Today I want to give a shout-out to the deep discomfort of becoming ourselves. Not the safe, sanitized, edited version we were trained to adopt. I mean the version that fully expresses our unique ideas, dreams and voice. The version in which we are taking up all the space that is ours to take up. The one in which we are not pulling any punches for the sake of fitting in or making others comfortable. The version where we feel our full strength, and it fills us with awe and wonder.
My own journey has involved screaming "NO!!!!!" in a room full of strangers, leaving a safe career, having painful conversations with people who were used to me being my sanitized self (because that's all I'd ever shown them), shedding many many tears (some of grief for all the years of turning away from myself, some of gratitude as I experienced the love and belonging I'd been seeking for so long), making decisions that felt "selfish," and putting myself into uncomfortable situation after situation that I knew would expand me.
And why go through all this? Because each of us has something extraordinary to give. I don't mean fame (though that may be the path for some). I mean that each of us has unique gifts that can only be expressed through us. Your way of caring for others. Your way of making an organization run. Your way of making music. Your way of advocating fiercely. Your voice that can reach someone as no other voice can.
Our time here is too precious, too improbable, not to grow into the fullness of all we are. And if you're on this journey now and doubting yourself because you're in an uncomfortable stretch, it's OK. It's part of it, as a group of dear friends reminded me recently. It's just a part of it. Keep showing up. Keep going. You're not alone.