You Can Be Yourself
A family member who I hadn’t seen in 5 years recently came for a visit. This family member is a very interesting person… no human kids, dog enthusiast, god loving (maybe god fearing?), hasn’t been in a serious relationship as far as i know since I was a kid, very successful in her career which is male dominated.
Family member and my mom don’t get along very well. On the outside they are like day and night- my mom having going the June Cleaver route like her mother, and this family member… well, they did not that route. However, their psyches are very similar.
They claim to love each other but mirror each other in their critiques of the other and resentments with the other, although both would deny all of that. Truth be told, this family member has often challenged me too, in a lot of ways.
I decided that when this family member came, I wasn’t going to alter myself in any way. I know what happens when I set aside myself, because I want someone else to have a good experience or see me in a certain way. Said another way, even though it is my training to attempt to control things, it never goes so well when I try to manage other people, or when I try to manage myself. Instead, I was going to be me, and K was going to be her. And we’d just go from there. That’s what happened. As always, I used my practices, I took moments for myself, I slowed down a lot in various ways. And I was honest about what was happening, with my family member. I included them, instead of trying to secretly muscle through things, as is my training.
Over the weekend we talked a lot about our family of origin, and some of our painful struggles of having the mothers and fathers that we had. They cried a few times as they were relaying things that they had experienced, and I had a good cry too. We held hands in a moment I’ll never forget.
There were moments of struggle/ challenge over the weekend because, you know, life and being human- it was a weekend full of emotions and some overwhelm. I didn’t hide it or pretend struggle wasn’t happening- I was open about my process, I didn’t leave them out. Instead, I talked as openly as I could about what was going on. There has always been so much secrecy and hiding and pretending, in our FOO. I stayed the course of emotional sobriety.
They got to see, up close and personal, the realness that can exist, between parent and child- between people who love each other. I don’t tend to treat struggle or challenge as a big problem- I approach it like another occurrence, another opportunity to be in connection. I don’t know if they’d ever seen that before, in quite this way. I don’t know if she ever saw how another way was possible, than the paradigms that we grew up in.
A few days later they texted something really vulnerable, for them: “I miss you and Kathrynn.”
Just a sentence that conveyed so much. My heart swelled, and it transmitted something deep into my being: Just be yourself Lisa. “You can really, really, just be yourself.”
This sentence is just a sentence. And of course intellectually we might say, “of course!.” But to me, it is really everything. It is the journey of a human in this world, to really be in our moment by moment humanity, to be who are no matter who we’re with or where we find ourselves.
It is an act of rebellion to be oneself, as the dominant oppressive narrative culture has taught us the opposite. When we take a step back, we can actually see that our culture tells us repeatedly over and over that we are not good enough as we are. We need to be smarter, more athletic, more beautiful, less needy, more vulnerable, nicer, more angry… just name it and culture is there to name your problem of how you’re not fine as you are, and then culture tell you how to fix yourself so you can be better. You will find this in almost every area that capitalism has touched- spirituality, psychology, and religion are some of the biggest culprits.
Part of the magic of being a somatic practitioner, a healer, a visionary and a teacher, is seeing what happens with people over time. The cultural mandate to not be yourself- to be better than you are, different than you are- slowly slowly slowly gets broken down, bit by bit, as we see it for what it is: a psychic indoctrination.
Over time I witness client’s self judgement and beratement lessening, and self-acceptance increasing. It is wonderful to see in 1:1 sessions, and also profound in group dynamics, as it is often in these situation that we will hide ourselves the most. In my current Matrix Integration Exploration course, for example, I witness magic taking place every time someone posts in our site and every time someone shares in our live calls. Each of our nervous systems are being entrained to the wisdom that it is truly ok to be who we are.
It is a process, and so how that reveals itself will look differently for each person. Sometimes people can’t see it happening, so I have the honor to witness the shift sometimes before they feel the shift. It is spectacular to be able to name and see and feel metamorphosis.
Often times this shift into knowing our own well-being can’t come fast enough, because we’ve all been oppressed and repressed for so much of our lives. Shifting from old patterning/experiences to new patterning/experiences does require patience, commitment and repetition, AND community. Having a community of practice is so practically helpful in this process- others who are also on this journey, and who are connecting with the same human challenges. What is at first feels awkward and uncomfortable, becomes soothing to our nervous systems because we learn that we are not alone on this human journey.
You can really, really, just be yourself.
I am still learning this- maybe I always will be. I am grateful to be learning this alongside so many of you. Thank you to those who keep reminding me, who cheerlead me on, who vision with me and who help me vision beyond what I’ve known. I love you all so much.