I had a transformational experience recently..
I began to look around and realize the label I had given myself, being tough. Every breath I live is by being tough, in everything I am, everything I do and every decision I place in front of me.. I choose the challenging road only in order to fulfill this label, to be tough. But, is the payback really worth it?
I was defining myself by what I did, how I did it, not who I really was.
The label helps to the extent that it gives an identity that informs my choices and invites my surroundings. Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that it also gave me limits and sets me firmly in the center of a vortex, where I was in and others were out.
Being a fighter, an achiever, is an integral part of my identity. Yet, after a while, it started to become confining. Your strong suits are not only what create your success, but they’re also your prison cell, too.
With these realizations, I began to unravel and dissolve this need to choose being tough and allow for vulnerability at times. I began to realize that I was being held hostage. By myself.
I have started to peel away the hardened layers that I have built and began to allow the light that lived beneath to come out, intuiting my way back to the sacredness and simpleness of who I am.
I traded choosing the road less traveled, when unnecessary, for the path right in front of me. I traded being tough on myself for giving myself grace. I traded the required instinct to be tough for the choice to be vulnerable. I traded only seeing success when I overcame a tough situation to accepting success in everyday opportunities.
I quit judging myself for falling short when I wasn’t being tough, and started understanding that vulnerability fills you with something special, that the confinement of your prison cell can steal from you. The joy of life, living, freedom, choice.
I thought that in order to be strong and powerful I had to be tough and put up a good fight, putting up protective layers of resistance. Ironically, in an effort to be strong, I was giving up my power.
Because, you see, when you decide to no longer be a person defined by all the conscious and mindful choices you make, you gain something remarkable.
You gain access back to your intuition that can only get lost when you are always trying to lead the way.
You gain access to the ability to stand with the shadow parts of yourself instead of running away from them.
You gain access back to presence and the ability to be in the moment, in the joy of experiencing the moments in front of you, without worrying if you are somehow failing yourself.
You gain an understanding that these things that you are labeled by are choices, not definitions.