Feeling Loved and Accepted Even When It Isn't Pretty
Last year, somewhere in the middle of the transformation I had been making, I started having these feelings that something was missing from my life. And it was feeling like I was not living authentically enough. I mean, I live authentically with those closest to me, my husband and my kids, a handful of people who really know me, but the outside world—even friends I see fairly regularly—often only see the one-dimensional version of my life, and I often only see the one-dimensional version of theirs.
Frankly, we don’t talk about the real stuff often enough. The hard stuff. It’s like everyone has been so conditioned to only put out the super glossy version of their lives that we never reveal the real grime we’re dealing with. We women seem to be awfully guilty of this.
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The truth is the hard stuff is really hard, and the painful things are really painful. And we don’t like to talk about them. So we suffer alone.
Last year, I went through quite a few challenges, and instead of hunkering down and staying inside my hard, but otherwise comfortable shell—the one I thought was protecting me—I decided it was finally time to start opening up. As I sought help to heal my own food issues and unresolved trauma, there was a new dawning for me. I had to take a sledgehammer to the old me, the one with the largely impenetrable walls. I had to start being more vulnerable, as scary as it seemed. I decided to put my bumps out there a little bit more with the hope that I would get more realness back from the people around me.
Not long after, I was offered the opportunity to join a small group of women in writing about the biggest challenges we’ve faced on our roads to success. For me, this was a safe way to dip my toe into something I had dreamed about (despite writing and editing professionally for nearly my entire 20-year career, I still didn’t think I could be an author) and write about some of my biggest vulnerabilities. What I found in working with this group of women, getting to know them, and reading their stories was that many of them had been held back by the same kinds of limiting beliefs that had held me back. And just knowing that they had these same feelings—and had also worked to overcome them—made me feel less alone.
And now these stories are available for the world to read and perhaps will touch other people the way they touched me. Yesterday, the digital version of Show Your Work: Successful Women Share the Bumpy Roads to Their Biggest Wins was published on Amazon, and the print version will be available April 15. Last night, we celebrated a successful launch, and I met most of these women for the first time, even though I felt like I already knew them. Looking at them from the outside, you would not know the hardships they have faced, what they’ve gone through to have their mountain top moment. Their stories are now my stories. They can be yours too.