Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘fear’

My Computer, My Mask

Breaking the Mask

https://www.flickr.com/photos/katsexagesima01/3612047773/in/photolist-6vbFXK-7mfHK5-82q4rd-7Ku82r-7xTufQ-7xTvNm-noV2nx-8v7yLg-7xTtxw-b5JoM-awiDbx-74ofjQ-4xTEyL-aFUvSc-2nJqV-pnUS3J-UZSY-KSCvY-q54hFw-74jkL8-57r2Za-rXWSV-RAqoKt-wCAn3-74jkCt-459Ltf-8VkKtr-jrTTpy-7Mx4vz-9gJ6Hm-q2BAZF-A1eTBs-4sLmnj-7hJteh-nDn5BQ-98W5r7-4oJBHP-FUYqD-66WsR1-aaLTe-9gF1wt-7AibaD-cof4ks-bKGrY-7pamwZ-9yY17Q-2QEkGc-qtnpn9-qUrb5H-5EB1gvI write a lot about authenticity. I even get up on Facebook Live and talk about it and myself quite openly. But after attending a conference where people got up in front of a live audience and talked about their lives and their struggles, I learned a really difficult lesson about authenticity and openness. Writing in a blog or even doing a live broadcast is just another kind of mask.

Even when I get responses from people, the dialogue is after the fact when I’m safely behind the wall. They can’t touch me or see me falter. They (or perhaps I should say you) don’t see my insecurities and vulnerabilities laid out on the table. Any tears I shed or frustrations I express are hidden from your eyes. In other words, I’m still safe.

A Prison of My Own Making

In some ways, I still believe I need that protection, that safety net, the barrier between me and thou. But in others, it has become my prison, my place of disconnection, my lonely isolation. It is real, but only to a point. When I close my door behind me, there’s no one to hold me when I hurt, celebrate with me when I triumph, or just sit quietly sharing the moment. I am, for all intents and purposes, alone.

Even in a crowd, my invisible barriers soar to the skies. with only a few do I show what’s behind the curtain.

When the Time Comes to Step Outside

Yet lately, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep that curtain in place, to hide the tears, the pain, the sorrow, and the fragility. My emotions are closer to the surface, reflected on my face, in my posture, and in the tears that spill despite my best efforts to contain them.

It seems I’m being kicked out from behind my walls, at least in certain cases and places. Yet I scamper back behind them to write stories like this one, or to talk to my own face while recording a video. The more I fight it, the harder it becomes to feel safe and protected. The more I try to stay behind my walls, the more uncomfortable I become. I’m feeling edgy and discontented. I want more, but it scares the shit out of me. I take baby steps outside which turn into giant steps whether I like it or not.

I’d say mysterious forces are at work to push me into another dimension of my life, but I know better. They’re the same forces which ended jobs, relationships, and other situations for me at just the right time. They are my own internal butt kickers who know when I’ve sat in one place for too long and need to move before I grow roots and try to stay where I no longer belong.

A Move is a Move, No Matter How Small

It isn’t necessarily about moving physically (I’ve lived in the same house for over 30 years). It’s about evolving, growing, expanding who I am into who I’m meant to be. Sometimes, the steps are small and manageable like the initial steps we take while learning to walk. Other times, like now, they’re huge, frightening, and meant to turn my safe, cozy world on its ear. Times like now when I’ve become blase about the little 2- and 3-point earthquakes that rattle my world and the Universe decides it’s time for an 8.7 bone rattler.

I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, and I’ll be honest with you. I’m terrified on several levels. But at the same time, I’m excited about what the latest upheaval will bring with it. I’ve lived through my share of them, and in all honesty, it always turns out better than I expected or imagined. This time will be no different, and will probably be even more amazing because my fear levels are off the Richter scale right now.

Easy Steps are Stepping Stones, Not a Place to Rest

I’ve discovered that opening up to people via Facebook Live is just a walk in the park for me. It was the natural progression from what my friend Lucia calls “raw Sheri” in my writing. I even broke down in front of a stranger yesterday and don’t feel completely humiliated and ashamed today. Granted, I declined when she asked if she could hug me. I wasn’t ready to go into full melt-down in front of her and a room full of strangers. But perhaps that time will come.

