For years, I lived what I call a “divided life.” I was one way outside the home — confident career woman — and another inside — confused, worried, and scared. I doubted my very existence.
Over time, I’ve integrated most of me into one being. There’s still a little bit of doubt and unworthiness lurking in the shadows, but I’m aware of it when it seeps into my thought process and attempts to infect the choices I’m making. 98% of the time “What you see is what you get,” and my thinking is “If you don’t like it––tough.”
This is a little harder to maintain when it comes to my children and close friends. I still worry a little bit about being kicked out of the tribe by people I care about deeply. That’s where my practice is to be fully present in who I am at the core of my being and showing up as a mom, grandma, sister, and friend and “do me” at the same time. It’s not easy. There are moments when I am deeply hurt by their unkind and insensitive remarks — by not honoring who I am. Then I realize they’re either projecting their own stuff onto me or reacting to my different behavior. I didn’t really show up as me in the first place and I’ve changed the rules!
Yet, I know living a divided life isn’t the way I want to live. It’s exhausting and not filled with much joy or contentment. I was always waiting for the shoe to drop or looking over my shoulder for the next “assault” on my being. That’s not thriving.
I want all of the pieces of me in one solid “vessel.”
“An integrated life is one where you’re able to fit the different pieces of your life together in a seamless fashion,” says, James Collins, author of Good to Great.
I invite you to look at how you thrive and who you thrive with. If there are any places where you are living a “divided life,” reflect upon how that serves you. And if it doesn’t, how might you close the gap in who you are and how you are showing up in that relationship or circumstance?
Enjoy the practice!