I chose to share myself and this road that I’ve walked since my life shifted so dramatically eight months ago by the narcissist I thought I knew and loved. The time has passed at all speeds. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t seemed like I was going to be in a better place. I’m still prone to hiding, as opposed to stepping out and speaking up.
Maybe it won’t ever be comfortable exposing my raw-ness. Maybe I will always struggle with the feeling of being vulnerable. For so long, I thought to be vulnerable meant that I wasn’t strong enough to *handle* what I was facing. You gotta be tough Rachel. Don’t let people see when you’re afraid, when you don’t feel confident, when you feel like the world’s idiot.
So, effectively, I abandoned that entire thought process when my world ended as I knew it. It is so wild how you can hear something, read and speak the words over and over again, and until you actually experience it, they don’t fully ring true. I’ve been immersed in meditation and Buddhist philosophy for almost a decade. I was enamored with the concept of the “warrior” – when it was first introduced. Nope, it’s not what you think. It’s not the tough woman protected by armor and shields. It’s the opposite, in fact. It’s not about being brave or tough. A warrior never uses aggression to communicate. A warrior is raw and open. A warrior is friends with herself. A warrior is able to be gentle with any emotion that comes up. A warrior recognizes the basic goodness in everyone, and most importantly – in herself. She doesn’t repress or cover emotions – rather, she can acknowledge them and speak them for what they are. Maybe it will affect her decisions, maybe not.
When it all blew up into fiery, painful pieces around me, my automatic reaction should have been to do my damnedest to shrug it off, stay tough, let the pain ricochet off my armor. Like I have done so many times. But I didn’t. I let it all out. I’m so grateful for however it evolved. I’m so grateful to have this new vision of myself, and my life. I’m slowly becoming friends with her. I’ve gradually felt more comfortable showing these deep wounds, and letting in the support and love that has been shared.
I stumbled upon this NY Mag article by Heather Havrilesky and a particular blurb felt like she was talking to *me* – –
“You had a good plan and it failed. It’s embarrassing. Everyone knows you’ve failed. Everyone knows you’ll fail again. Embrace the fuck out of that. Tolerate their disapproval. Get used to it. You are someone who doesn’t do what other people do. Own that. You have your own compass already. You just have to stop looking at other people’s faces and look at your compass instead.”
I didn’t fully get what having your own compass was until recently. When I find myself worrying what others may think, or what they’re saying behind my back (while he has continued to publicly devalue me as narcs do), or when my self-confidence waivers and I have doubts…I remember the quote on this image here: What consumes your mind, controls your life.
Then, even if it’s moment to moment, I take the power back of my own compass. I can be the kind of warrior that I strive to be.