“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”- Marianne Williamson
I sat there watching him, on a built platform stage, red carpet and all, getting interviewed for the book he just got done writing. A book about how powerful we all truly are. I sat there and was overwhelmed with a happiness and gratefulness beyond words. Tears poured down as I let this feeling come in more and more. I felt it deep in my body. I knew I did this; I made this moment happen. Cause God knows, a year ago I could never have imagined I would be sitting in a castle, in Washington D.C. staring at the man of my dreams as he tells the world, without any fear, that this world as we think we see it, doesn’t exist.
Go back in time to one year before. It was my son’s 14th birthday. I lived in north Idaho in a town of 900 people. My life could not have been more different….and definitely not even close to as glamorous as sitting in a castle. As many mom’s and wives find themselves, I felt trapped, alone, and defeated. While I had started the journey of self discovery 7 months before, I had really been on this journey my whole life. I had always been “searching” for some kind of meaning. For something that actually made sense to me. I had no idea how much finding that meaning would change my entire paradigm of how I looked at the world.
I was married, with 3 kids (his, mine, and ours), a dog and a cat, a mortgage, toys, and the standard busy life. My in-laws lived 500 yards away, I had a full time job, we owned our own vacation rental business, and our newest addition to add to the madness was chickens….cause, why not!? As it goes, from the outside it looked as though we had a great life. People believed we had a great marriage and I was as happy as could be. Of course they can only see what they want to see. They couldn’t see that on the inside I was dying. I was paralyzed in my mind, believing there was no way out. Little did they know I had a secret pain pill addiction I had been struggling with for the last 10 years. My husband was an alcoholic by most definitions (although you could say he was a “working alcoholic”), and had been physically and emotionally abusive with me the first half of our marriage. My father in law, while I loved him dearly, was involved in our every waking moment of daily life, and I had lost every trace of what was Em. Emily is my given name, and who I fully embodied in that life. She did everything for everyone else and kept herself very busy all hours of the day so she never really had to face the truth. Buried deep in the depths of her subconscious, she knew she was meant for more. She knew this life she was living was not for her. There was always a feeling deep inside that she could somehow change the world, but as the years went on, that light diminished and she played smaller and smaller. Because of course, that’s what moms and wives are supposed to do. They aren’t supposed to want to have “me time” or wear clothes that may show off a little too much skin, or ever ask for anything from anyone else. That’s what I was there for. To serve others. But not in the honest sense. In the martyr sense. Cause I know now, I wasn’t really serving anyone but my own fears. Every day I would wake up and do the same old dance, never really being brave enough to step into my own light. To ask for more because I knew deep down I deserved more. But I was doing what everyone said my whole life I was supposed to do. So why was I so miserable? God knows I couldn’t leave. What would I do for money, where would I live, how would I support myself on my own, how could I tell him I am leaving. They would all be right. I would end up divorced, for the second time, and ruin my kids life. I would end up like my mom, divorced multiple times with kids from multiple dads. I would amount to nothing and be struggling for the rest of my life. It was so much easier to deal with the pain of losing myself by taking my daily dose of suboxen, staying busy, and pushing down that light inside of me the best I could. I was paralyzed and would stay that way because, in the end, it wasn’t that bad, right? Oh, was I so wrong…