For years I tried to hide. Mostly out of fear of repercussions of disappointing my family on a collosial scale. It was around age 47, or yesterday, when I realized that no longer mattered. I am who I am. I am no longer who I was or who others needed or expected me to be. I. Just. Am. – for the very first time in my life, and it feels good. You see, each new now, as I am learning, is a new opportunity for failure, flaws, repercussions, disagreements, disappointments and pain. In between and beyond those moments are growth, strength, imperfection, positive reinforcement, reinvention of the self, honesty, unexpected opportunities, healing, vulnerability and most importantly, truth and authenticity. If you’re reading this, you survived 100% of your worst days. You also only truly experienced about 75% of your best days, maybe less. Largely because being anything other than authentically you is a vast waste of resources. We miss out on opportunities for success, love, joy and more, by spending far too much time online or sulking, complaining, being self-deprecating, and so on, to accept the goodness within and around. There is an abundance of it, if we choose to look up and let it in. That is part of living authentically. Be who you are. But also choose to be kind and compassionate.
Last August, I had the opportunity to speak my truth and live authentically, while at Hypnothoughts Live in Las Vegas. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone without really knowing anyone at my destination. I had an opportunity to be scared or to embrace the situation as if I’d traveled for work all my life and was comfortable in my skin. I was not and did not. However, no one would know the difference except me. So I did. I played the part; there in that now, of the successful business woman in Las Vegas on business. And so, I was.
While on this trip, I had the privilege to attend a class with my friend and colleague, Mercedes Herman. We just met in person for the first time in this class. The class was Hypnosis & the LGBTQ Community by Greg Beckett. Great class! I had no idea within this class, nor did anyone attending, that THIS class would begin to shape my journey of living more authentically than I was at that time. Up to this point I still wore masks. Instead of these masks being necessary to hide and avoid familial repercussions, they were out of my sense of self-imposed shame and shame put upon me by generations before me. As class discussions unfolded, each person who chose to speak stated their connection, if any, to the LGBTQ community. In my moment there was zero hesitation. I just spoke, as if the words were matter of fact and always my truth. And they were!
“I am Nora. I am a hypnotist in Ohio. I have four daughters, one straight, one bisexual, one gay and one still finding her way in the world and hasn’t had a significant relationship yet. I’m in this class to really learn how to speak to and connect all my kids. But I guess I’ve always known how. I, myself am bisexual. I am in a monogamous relationship with my husband and he is aware. He might be the only one, besides you all, now.” I spoke, for the first time professionally, my truth. “I am she – a bisexual, happily married mother and grandmother – hypnotist, artist and author.”
The tears gentle left my eyes and traveled down my cheeks, carrying 47 years of anguish and shame. Once outside the conference room though, I wept. I called my kids. I just needed them to know I loved them and was proud of them. Proud as they were, as they are and as they’ll be. And to know that none of that matters if they are proud of themselves.
I learned more than how to talk to myself or others. I learned we can recover from ourselves and our lives if we want it. We are often worse on ourselves than others. It is true. Want your do-over? Start with living authentically and accepting this now, and each now, as they come. Exercise necessary change when you’re able, let go of what you can’t and hold onto the stillness, life and laughter. Those are the moments we miss out on when we hide from the truth and cower away in the shadows. There is only suffocating in the darkness of the shadows.
Ready to start living the life you deserve?
Take a big breath in, exhale and blow the cobwebs away. Allow the light in. Your light. The one that creeps under the locked doors of your subconscious and shines a spotlight on your authenticity. Remember: You are NOT a bad person. That is the shame taking. Shame lies to you. You are a PERSON. Remember that. You define you. No one else. Everyone gets another opportunity to make life right for them, until they don’t.
You are not your mistakes, your sins or your illnesses. Who you are at the core is not a mistake or a sin or an illness. Mistakes are opportunities for growth. Sin comes from syntax error, just missing the mark. Whose mark? If God created us all in His likeness, then isn’t living authentically Godly? I believe so. Stop saying, “My RA or My fibromyalgia or My cancer. You do not posses it nor it posses you. Posses only identities within your organic authenticity. You only get this go around once. Make it count.
So, ladies, gentlemen and anyone identifying otherwise, I am Nora. I am she and all she is. What she was is in the past. What she will be remains to be seen. Stay tuned. <3