This one has been tricky for me. Has it been for you as well?
It might be my Midwesterner-bent showing through but announcing to the world that I am… ANYTHING is not my favorite, so proclaiming I am everything feels… extremely strange and uncomfortable.
In an effort to get comfortable with this affirmation, I wrote it well over a month ago and then just sat with it. And sat with it. And sat with it past its deadline. Which then brought on feelings of guilt and more discomfort! Silly? Well… human for sure.
Rereading Bernice’s blog on 'I Am Everything' helped me reorganize and get comfortable. She came from a wholly pragmatic position of juggling multiple roles and feeling like the everything to everyone in her world. That’s relatable!
Leaning into that a bit, a memory surfaced of a moment when I had been incredibly unhappy with where-I-was-in-the-world and how I got there… and getting to 'I Am Everything' starts with the moment that I felt that I was really nothing.
I Am Nothing. That’s where this starts for me. It starts in 'I Am Nothing.'
Over ten years ago, there was a confluence of issues in my heart and head… our farm was being pushed into using chemicals by the state, my hips weren’t fully functional despite physical therapy, I was postpartum and tired of the pain and the limitations, and my husband was the same peaceful person he had always been… which was driving me bonkers because I felt completely unseen and unheard and simultaneously ungrateful… un… everything. In fact, I envied him deeply. He seemed to simply flow through life. Ugh! He didn’t even announce when he was going to the bathroom. He just went! How novel.
It felt like I couldn’t move without notifying others of my intentions. It felt like the world OWNED me. I felt like a machine. A robot. Everyone needed me for different reasons and it left me feeling lost and alone and frustrated and like… nothing. Nothing worthy or even noticeable. It felt like my worth was only evident in the EVERYTHING that I was doing and trying desperately to BE. It felt like my life was devoid of joy. Joy? A joke! That disconnection from myself and from joy took up almost 24 hours of every day. And no one noticed or seemed to see my pain. Everyone else got the best of me and I resented it, greatly.
It was filling me up and it needed to exit. Out of my head, out of my heart, and out of my lungs. It needed out!
Then? A thought came through clearly.
A new thought occurred to me. That it was my pursuit to be something that had placed me in this position. That my need to say yes, to accommodate, to assist, to be present, to help, to help, to help at my own expense… had led me to a space of having NO ROOM for growth or presence or… anything. I had squeezed myself into nothing. I had allowed anything that could be… to become nothing possible. There was simply no room for me. There were too many constraints. Too much need for control. Too much… EVERYTHING. I had squeezed myself too tight as if into a black hole. Compressed by space and time.
And so… there I was… nothing.
It felt freeing to acknowledge this reality of where I was in that moment. I sat driving in this space of being nothing. Owing nothing. Needing nothing. Having nothing. Nothing.
Accepting an existence… in… an absolute void. And feeling the expansiveness of that nothing. The absolute freedom in acceptance of understanding how very little I was needed or capable or wanted or… anything. It felt as if I had reached a very very deep truth. That I was NOT NEEDED. That in fact, it was I who needed to be needed. It wasn’t necessary to be on all the time. There was no need to BE EVERYTHING. No need to push or pull or prop-up or force… none of that was needed.
Nothing. Was. Needed.
EVERYTHING SEEEMED POSSIBLE.
What an odd moment and revelation.
Everything?! Ha. What Midwesterner can possibly hold that thought without scoffing or laughing or… dismissing it outright? But… maybe that was the point. That I needed to consider all of what was STUCK from a different perspective entirely. That I needed to reconsider my assumptions of purpose, need, ability, and essence.
Because I had been moving through the world with PURPOSE and according to some guidance geared for “success.” All actions were supposed to be intentional. Ideally… I was supposed to consistently strive. Strive! Strive!
And in that clarifying moment, it all seemed like… bunk. As if maybe my purpose didn’t need to be an action or a definition but rather… an existence. In a very simple way.
Oula is this crazy dance fitness format where people dance and sing and move to a pre-choreographed playlist that seems to dislodge feelings and we make space for people like me to yell and scream outside of their minivans (I didn’t realize that I needed that). Turns out that it’s a great way to arrive.
Turns out… simply being. Who. You. Are. And allowing yourself to show up in your own life is incredibly empowering. Maybe it’s empowering enough to feel like you can show up anywhere and simply BE.
Is that everything?
It seems to me that 'I Am Everything' is a call to show up. To arrive in your own skin, in your own life, in our own dance… and in the room with those of us who are glad to make space for the everything that we are.
Relaxing away from the sheer need to please, to control, to hold a firm grip on outcomes… this allowance and acceptance OPENS UP to a deep connection to everything. It opens us to being part of everything. And being part of everything means…
I am everything.
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