In the movie, The Grinch, there’s a scene where tears are falling and he says “I’m leaking.” I feel like I’m leaking too, but the salty tears are the outward manifestation of the leak, not the leak itself. I’m leaking humanity; something I’ve kept bottled up most of my life. Sure, I’ve been letting it out a little at a time for the last couple of decades, but my cracks are widening and I can no longer seal them back up as I used to. I no longer want to be on the outside looking in.

Am I ready to come out from behind the last of my walls, take off the last of my masks? Changing the name of this blog is probably my answer. I changed the name because it felt right. But I think it was that inner voice telling me it’s time to walk the talk instead of just paying it lip service.

Embracing What’s Uncomfortable

I sit here now, typing these words, feeling anxious, afraid, and close to tears (which seems to be my natural state of late). Dylan seems to sense it as he rarely leaves my side when I’m home lately. His comforting presence slows my rapidly beating heart and gives me a place to go when the fear overwhelms.

Still, I look forward to long talks and sharing my red Adirondack chairs. This is not a time for isolation. My new word is “community”. My goal is to recognize the one I already have and to build and expand on it. I’m ready to open myself up to new experiences and people, and new ways to strengthen my wilting finances. My new motto (or one of them) is “Why think outside the box? There is no box!”

“Don’t Just Do Something. Sit There.”

I heard something from one of the speakers yesterday which made me stop and think. He said “Don’t just do something. Sit there.” How often have we been told the opposite? Sometimes we really need to get off the hamster wheel and spend time simply being. We need to take time to pause and reflect; to allow all of the experiences and thoughts we’ve been having to swirl around and put themselves together in ways they won’t find if we’re busy pushing the pieces around.

What I’ve been doing lately isn’t working, or at least it isn’t working well. I’ve been pushing the pieces around, but the resulting patterns are simply variations on what I’ve always known. It’s time for me to allow new patterns to emerge, and to not toss them away simply because they’re unfamiliar.

I’m taking time this weekend to simply sit there and allow the ideas to form without my interference. Who knows where I’ll be next week, but life is an adventure, if we’re willing to accept the challenge.

Sitting Quietly in Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for discomfort.
  2. I am grateful for fear.
  3. I am grateful for the bloodletting that comes with lowering walls and removing masks.
  4. I am grateful for the community I’ve failed, to this point to recognize and appreciate.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; challenges, lessons, friendships, dreams, goals, spirit, love, tears, honest emotions, peace, health, harmony, prosperity, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

Support Your Local Empath’s, HSP’s, and Conscious Ones

Empaths, HSP’s and Conscious Ones Are Growing in Numbers, But Can’t Do It Alone

Consciousness On the RiseThis is a really tough time to be an Empath, HSA, or even simply Conscious. Emotions are extremely high and climbing higher every day, not only on the part of the more than 7.5 billion humans inhabiting the earth, but on the part of Mother Earth herself who is screaming in pain from all of the abuse inflicted upon her.

Being sensitive is a mixed blessing, to be sure. On the one hand, you know right away if you need to tread carefully around someone. On the other, you’re bombarded by a cacophony of emotions which often moves so quickly it’s impossible to gauge either source or mood. It’s enough to drive the average person mad. But Empaths, HSP’s (Highly Sensitive People) and those who are Conscious (have allowed their ego to take a back seat and just be in the moment) aren’t your average people. Under normal circumstances, they’d tighten whatever they use to protect themselves, be it a shield, love and light, or some other method, and get on with their day. Of course, they’d also find time to be alone, preferably in nature.

How to Help Conscious Ones

But these aren’t normal times. In fact, it’s becoming harder and harder to trust in love and compassion, yet can we do anything else? But to hold that sacred space of love and compassion, to see that those who act in hate and anger need it even more is both difficult and draining. The Empaths, HSP’s, and Conscious among us really need our support to keep doing their job right now.

There are many things we can do to help those people in our lives who are both gifted and cursed.

