Ok, so in the spirit of my Honesty Project, I’m starting out with this post I wrote a few weeks ago on my 34th birthday.
This was a HUGE birthday for me – as you’ll understand when you read it – and I’ve been toying with the idea of posting this being that it’s so personal. Seems like the perfect one to led with then! So here we go….
I did not think I’d make it here. For real. I honesty thought I’d be dead by now.
My mum died at 34. Over the years, I’ve often been told, “You’re so like your mum” and my innocent, naïve mind took this to mean that I too, would suffer the same fate. Logically, that makes no sense, right? I know that, and yet this unconscious belief has been my constant companion over the past 28 years.
Even though I longed for a committed, loving relationship and children of my own, I couldn’t make it happen.
Even though I have incredible passion, talent, ability and energy for success in anything I choose, I haven’t fully embraced that as my experience.
Even though I know what I need to do to have the financial freedom I want, the friendships I desire, the health I deserve and the peace I crave, I haven’t allowed it, because
“What’s the point? I’ll be dead soon anyway”
You can see what a head-fuck this has been.
And I wasn’t even consciously aware of this until very recently, after a few months of what seemed like everything around me, everything I’d built, started to crumble, and fall away, and I found myself in the grip of utter grief, unsure of what went so terribly wrong. Again. Feeling completely and utterly helpless. Feeling like a colossal failure, and of course “I am, because I don’t deserve to be happy, to be loved and to have success.”
Trauma does that to a child. With limited understanding of the world, when something emotionally gigantic happens, a child makes it to mean something about them. I did something wrong, that’s why mum left. There’s something so incredibly wrong with me, my mum didn’t even want to stay on this planet with me. It’s my fault mum left, I’m a bad girl. I deserve to be punished. I don’t deserve to be happy. I don’t deserve to live.
So, let’s recap the past 28 years: I’m going to die at 34. I don’t deserve to be happy. I’m unlovable. I don’t deserve success, joy or peace. Whoa.
And finally everything starts to make sense.
Of course I wouldn’t allow myself to have my own family and my own babies – I would die at 34 and leave them all alone, to face the life of grief, fear and pain that I had. No way would I inflict that on them.
Of course I haven’t experienced complete, utter, resounding success – what’s the point in stretching that far, when I won’t be around to enjoy the fruits of it? I just needed to keep myself busy enough to get through to 34, and then I get to tap out. No need to take full responsibility for anything, someone else will clean it up once I’m gone.
Of course I haven’t fully embraced the health I want, I’m going to be dead soon, so why bother? What’s the harm in another dessert? Another drink?
Ironically, in some weird twist of fate, very soon after uncovering this core belief, I also found out mum was actually 33 when she died.
Seriously, what the f*$k?!
This death sentence that had been looming over me my entire life just vanished. If she died at 33, and I’m just about to turn 34, then I’ve made it. I’m not the same as her. I came from her, but I’m not the same.
So I’m siting here, 34 years old today, and I realize, for the first time, I am not my mother. My life is not defined by her. My destiny is not defined by her destiny. I don’t have those shackles any longer.
I have an incredibly long life ahead of me, and I have to do something with it, I want to do something with it. I’ve never had the freedom of thinking about a life beyond 34. Now I do, and it’s exciting, but holy crap it’s scary! How can I make this count? Out of all the things that are possibilities and options for me, which ones do I chose? What will be the biggest expression of me? Who am I?
I know I have this passion, this energy, this light, within me that I want to bring to the world, I just never thought it would go beyond this date in time, so didn’t have a reason to sink into that fully. For the first time I get to think long term, I get to dream, and man, have I got some shit to do!
I want to live. I never thought I had a choice in that, so I just want it known that I really, really want to live. I want to get to know who I am, separate from my mother. I want to love completely and unconditionally. I want to laugh loudly and uncontrollably. I want to dance wildly and sing beautifully. I want to contribute. I want to learn and stretch and reach and grow. I want to feel fear, and know it doesn’t control me. I want to speak honestly, gently, and with love every time I open my mouth. I want to cry when I feel it, and not be ashamed or move to hide it. I want to feel my anger, and express it lovingly, knowing it doesn’t make me a bad person. I want to make mistakes and not beat myself up for them. I want to say “No” when I want to, and “Yes” only when I mean it. I want to tell you I love you, because I honestly do. I want to inspire everyone I come into contact with. I want you to feel my love for you, and use that feeling to go and start standing up for yourself, for your life. I want to see your beauty, even when you don’t see it. I want to feel your love, even if you can’t. I want to ask for everything I want and need, and allow you to give it to me, without feeling guilt or shame, or the need to pay you back. I want to make love passionately, wildly and unashamedly. I want to give myself completely to whoever is in front of me, for you are the most important person at that time.
And more than anything, I want to experience everything in this incredible, beautiful, wonderful life in its entirety, because that IS life. And I really, really want that.