How Holding My Tongue Almost Killed Me
Sounds a bit dramatic, right? I feel you…but if you’re not sharing your Truth, aren’t you already somewhat gone? Somewhat dead?
To me, this is death.
Repressing my emotions, and not sharing my truth nearly killed me…or sent me straight to a psych ward. Either way, it wasn’t an ideal place to call home.
I was scared to death. Literally.
My world was in shambles, and I had not one clue how to contain the chaos within. Don’t get me wrong, I asked my family and friends in search for my answers — in search for solace…only to hear, “bring it up top,” “you signed up for this,” and “this is all normal.”
Just for the record, this is what ‘normal’ looked like for me circa 2012.
Normal: Losing my vision and my ability to think clearly & rationally, emotional breakdowns. Feeling completely lost, breaking out in rashes, having major digestive issues, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances and a complete fear-based mentality. Anxiety. Denial.
For the record, this is not normal. This is hell on earth.
It’s a time in my life that I describe in my book as a, “supernova meets emotional black hole.” These phenomenon aren’t limited to the skies my friends.
What exactly does this look like and how the heck did I make it here at 24 years of age?
When I reflect on my life, on this crazy wild human experience, the threads that led to this supernova experience started long before I was ever aware. Go figure.
What I soon found out after digging into my own mental junk drawer and getting in touch with my real Truth, my soul, was that this experience wasn’t limited to just me. This isn’t that big of a shocking development, considering we are all inter-connected in mind-blowing ways.
Most of the mono-myths that resonate with all of humanity, take Star Wars & Harry Potter for example, were all modeled after Joseph Campell’s brilliant work, The Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey is a deep dive into your own heart and soul. It is saying a hearty YES to your own UNIQUE path & adventure. This is your magic — your you-ness.
I’ll be the first to tell you that it isn’t a walk in the park. It is going through the emotional black holes, and facing all the inner demons that hold you back from showing up in this world alive, powerful, and aligned.
You’re a Viking, not a Victim.
As the pain from the past arises to be heard, felt & integrated, it becomes the fuel for your rise. Guys, pain is information. And if it’s kept locked away in your cells it becomes inflammation. Newsflash- all of ‘dis-ease’ begins with inflammation.
This is what Campbell describes as ‘stagnation’ and says if we don’t use what we’ve been given it will all come back around and hurt us.
Insert black holes & supernovas.
There is a better way. A smoother route.
What’s the first step we need to take to embark on our own hero’s journey?
It is only when we take full 100% responsibility for our thoughts, actions, and words that we begin to change the way we show up in this world. From this empowered space we no longer limit ourselves to illusory stories burried in the past, instead, we stand connected — in love — making us the most powerful alchemists of all.
Now you might be thinking, this sounds peachy but how in the hell do I make it there?
The answer to this question will determine the direction your life goes. Are you willing to change, face & release the patterns in your consciousness that no longer resonate with your deeper Truth?
If you answered yes, then congrats…we can continue on our way.
In my experience, my ‘Yes’ didn’t come through bliss it came through a full blown shame storm & spiritual smackdown. No surface level solution could solve this deep rooted disconnection with my soul. I was starving for a deeper understanding about what the hell I was doing here and who the heck I even was.
In spiritual circles, this period in life is called, ‘The Dark Night of the Soul” or “mental breakdown meets borderline schizophrenic” if you’re seeing through a psychologist’s lens. Regardless, it came through pain…because I was’t willing to face it when it first came. (Nor did I have the tools to do so — like many of us today).
We’re all victims until we choose not to be. Congrats, you choose. I chose to walk through the flames & dismantle the illusions of fear.
These fires of pain purified me. Silence stripped me of the past.
With grace in my heart, I finally forgave myself for not showing up and taking responsibility for my role as a co-creator in this dance. Through self-forgiveness, I forgave the world. I realized, we are so much more the same than different — you and I — the all.
What led me to this space? And what was happening within my mind, body, and soul at the time?
My story. I grew up in a middle class family filled with community, love, adventure, and opportunity. What happened to me to invite all of this chaos? Good question.
At times, this truth, that I didn’t come from something traumatic made me feel guilty and ashamed for feeling depressed and unfulfilled. I would say to myself, “how in the world are you not happy & fulfilled?!?”
Truth is, I had what looked like a fairy-tale life from the outside — I was married to an incredible human, had the opportunity to go back to school post college, and had all of my physical needs met with abundance. So, how in the world could I be so lost, disconnected and on the brink of a mental & emotional supernova??
Fear. Self-preservation reptilian based fear mode to the max. This fear cut the cord between me and my deeper Self.
As my world started to close down on me, both mentally, vocally, and emotionally — the narratives created from this foundation of fear continued to become louder and louder.
I stopped talking in fear of rejection & abandonment.
I was obsessed with my personal image and how I looked.
I denied and hid from anything that invited me into my pain.
I blamed everyone else. (Not cute)
I projected my shit onto everyone else.
I couldn’t escape the fear. But I tried my hardest to do so. Maybe you’ve experienced this desire to numb, and escape the pressure too — turning towards external fillers such as TV, alcohol, food, drama, and fitness. If you haven’t already figured this out — these temporary fillers aren’t sustainable. They don’t last.
I didn’t have the tools I needed to adequately process my emotions, and my wounds — let alone communicate what was happening for me in this experience on levels beyond the surface interaction. I get it — we weren’t taught how to cultivate self-acceptance in school, how to consciously communicate or to effectively handle conflict and emotions.
But we can choose to be better, know better and grow better. Now.
Here’s the deal. We need to level up our emotional intelligence & our spiritual intelligence if we want to move forward in Life. Healthily, freely and happily I might add.
When I was in complete emotional chaos, I felt like I was standing in a glass box as a fire hydrant gushed water uncontrollably around me as the box continued to fill to the brim…I couldn’t swallow it fast enough.
Good news. There is a door. And the key is in your hand.
The key is your awareness. This holistically informed awareness takes your mind, body, and soul into consideration. It listens deeper when pain arises. When symptoms pop up it opens a conversation with our bodies instead of suppress them with pills.
This awareness walks the shadows into the light, setting you free from the internal fires of inflammation. The mind-body-soul connection is one that dictates and determines the health of every cell in your body. When we aren’t in alignment with our Truth, we experience “pain.” This isn’t failure, this is feedback directing you back on to the path that belongs to only you.
To survive as children we adapted by repressing our emotions to create safety. The same protective armor that allowed us to protect our very real human hearts when we were children is the very same armor that keeps us from the deep soul connection, and vibrant health our bodies crave.
The time has come. It is safe for you to express your truth. Your emotions. Your wounds. Your experience.
Your story is your superpower. Don’t suffer in silence. Instead, grab the nugget of wisdom out of the past muck and illuminate the rest. You’re here for this reason, and you better believe it’s a big one.
I don’t want fear to stop you, especially when the tools to heal, learn, and grow are starving to be used. Mend your mind, heal your heart, and soothe your soul — you deserve to live freely, as you.
Speak your truth — it’s the bridge between your heart & soul. Your freedom. Mine. Ours.