Their comes a time in each of us where we have to be willing to own our own stuff. That means all of it. The good, bad and ugly. When I tried doing this, effectively doing this, I began to notice something quite profound about myself. When I stopped the blame game and took ownership of my thoughts and actions completely, I acted more thoughtfully. I would think through the repercussions of my behavior more clearly. I would ask myself, "Is this something I want associated with whom I have become? Can I own this as part of me?" If the answer even hinted at no, then no. No way was I going to intentionally brand my behavior with anything I could not own publicly and privately.
I used to have more recycled thoughts with recycled behavior behind them. Even when I used to say, "Well I will never allow myself to be treated like that again, to be talked to like that again, to be overlooked like that, to be under-valued like that, to be… whatever I was allowing….." Until again came. I rolled out the welcome mat as if to say, "Welcome back. I have been expecting you. Come on in. I deserve this because I refused to put you out at the curb of my life when I had the chance."
So yes, I welcomed back a recycled version of whatever it was I could not say no to. That is until I started listening to my life from the inside out. It was like sticking my hand in a sock and pulling it to its reverse side. There I saw small clumps of linty stuff that looked annoying. I stared down at it and asked myself, "I am wearing this?" And while it may not have been completely annoying to wear, it was to see. Those small dense aberrations looked like flaws in the material. And they were not an easy thing to simply pick off the material. Randomly picking away at them caused fuzz. I had to go one step further. I had to look at the entire sock, lay it out on a flat well-lit surface and choose which of those linty clumps I could live with and those I could not. Anything less left me nowhere and caused a bigger mess.
And so I did. These days I wear my socks more comfortably. I walk knowing I am not perfect. There will always be small annoying imperfections that I am picking away at in my life, but I also know that if I own it, I can make it better. From the inside out.
I have known a lot of women who are stuck. I have been stuck too. It takes a lot of courage to lay your stuff out on a flat surface in full light. Moving down the road requires a willing present look though. We can't overlook those pieces that we wear that don't feel good, because before long, all those small pieces find each other and make holes. Continuing to wear our annoying parts makes that road murky and the destination unclear.
One other thing I know from traveling this yellow brick road. Ownership is a choice and we can't force it on anyone. While we are fixing our imperfections we can't force anyone else to address theirs. But we do have the choice to assess how their imperfections effect our inside sock and how it wears on us. It may be that we choose to discard those parts of our sock along the way. Like I said, it is a choice.