By Corinne Brown
There were facts about my life that, by the age of 27, I had come to acknowledge and accept. I stopped growing at age 15; I would forever be 5’8″. The only time this body would see 135 pounds would be in 6th grade. My body was still beautiful. I was great at battling depression. I deserved a fearless love. I was desirable. I was enough.
And then there was this new fact, a slightly less glamorous truth. As I sat with a man I cared for, outside of his house, both of us taken off guard by the conversation we had entered into, I found that I was in a space that seemed all too familiar. His words: “I don’t know what I want.” I had heard these words, the same tone of sincerity, and the same underlying plea for help many times before. The truth was three-fold. As a queasy, sick feeling made its way to my stomach I realized a few things:
1) I deeply resent having my power taken away from me.
2) I had made choices to date men that, for whatever reason, were emotionally unavailable. This reality was typically accompanied by addictive and alcoholic tendencies.
3) … I was powerless to the effects of addiction. These choices, these rollercoasters of charm, had become my unmanageability.
In Alive and Well Women we talk a lot about listening to our Inner Wisdom. While walking through the Contemplative Path, we learned that our Inner Wisdom helps bring us to the apex of serenity, centeredness, aliveandwellness, towards a connection with something greater than ourselves and maybe, peace.
So here I had found the dichotomy of insisting and declaring that our Inner Wisdom does provide us clear paths forward while we still make choices that break our hearts and spirits.
I had chosen this. Time and time again. My hope for the stories of these men, and my heart, a heart that gives endlessly, were deemed “not enough”.
As I listened more carefully, I heard the sweet loving presence of Wisdom speak to me again:
‘You aren’t wrong, You’re enough. You were never wrong to hope for them. You were never wrong to show them love. You’re just forgetting what comes next in your story.’
This story isn’t finished.
This isn’t the last chapter.
Sometimes our Wisdom is so wise that it knows how sick we get on rollercoasters of emotion. How our stomachs ache, or bloat, or both when we’re too stressed. Our Inner Wisdom knows how irritable we become when we are scared. She recognizes the point of no return that causes our best friends to call us out after we explode in rage on an innocent fitness instructor who couldn’t give us parking directions.
This Goddess of Knowledge understands how we react when our lives seem unmanageable. And she knows how fulfilled we feel to take back that power we have misplaced.
I propose that this world wants our Inner Wisdom locked away in the highest tower by a lot of things that we cannot control. Be it a spouse or significant other, a promotion, the glass ceiling, or the patriarchy. Maybe we have conditioned ourselves to believe we are incapable of protecting ourselves or that our voices are not worth listening to. Is it possible that our energy could be fueling our shadow side: an angry teenager holding on with a vice grip to our best-laid intentions and our strivings to act better, to do more, to be the best?
What if all we could control was the voice that we chose to listen to? What if we listened, for one minute every day, to our inner wisdom? What if we, as a collective community, were able to freely talk about our findings? What if we were a community that celebrated those findings?
You aren’t wrong.
Your story isn’t over.
She wants you to listen, too.
Corinne is a free spirit with a passion for all things adventurous and empowering. Alive and Well Women’s Administrative Assistant always has a plan, or blog post, brewing in her mind. A classic Enneagram Type 7, when she isn’t writing or working on her Master’s degree, she is probably reorganizing her bedroom or whispering words of encouragement to her sweet, resilient houseplants.
You aren’t wrong; You’re enough. You were never wrong to hope for them. You were never wrong to show them love. You forget what comes next in your story. This isn’t the last chapter.