Two days ago I spoke in front of 140 people.
I shared some of my darkest moments and most vulnerable parts of myself.
Drug abuse. Eating disorders. Bullying & being slut-shamed. My dad’s death. Heartbreak. And healing my relationship to others and ultimately myself.
You know… just a casual Monday evening.
This was my first time speaking at a larger event and truthfully, it was way out of my comfort zone (two weeks before I was sobbing on the floor in women’s group trying to figure out how I was going to do such a thing. #radicalhonesty)
And since then, naturally people have been asking me how it went…
But I felt stumped when I went to answer.
I felt kind of “meh” about it. Not really sure what to say. Kind of stuck in a grey zone.
Because on one hand I felt proud of myself. (I did the scary thing! YAY! You go Glen Coco.)
And then on the other hand, there was a part of me that didn’t want to admit that when I got off the stage I felt embarrassment and fear of judgment.
I tried to shove these “negative” feelings back down into the shadows.
I forced myself to say kind things to myself.
In the moment I thought this was self-loving… but it wasn’t.
This premature positive self-talk felt inauthentic.
True self-love came when I allowed the part of me that felt embarrassed to rise from the shadows into the light.
I gave her a voice. Allowed her to clear from my system.
What did she have to say?
“I felt awkward and nervous.”
“I messed up and had to use my cue cards.”
“I dropped out of flow and got stuck in my head.”
“It didn’t make any sense.”
“No one laughed at my jokes.”
And as she spoke I embraced this part of me with love and compassion.
I welcomed her into the Throne of my Heart.
There she is loved.
There she belongs.
There she is safe.
You see if I were to disown and reject this part of me, I would create separation within.
I would become split.
But as I welcome her with self-love and compassion, I become WHOLE and INTEGRATED.
I am EMPOWERED.
She no longer has control over me.
And as I loved her I found that my experience of the evening started to shift.
I started feeling authentic ACCOMPLISHMENT.
I started acknowledging everything that went well.
I started letting go of my desire to be perceived a certain way and trusted that my story would resonate with the right people.
I started believing that I did MY BEST and that my best is GOOD ENOUGH.
True confidence arose and I felt genuinely proud of myself.
And I naturally stopped feeling embarrassed and started feeling gratitude.
This is the power of self-love.
This is the power of embracing our shadow.
This is the path back our wholeness.
And I would go through it all again knowing that this is the growth available on the other side.
Photo: Alex Cattoni