I’ve started really walking the piece of my walk that always causes me to stumble.
You see, my work as a coach revolves around two things: self-care and tribe.
I work with women to create thriving self-care practices and to move through fear and inhibitions in order to connect with their tribes.
Because I know the power of a tribe, I know how much I value mine.
One week when I had a string of days where I felt off, I figured out that what I was really feeling was loneliness. I missed people I’d once been close to, and that one thought felt like an edge, it was sharp and it hurt.
So I sat with it, all week, and I got angry. Why should I have to be the one to touch base with people, why do I have to do it? Why can’t they?
And then I was stubborn, because my name is Jenn I had to rock the stubborn card for a bit: No, I’m not going to email him or text her, I’m going to sit here and read or watch TV or try to ignore how churned up this all makes me.
The anger, the stubbornness, they were all just different flavors of fear.
It made my chest tight, I was very afraid of reaching out because what if they didn’t respond?
Some people, some relationships, you have to let go of because they just aren’t good for you.
These, these I had let go of through neglect, because of jealousy and discomfort. Instead of owning what I was feeling in each of the situations, I ignored it until there wasn’t anything left to do but walk away.
So, while the bridges hadn’t been burned, they did need some mending.
And one evening that’s what I set out to do. A comment to a soul sister on Facebook followed up by a text message. An email to a good friend followed up by a Facebook message. An email to my heart’s brother.
And then, I waited. And (because my name is Jenn) I obsessively refreshed my email, compulsively checked my phone for messages. Nothing. There was no response and I sat there feeling so upset.
And I asked the universe for courage and a steadfast heart.
For this other piece of my tribe to come back.
I realized that I’d nourished one area of my life only to completely ignore another because… it was hard, I didn’t know what to say, my feelings were hurt.
Because I knew that he liked me and I didn’t know how to handle it. Because I was so tired of always feeling like I came in second or third or fourth place with her and I wanted to feel valued. Because things were always so easy between us and it was ok if I didn’t talk to him all the time.
I was not owning what I was feeling because I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, how to honor how I was feeling in a way that would be gentle for both parties.
So I started with a comment: A pretty day to you.
I started with an email: I miss you.
I started with an email: I’m sorry I fell off the radar.
The next day, a text: a wish for a good day and a run-down of how hers started.
The next day, an email: saying he missed me, too.
The next day, an email: We could go months without talking, Jenn, and it would still be like yesterday.
And there was an email waiting for me, from another friend I’d lost touch with, saying she’d seen something and it reminded her of me.
It showed me that there is power in acknowledging what you want.
There is power in leaning into the edges.
There is power in being brave inside the vulnerable moments.
I want to leave you with a question, something that will act more as a reminder to you of the places for you to look.
When you are feeling afraid, where do you find power?
It could be a physical place, a sanctuary, the great outdoors or maybe indoors. It could be in your lover’s arms, your child’s eyes, your reflection in the mirror. It could be inside of a thought, a song, a sound. Draw a Power Map so that when you fear scared or overwhelmed or upset, you can always find your way back.
Jenn Gibson believes in dreaming big : she’s a life coach and the creator of Roots of She.
She loves yoga and the beach, is a photographer and writer, and isn’t above stealing snuggles from Bean the Boy Kitten. Daily parts of her life are paper journaling, talking to her dear sweet momma & sky-gazing.
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