Yesterday something occurred to me. I was speaking with a friend who was surprised to hear that I was experiencing back pain, and that I was going to see my chiropractor. I am a chiropractor… and a yoga and Pilates instructor. Apparently, I ought to feel healthy and fit all the time. Here’s the catch. As all chiropractors know, you can’t adjust yourself.
I have run into similar reactions of surprise after sharing something with friends about an area of my life where I needed help to feel my best (physical, emotional, mental or spiritual). I actually had one girlfriend tell me she was surprised because she “thought I had the perfect life.” I’m still not sure what that means.
I took it to mean that I (like many people) am only comfortable sharing the “Yay!” moments with those around me… that I am much less comfortable candidly sharing what is hard for me , or instances when I need help.
How many people can relate to allowing some physical pain to become unbearable, thinking that you would just tough through it… until you finally broke down and got that much needed bodywork that made you feel better? Why do we let things become that acute and awful? This also plays out in the psycho/social/emotional areas of our lives. Perhaps if we were more comfortable seeking help at the first sign of trouble, issues would not build up and require as much of an intensive intervention.
Marianne Williamson is often quoted as saying “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’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. 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’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
In the past I have read this to mean that we should all feel empowered to go out and lead the lives we have imagined for ourselves in our wildest dreams. Live BIG! SHINE!
While I still get that feeling from reading this quote, more recently I have wondered about the implications of the final sentence. It’s not about living “the perfect life”… it’s about each of us living our own most authentic life. Sometimes it can be messy and hard to figure out how our most authentic life looks/feels/is… and sometimes we need help along the journey. Ditching fear and un-sticking the places where you feel stuck (again this works in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms) is a big job.
There is something very liberating in realizing that asking for help with this big job is okay…that you don’t have to “keep it together” all the time or “be perfect” or do it all alone. Maybe sharing our areas where we need help and not so carefully guarding our “work in progress” part of own personal growth process (including what we utilize for help and support along the journey) is just as important as sharing our strong, happy and shiny parts of ourselves.
Most people’s lives look much more put together from the outside. Perhaps sharing a bit of your own vulnerability with another will give them the courage to realize that there is nothing wrong with them and that there is nothing wrong with asking for help in whatever area of life they feel the need for it. Allow your presence to liberate others. You may provide them with the opportunity to move more fully into their own authentic life of their dreams.
I am happy to say that I utilize the services of many wonderful healers to keep me balanced in all aspects of my life. I love the things that chiropractic care, acupuncture, homeopathy, functional neurology, massages of all kinds, energy work, yoga, Pilates and art and movement therapy have done (and continue to do) for me. I am proud to say that I am a work in progress and that I am becoming more comfortable seeking help when I need it.
I encourage you to explore what blend of healing, life affirming activities and therapies will provide you with the support you need to live your most authentic life.
Martha DeSante DC, CYT