I recently heard a quote by Dr. Edith Eger “If you have something to prove you’re still a prisoner”. That quote made me stop in my tracks as I listened to her speak with Brene Brown and WOW! My previous post discussed words.
The words we hear, the words we speak and the words we believe. As I reflect on that quote I can FINALLY picture the little girl standing in a living room holding a phone and hearing “ I no longer want you, I never wanted you in the first place, I do not love you, call your aunt and uncle.” I realize reading that may be difficult for many people, yet so many you may be able to pinpoint your own moment in time when the words seemed to immediately build a wall around you. A wall meant to protect you from what others may think or feel, yet a wall so strong it only allowed you to hold those words close to you allowing no escape.
Those words were not the most painful words I had ever heard, nor were they the worst I would hear over the last 35 years. Yet, they created a large part of that ice barrier allowing that young child to be frozen in the fire. So many words allowed that little blonde hair, blue eyed girl to become numb. Those same allowed her to believe she was unworthy of love or belonging. They made her believe that people would always leave. They made her know without a doubt that she would always be the issue. If she could have just been better, prettier, kinder, helped more, made the pain of others go away then she would have been needed. Those words created an adult who believed with all her might that the only way to heal the world was to be everything that was expected and more. To be the woman people needed and wanted, the only problem was its an impossible journey. When that woman realized the only person she needed to be loved by and wanted by was herself. She realized everything she searched for in others was what she had hidden deep down inside underneath all of the pain.
Words can absolutely penetrate your soul, they can “freeze” you in a moment, the same words can make you believe things about your worthiness that are not even yours to believe. Rising in grace is not only about forgiveness it is about allowance and authenticity.
When we begin to allow ourselves to feel, allow ourselves to acknowledge the pain and decide to follow a path of authenticity, we begin to rise. We can not surround ourselves in the words of others and expect to live a life we are grateful for and excited for. Until we let go of the opinions and expectations of others we are not truly living our own life, we are simply existing in their ideas.
The fire that is formed from the words and actions of others may seem to powerful to escape, it may seem as though your forever stuck in a moment until you realize the reason you are stuck is because you surrounded yourself in the protection of ice. The ice is cold, it is full of numbness, it is full of dissociation, it is full of regret and loss.
Throughout the years I have heard many people speak of “building walls” and how to tear them down. The problem is as we experience pain a wall would still allow us to become angry and yet remain the same. The ice however it is transformative, it stops you in that moment. It freezes the very being of your soul and your emotions. It keeps the flames from completely burning you, yet you are unable to fully live. You become a true prisoner.
The only way to escape that moment is to feel what is happening around you and most of all what is happening inside you. There comes a time when you realize the only way to escape the ice is to let the fire burn. You have to allow the pain to happen, you have to acknowledge that those around you throwing sticks into your fire and causing you to surround yourself in protection are only throwing sticks at you because they have not learned how to escape their own fires. We stumble through life adding kindling to the fire of others as we try to escape our own flames. The problem is when your eyes are filled with tears from the smoke and you’re unable to fully breathe you realize the only way to escape this pain is through grace.
Grace is getting what you do not deserve because someone else did what you should have done for yourself. Grace is the only way to survive the fire. Allowing the kind words of others to remind you that you are worthy of escaping. Grace will guide you on your journey as you realize those who have hurt you truly could not see past their own fire no matter how much they wanted to. Grace is how we erase shame. Brene Brown’s quote about how we erase shame rings in my ears often. Every single time I am told a kind word my immediate reaction is to return to the center of my fire and surround myself in ice. For so long I refused to believe I was worthy of love. I refused to believe that my existence was anything more than a place for others to throw their pain. Deep in my heart I know so many of you reading this feel the same. No matter what story has brought you to the center of the fire, no matter what words you heard that made you surround yourself in the ice and no matter how long you have been protecting yourself from the flames YOU have to allow the ice to melt and slowly realize there is a world of beauty beyond the flames. A world you are not alone in.
Although, I have no ability to provide you a checklist of actions I can tell you your life has a purpose and all of the wonderful things you are doing for others or saying to others is the grace you need to provide to yourself. Speak to yourself as you would the person you love the most for just one day, then one week and again one month until the moment you realize the love you begin to feel will not only transform you, but also the world around you! You do not have anything to prove, you are not a prisoner. The smoke from the fires of others may absolutely make you feel as though you are suffocating and will never escape, and world of toxic positivity would not build a big enough ladder to help you climb out.
You have to let the ice fucking melt around you, you have to feel the pain of the fire and when it feels as though you can not go on you have to understand you have all the power you need deep inside. You have made it through every day thus far and your story will allow others to rise up! You my friend are a powerful, amazing and strong human. Let the fire inside you burn greater than the fires around you and never let the dark put out that beautiful flame! You have nothing to prove, you’re not a prisoner!