Layers of Acceptance

The truth will set you free.

I involuntarily roll my eyes at cliché adages. We’ve all been subjected to hearing them. What is more uninspiring than an expression you hear so often (probably from a fundamentalist proselytizer standing on the street corner), that you’ve become desensitized to the true meaning and essence of the phrase?

But every now and then, you come across an overused quote on some bad wall art hanging crooked in your office break room, and something inside you shifts. 

In my case, new life was breathed into “the truth will set you free” by the lovely Simone Grace Seol. On this podcast episode, she took this seemingly ordinary Bible quote to address the issue of being in denial about the results of your actions. Specifically—wanting more and having a sense of entitlement to getting more without the humility and courage to change the actions that are not producing the results you want. I could feel some involuntary resistance to this message in my body, a knee jerk reaction that it must mean I’m not enough, not doing things the “right” way. But, in true fashion, Simone was clear that results incongruence are an opportunity to change what you do in order to get what you want. While my body felt anxious, my mind knew she was right. 

At the time of listening to this podcast, I was in a state of emotional turmoil over taking a much-needed and immensely worthwhile risk to transform my life. The emotional turmoil wasn’t bubbling up because I felt that I had failed to make this decision yet. Rather, I was experiencing initial grief from 1) what I intuitively knew I must give up in the process of taking this risk, and 2) accepting that outside factors (the universe, fate, unfair systems, health, etc.) will always force me to make micro and macro adjustments to the direction of my life. My self-limiting brain cannot plan for unsolicited monkey wrenches fuckin’ it all up.

I’ve taken hella risks in the past to get closer to where I want to be. I didn’t pack up and move (alone) abroad (twice) and across the U.S. because I wanted to stay comfortable. I have only ever been capable of taking certain calculated risks every year of my life given what my nervous system was capable of. I am where I should be every step along the way.

This time I was unearthing another layer of acceptance for why this risk is necessary right now. I was struggling with accepting the truth that a certain commitment in my life has not served me for a long time. A commitment I have outgrown. A commitment that has left me physically, mentally, and spiritually drained.

Does a part of me wish I’d come to this realization and acceptance much sooner, that I would be well on my way to embodying the new frontier of my life already? Of course. But my journey required that I trek down a dark, unforgiving cave so that I could claw my way back out again. I have the scars and wisdom to prove it.

“A culture that requires harm to one’s soul in order to follow the culture’s proscriptions is a very sick culture indeed. This ‘culture’ can be the one a woman lives in, but more damning yet, it can be the one she carries around and complies with within her own mind.”

Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clorissa Pinkola Estes

I accept the truth. The knowing cannot be un-known. I have no need to suffer from the pain of being in denial. My mind, body, and spirit are in congruence, embodied, with my decision. If given a list of options, is this the one I would’ve chosen for myself? Doubtful. But my inner wise woman will keep me on track for the journey that lies ahead. She’ll be poking and prodding me every time I have a moment of doubt, when I recoil from the uncertainty. 

And when my body drifts into a state of distress from leaving the comfort and safety of my current lifestyle, I will find security in the arms of my introverted mystic goddess, who flourishes when her spiritual practice is prioritized. I will nurture my nervous system that is wired to prevent me from taking on too much risk. I will allow myself to rest when my body goes into overdrive with a primal sense of urgency that every un-figured-out problem must be resolved right here right now.

I have all the tools I need. All the inner goddesses and guides are waiting to be summoned for their strengths. My body knows how to find her way back to safety, if I allow her to.