I’m a small-town California girl turned mental health therapist. Favorite things: babies (but don’t have my own!), comfy pants, and taking too many pictures. I'm all about realistic self-care, mental health for everyone, and personal growth even if you hate that phrase (cause I do!).
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“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” — the wise Brene Brown
“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” -Parker Palmer
It can sound a little “out there” to hear the advice, “Let your life speak.” Like… am I supposed to hear a voice in my head or something?? But I take it to mean that what happens to us, our experiences, and our story are often inextricably connected with what we find as our purpose and passion (whether that = our job or not).
So in that sense, we need time and space to reflect on the story of our life (no, not the Days of Our Lives… get it? does that joke make me old?? or just not funny? yea ok moving on)…. Our story gives us indications of what matters to us, what we want, who we are, what we are passionate about.
But becoming an adult is about so much more than deciding who we want to be when we grow up. At some point, most of us reach crossroads where we must decide our next move, make our next step––what to major in, where to apply for jobs, what to do when we realize our current job or career choice isn’t what we hoped for, whether to go to grad school, or broadly what we want our life to be. My hope for us is that more than just assimilating into what’s expected of us, mindlessly following the paths of people around us, or choosing out of fear––that we allow ourselves the time to reflect and have the courage to consider what we truly want.
Sometimes we cut ourselves off from our truest dreams and values because we are disconnected from our story, for whatever reason. We may have ran from the feelings associated with circumstances, plowed forward and never looked back (sometimes you have to in order to survive.)
Cutting ourselves off from our past hinders our ability to make a meaningful future. Connecting with our purpose in the present requires that we face our past. Vulnerability, at least with ourself, is a pre-requisite for crafting a meaningful life. What part of your story are you running from? What part of yourself are you working hard to make sure no one sees?
Lastly, we need people in our life we can be safely vulnerable with. So much of healing + growth takes place in connection, and having people to bounce ideas off of or bare witness to our steps towards our goals is crucial. It’s the dreams we hesitate to even say aloud, the conversations that we come back to again and again, the ideas that keep us up at night. Community can be the best incubator for our most tender passion + purpose. And that kind of honesty and courage, that is the stuff that brings true joy and belonging. We must be willing to explore the darkness of ourselves and our lives as part of our journey of making a meaningful life. Then can we walk wholeheartedly into the future.
It’s a lifelong journey, and never too late to start. Honor the path of your life, and consider how we want the rest of the story to go.
by Kylie |
November 24, 2018
© Tend and Mend, Kylie Bennett 2019.
I'm Kylie. I’m a small-town California girl turned mental health therapist. Favorite things: babies (but don’t have my own!), comfy pants, and taking too many pictures. I'm all about realistic self-care, mental health for everyone, and personal growth even if you hate that phrase (cause I do!).