  • Give and receive a lot of hugs.
  • Read between the lines of what they say and share. Even a word acknowledging their struggle means more than they can say.
  • Meditate. The time you spend clearing space around yourself makes their jobs exponentially easier.
  • Show compassion towards the people around you. A small act of kindness creates endless ripples.
  • Remind them to make self-care a part of their daily routine.
Turmoil, Both Man-Made and Natural Can Be Debilitating

The events of the world can knock the stuffing out of HSP’s and Empaths. Every wild fire singes them. Every earthquake rattles their bones. Every hurricane blows their emotions asunder. And those are only the Earthly effects. Throw in human emotions and it’s like standing in front of a 200 mile-per-hour sand blaster of emotions. Though some feel these events only within a hundred miles or so, others can feel them world-wide. My daughter is one who can feel an earthquake from the other side of the world. Trust me, it isn’t pleasant to suddenly feel nauseous or dizzy for no apparent reason.

Empaths and HSP’s  try not to get involved in the chaos created by humanity, but do choose their battles. I read recently that Empaths are especially conscious of the lies and subterfuge surrounding politics. Many times, I’ve been criticized for withholding opinion or outrage. Even more often, I’ve recognized something in the political machine which others laugh off, only to see clearly weeks or months later when someone with more authority than I points out the same conclusion. We tend to see the bigger picture; the elephant in the room which everyone ignores while focusing on the smaller, more emotionally charged issues. That isn’t to say those smaller issues aren’t important, but they’re a very effective smokescreen. Smokescreens are rarely effective with Empaths. It’s as if they don’t even exist save for a bit of mist which clears easily for them.

Chaos in My Own World Brings Introspection and Lessons

The last couple of months have been especially hard for me, making me wonder, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The emotional upheaval I’ve felt while dealing with Toby’s pancreatitis, the ongoing but recently resolved plumbing issues, having the kids in and out of the house have all thrown my equilibrium out of whack. Yet I have to wonder if these things were symptoms or causes. Plumbing leaks can be interpreted as leaks within my own energy field. The leaks not only caused issues with the foundation of my home, but increased financial outlay while I used more water and gas than normal. Where else in my life is this occurring? Even Toby’s illness points to a misalignment in my self and my priorities.

I learned the hard way that Toby responds dramatically to my need for extra attention. When I focused on my own needs rather than his, I saw his health deteriorate further. When I did what I was supposed to and made it about him, he began to respond to treatment and regain his appetite. We still have days that are better than others, but the biggest hurdle, getting him to eat has been crossed. If it means cooking up chicken thighs and rice and pureeing them with bone broth once a week, it’s a small thing. It is also a way of focusing my energy on helping him regain his strength rather than on worrying. Isn’t cooking for someone the ultimate expression of love?

Even so, ongoing vertigo, dizziness, and nausea strike at the oddest moments. I’ve learned when they do, I need to stop and just be for a few minutes or even an hour. Sometimes I get images or guidance which help me manage what causes me discomfort, and sometimes I just take the time to recharge.

Opening the Doors to Greater Compassion

Allowing ourselves to just be without ego’s interference opens us up to all of the hurts in the world, whether on the part of the victim or the perpetrator because those who act against others are in pain themselves. The more we learn to see that, the more we become part of the healing process.

We must learn to exercise compassion without judgment. Think about that for a minute. When we read about someone shooting innocent people or driving a truck into a crowd, or any other act of violence, what is our first response? If you’re like so many, your first response is outrage towards the perpetrator, followed by compassion for the victims.

What if we turned it around a bit and sent some of that compassion to the perpetrator? Novel, I know. Yet, if we stop and realize we’re all broken in some way and trying to find our way back to wholeness we might see that the person who commits that heinous act is so much more broken than we can imagine. Hating them for their act won’t help heal their broken parts, but compassion and love will.

Life After Hate

While watching Samantha Bee the other night, I learned about a group called Life After Hate. They are a group of people who formerly belonged to hate groups such as White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis who are dedicated to healing the wounds of others like themselves through love and compassion. They know first-hand how people get sucked into a life of hate when things in their own lives are debilitatingly painful. Their mission statement really sums up what they do, why they do it, and how they can achieve the success they do.

