This picture conveys my present now moment. Why on Earth is my dog Fynnly straddling two dog beds? Well, actually three, one is a bed within a bed. Her cat sister Tink is all tucked in another bed within a bed.
I can relate to the need to stay cozy in my comfort zone. I have been doing my work quietly and comfortably, keeping it small and “off the grid,” preferring my role as a mom to an active, athletic daughter, to volunteer and participate in her world. In my Mom’s World, I was a PTA president, Brownie and Girl Scout leader, field trip driver—you name it. While my time and talents were appreciated and I was eager to volunteer and help out, my truer, more authentic talents and gifts I kept quiet about.
Do you have some abilities that you are reluctant to let people know about? Maybe your gifts or talents aren’t as unusual as mine, but you recoil from the idea of putting yourself out there and being judged or pigeonholed into a box somehow. Can you relate to my years of staying quietly in my comfort bed rather than risk rejection?
It has been slow and involved, a scary stretching out for me to straddle my fear and discomfort of being labeled a “crackpot, “woo-woo,” or a “charlatan.” For years—decades really—I remained in this self-ascribed limbo, comfortably uncomfortable. I judged myself unkindly about being afraid, making excuses, mounting internal resistance, and telling myself someday I’d make my gifts known, just not today.
Instead of stepping into my gifts and trying to let people know about my experiences and abilities, I left it to God. If people were supposed to find me so hidden then I knew God had sent them. I did not promote myself or even ask people who had amazing transformations from my writings to tell others about me. When the old bed of my comfort wore out, like the ones in the picture above, I just plopped another layer of rationalizations on top to fluff the bed and keep on lying in the status quo. If God sent me folks, then I’d write for them. All the while I was facilitating and witnessing people’s transformations in the span of an hour or two session. These just weren’t small realizations. Sometimes they rose close to miracles. Often, my mind would be blown, which only would fuel my inner fears more that these experiences were not possible, couldn’t have happened and surely did not fit into my beliefs about reality and how it worked.
People would often say, “Thank you! You have no idea how this has helped, freed, and comforted me,” etc.
I told myself they were just being nice. My standard issued reply was, “I’m glad it was helpful, but it’s no big deal.” The writings then and now always begin with the words, “God. Welcome,” and call the person by name, and then end with, “Go with God.”
How completely crazy and improbable is that, that people can connect with God that directly? And what level of audacity or lunacy would it take to proclaim that I—a mom, a wife, a friend, a girl from the Midwest—have the gift to facilitate that connection? So in truth, I was constantly censoring the ownership of my gift and how extraordinary it was. All so I could remain unseen and unasked to give my life over to it. However, I also often felt that I was not living up to or into fully utilizing my gift. I was disappointing myself, but even more uncomfortably, I was failing God who had given me these gifts.
Oh, the years, decades really of my own internal dialogues of self-deprecation, judgment and self-flagellation, not to mention questioning my own sanity! Fortunately, the complete strangers I wrote for verified the contents of their writings, the accuracy of the messages, and how profoundly the messages resonated with them. Though neither they nor I could explain how that had happened, the reality was it had.
For me, my work has always been about helping and supporting people. Though I maintained deep cover, I felt guilty for not being brave enough to step out, share and use these gifts from God more. I don’t know about how you stay in resistance or try to subvert that inner voice that would compel you to live more authentically, take a chance, make the change, and be who you know you were born to be, but I became an expert and excelled in trying to play deaf and dumb. But just like God kept sending me folks to write for, God also continued to apply subtle and not so subtle pressure on me to take my work to the larger world. Quite literally the extraordinary, outrageous, mind-blowing, and heart-filling experiences kept mounting, as did my awe and wonder. I had to come to terms that none of it was about me and my human insecurities and comfort. Just as God had taken care of all those who found their way to have a writing, I had to stretch myself and step into the destiny God had given me as well.
In writing Beyond Ever After with Jocelyn, I took a giant action step to move from anonymity and keeping my gifts quiet to proclaiming them. Not just by telling people what I do, but actually putting it out there in print – and laying bare just how miraculous we all have the capacity to be.
Is there something that you know you are being called to do? Do you have a gift that remains tucked in your comfort bed, quietly hidden and safe? Are you straddling the known bed and reaching for the bigger one already right there beside you? Are you feeling the gap between the one you know and have grown accustomed to, but feel unsure, unready, untested as you reach into the next bed of experience that beckons and awaits you? Do you try to put yourself into a sleep mode, like I did for so long, so you don’t have to take action? Like me, are you feeling the heat of the next transformation and exhausting yourself by your own resistance, excuses and what ifs?
Like Fynnly in the picture above, I still move in and out of these places in my life and work, thankfully less so now than before. Writing this blog has been my most recent challenge. Today I committed myself to straddle, stretch, bridge the gap, and feel the heat of God’s presence and plans supporting me no matter what.
What’s true for me, I believe is also true for you—God, Source, Universal Love or by whatever name you call it, is always at work in our lives.