I have been having feelings of disconnect recently with a side of you-aren't-doing- it-good-enough and wow does it take it's toll on you. It's crazy how when we need connection the most, that's when we decide to put ourselves in solitary confinement. We begin to walk arm in arm with fear and brew distorted stories about ourselves with wild abandon. Because that makes sense. As the fog cleared a bit last week for me, it reminded me of a little story I shared with my tribe a few years back. It's as relevant today as it was back then when the words poured out of me. I hope the words rest gently in your heart and lend some healing for those feeling a little tender...
From about age 10 to around 30, I have felt like an outsider (to be honest, I still do sometimes).
Not skinny enough, not accomplished enough, not patient enough, not talented enough, not dedicated enough. I'm almost 34 now and I feel like 20 years is about all the time I have to dedicate to feeling that way.
I have never been cool.
In elementary school I wore BIG thick pink glasses and loved horses. I towered over my peers and every boy in class. I preferred Breyer horses and playing outside over Barbies and Sweet Valley High books. I was smart and awkward. None of my clothes were from The Limited, The Gap or United Colors of Benetton.
This was the perfect recipe in my town to get picked on and made fun of. A lot. To this day, I know how to build a wall and put on some armor pretty quick when I feel threatened, I found some confidence in 8th grade which quickly fizzled as I walked the halls during my freshman year. I wanted so badly to be liked. So I stopped wearing doc martins with skirts and dying my hair bright red. Alterna-queen be gone!
I reinvented myself as a jock (this makes me laugh so hard now). I tried lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer and track. I usually ended up quitting partway through each season much to the chagrin of my mother. I carefully studied what everyone else was wearing to make sure I blended as seamlessly as possible. I dabbled in all sorts of disordered eating habits to see if I could be as thin as all the cool girls.
At lunch I never quite knew who to sit with, so I floated in and out of different cliques. I had one close friend, who unfortunately didn't share my lunch period. I used boys as my barometer of how "good" I was. If I was dating someone I was OK, if I wasn't, then I was worthless. This constant on and off dating didn't really help me in the reputation department, but that's a story for another day.
Midway through high school I switched to a new town. I wanted to try living with my Dad and I needed a change of scenery badly. I felt so rejected in my hometown, I figured anything HAD to be better. I think I was interesting to the new students for about a week. Then I went back to feeling invisible. I struggled to find a group. I skipped lunch every day and painted in the art room so I didn't have to die from the embarrassment of having no one to sit with. I dated boys that treated me like shit. My 20's didn't look much better until I got divorced 4 years ago.
Before I became a coach I didn't think I deserved to be loved for who I was NOW. I always thought I needed to improve, change and be some other version to be worthy. Words can't explain how freeing it is to be not live that thought pattern everyday now.
Why am I sharing this?
Because I know now that I'm not alone.
I know other women have felt this, lived this and continue to feel this way more often than not. I think it's possible that we can change up the story, actually I know it is. How do we do that? By working together, by finding kindred spirits who totally get it. There is nothing more damaging to our soul that to feel forgotten, unseen, unheard and uninvited. What I most what you to hear me say to you today is that: You Belong Here.
The women I strive to gather together are smart, beautiful, sensitive and creative. No matter where they live, how much money they make or what their pant size is.
You are always invited.
We share together, we heal together, we change our lives together.
Stephanie is a certified holistic health and lifestyle coach. She works with women to help them discover their inner radiance through the food they eat and the homes they keep. Want to learn how to sway with the seasons on the plate and off? Registration is now open for her Deeply Rooted Autumn Cleanse! Come grab your SUMMER DISCOUNT for a limited time.