OUR MISSION

LIFE AFTER HATE is dedicated to inspiring individuals to a place of compassion and forgiveness for everyone, including themselves.

Many can’t understand why I feel and espouse compassion for the murderers, haters, and worse. Yet, they are the most broken among us. They suffer from such lack of love in their life the only thing they know is to lash out and blame someone else. They’re especially susceptible to those who encourage them to hate, and to blame the blameless for their lack. They’re being led like cattle to slaughter because they are so susceptible, so willing, so eager to assuage their pain. The real evil is in the people who fan the fires of hate and encourage people to act as they wouldn’t if left to their own devices.

Recognize the Fear in Us All

Fear drives people more effectively than anything else. Those who seek to control do so by creating an illusion which instills great fear in people.

Those fears overwhelm the Conscious, Empaths, and HSP’s, making it harder to stand against the way they’re being used by the few to control the many.

Hate Begets Hate

Factions are condoning hate crimes, giving people justification for lashing out against groups of people like the Muslims. But who really supports and fans the flames of those factions? Hitler’s Germany is coming back to haunt us with its White Supremacy and Nazi-ism. Do we really need further proof that hate will never kill hate? If that were so, such things would have died and never risen again. Instead, they went underground or laid dormant until the environment was ripe for them to grow and thrive again.

Fighting them with their own tools means we will ultimately fail. Not only can they use those tools of hate better than we, they also expect to fight the battles according to their own rules. Only unexpected, loving, compassionate responses will truly bring them down. Because behind all the hate are people just like us.

If we cause a man who was involved in a hate rally to lose his job, we’re simply supporting his belief that his actions are justified; that the people he rallied against or harmed deserved it for ruining his life. We’re fueling his fervor to commit even worse acts against the people he’s marked as his nemesis because they’ve now stolen something else from him; his livelihood. In his anger, pain, and hate, he can’t and won’t see his own part in the job loss.

Fueling Love and Compassion

It’s up to the Empaths, the Light Workers and others to keep the flow of love and compassion alive and strong. You might ask if it’s worth the emotional and even physical cost. The truth is, the cost would be far higher if we failed  because we’re all connected. We feel each other’s pain, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Too many people are in a great deal of pain. Even less sensitive people are starting to feel, respond, and react, and in fact, become more sensitive themselves. The increased need is opening up pathways in people who may have had the ability but hadn’t yet recognized it. I’ve seen a number of people recently discover their own empathic abilities, and I know the numbers will continue to rise in response to the increasing need.

Groups of highly conscious people are so overwhelmed, they, too are starting to lash out at each other. That alone emphasizes the need for greater numbers to allow for a kind of rotating down time. Taking time for self-care is long past being a luxury. It’s become as necessary as food, water and sleep.

Oneness

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to differentiate where the emotions I feel are coming from. Are they my own or someone elses? Are they nearby or far away? Is it even human, or am I feeling the pain inflicted on animals, and the very Earth herself? The lines are blurring until everything seems to run together as one; because the truth is, it is all one!

I  find I’m having trouble separating myself, and my shields are too porous to handle the load. Yet I realize we need to allow some of it in, process it, fill it with love and compassion and send it back out. It’s our responsibility to help process out the negativity and hate and replace it with love and compassion.

What is your purpose? How can you help assuage the pain and heal the wounds to humanity? To the Earth?

Gratitude as a Tool for Strength

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the place I’ve been given in the changes which are coming.
  2. I am grateful for my guides and Higher Self who are doing their best to lead me in the direction I need to go.
  3. I am grateful for loving, compassionate friends who are also finding their purpose, their place in the grand scheme of things.
  4. I am grateful for the Oneness which is humanity, earth, animal, rock, and everything around us, both seen and unseen.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; compassion, love, kindness, unity, solidarity, empathy, Consciousness, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

You’ll find the corresponding Facebook Live here.

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. She specializes in finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.

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