Have you ever hiked up the side of a mountain questioning the decision to do so? This has happened to me time and time again. Each time it does I drop into deep gratitude for my persistence once I see the breathtaking beauty in front of me. All of a sudden the pain of the process loses it’s power and the feeling of empowerment takes over. It’s the knowing that has kept me going in those moments of doubt.
We all have a mountainside, a journey, A STORY that calls to challenge us in uncomfortable ways.
Even those who tell me they “don’t really have a story,” have one. Usually their stories are either pushed into the dark pockets of their soul, shoved to the side because they “don’t have time” to look them straight on, or shrunken to nothing. Diminishing our painful stories is a learned way of coping. Many of us were told to get over it, move on, stop crying, forget it ever happened, or quit moping.
I recently had a C-suite executive tell me that although she has everything she has ever wanted, she has nothing to feel good about. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised to hear this as I hear it quite often from the people in my circle who are considered to have it all. When I asked her why, she said, “I was abused by my father at a young age and was never allowed to talk about it. His recent death has stirred memories that are coming at me like a tsunami. I have nothing to hold onto.”
Having never nurtured and cared for this part of her life, she expressed that she has no idea how to “feel” about it. Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and pain are front and centre. When I reflected back to her that she IS in fact “feeling” about it, she sat staring at me in complete silence. These feelings are her primary drivers. They have always been there disguised as independence, strength, resilience, drive for success, and power. She has spent her life proving her worthiness in a male-dominated industry. As well, she has avoided intimate relationships with anyone whose closeness could crack her open and access her feelings.
As Karol K Truman says, “Feelings buried alive, never die.” I’d add, “They just come back to haunt you when they have something to attach themselves to like a memory, a smell, a sound, a song, a touch – an experience that’s familiar.”
This kind of hiding is a particularly common occurrence with high achievers, perfectionists, or those who find themselves carrying a lot of responsibility or who (in their own words) have an “image to uphold.” It’s not a surprise that so many successful women come to me feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, disconnected, and barely hanging on. From the perspective of their friends, their colleagues and clients, and even their families, they’ve got it all together. They could win an Oscar for best soccer mom and most committed to the 30 day yoga challenge at their local yoga studio. And, they take a great amount of pride in being great! However, the distractions are just an external short term occupation to keep the silence from creeping in because like the hike up the mountainside, the journey will be uncomfortable.
Kind of like putting on the most expensive pair of hiking boots before you head up the hill, what used to work is no longer enough – the work is still uncomfortable. The shoes just soften the path. No amount of yoga classes, books, podcasts, spa days or girls weekends away are enough to heal what has been an open, gaping wound for years, and often a lifetime. So the glasses of wine after work go from one to three, tempers shorten, relationships lose priority, they medicate their souls to keep things quiet, and they stop feeling anything that resembles joy.
Their souls are dying a slow death, but their lives go on.
What I have learned is that the untold story, the part that we don’t know how to share, or the piece that we have conveniently pushed aside is the very piece that holds the healing elixir to our ultimate freedom and happiness. As my dear friend, chiropractor and holistic healer, Dr. Steven Fonso, said to me in one of our most recent interviews, “When we share our story it liberates our energy.”
THE VIEW FROM THE TOP
Sharing our story holds healing power, infinite, unknown, unlimited healing power. But, of course because our stories are a painful part of our past there are things that feel much greater and far more powerful than our healing that keep us quiet. Things like fear, shame, humiliation, unworthiness, helplessness, guilt, grief, anxiety, and isolation
As we step into a new decade of impact and liberation, accessing our painful stories in safe spaces is vital to our ability to rise into our highest version of self. We don’t have to share our stories with the masses to do this. Speaking to a therapist, counsellor, coach, friend, or even writing in a journal are powerful ways to begin a healing dialogue.
When you have hiked up the side of the mountain, and you are ready to share your story from the mountaintops you will know because your soul will sing it into your heart. When that happens, I am here to support as you move from Seats to Stage.
GO HERE to access my FREE training on how to begin the journey into your powerful story. The world awaits.
Founder, The Uncommon Woman