own voice out of So Much Fear of being judged as less than or not worthy in some way..). It feels like all kinds of realizations are coming to me in this moment.. like so many puzzle pieces are falling into place around how stifling my own voice and way of being has been both a symptom and a root cause of what feels, to a degree, like soul loss.
That’s what it is too, isn’t it? It feels like part of my soul has gone underground in order to stay safe and viable in case I was ever available for reconnection in the future. That realization feels both mentally interesting and emotionally heartbreaking.
I’m grateful to at least see it now, though.
And with that, I’ll sign off for the moment. It feels good to write freely right now, and to share it in this way, even if no one ever reads these words. I still know that I did it. I chose to listen and to take a step that my soul needs.
I Am Here.
Gentle hugs to you.