I’ve never written about this ever.  Until now.  It felt too close, too much of a pull on my heart. And yet, it’s always been there— for probably about 20 years it’s waded around the shadows of my desires.    Without shining light on it, it grows & festers and haunts me during the dark nights of my soul.

Just this weekend, I had a dark night of my soul. It’s the term I use to explain a very rare occasion where all my dark, painful thoughts occupy the very being of all of me. They loudly exclaim their presence through anger, frustration, fear, sarcasm, limiting beliefs and victim sagas and as they do, they expand into the space of my being suffocating my heart. I can’t see a way forward in those moments and I want to scream, “what’s the point” to the Universe.

As many of you know, I’ve been on a metaphorical journey of purging this year. I chose my Sweet 16 word to be courage. Beautiful beings, this is not for the faint of heart. Or maybe it is. In fact, it’s all about the heart. As I’ve mentioned, when I looked for a definition of courage—I found this: “ to speak one’s mind by telling all of one’s heart”.

Is it any wonder that I found acupuncture this year? Or that my acupuncturist said to me that my journey was to learn how to lead from the heart without the fortress I have built to try and protect myself from all the hurts I’ve suffered along the way—the ones I am most afraid will break me for good if I feel them again.

The type of courage that requires me to speak with all of my heart— to release, albeit, in not the prettiest of fashion, all that which I hold myself imprisoned by. And leveling layers of the fortress required a very physical exorcism of wailing, sobbing and moaning as I grieve the perfect life I had envisioned.

Let me explain.

I always imagined my life as a mother.

And yet, I find myself without children of my own to love on, to teach, to nurture their beings, even to get frustrated with — the entire experience of birthing a soul from your being – for so many people—their greatest loves, their life’s work—their legacy in the world.

Nothing makes me feel more like I failed myself and that I am utterly alone in this world as this truth.

I watch those around me enter into this world – never to live quite the same again. And I wonder why is it different for me? Duly noted — my logical, rational self has great answers for this question.

And yet there feels like an ache in my soul that never stops pounding— and I tell myself a lot of stories about what this all means. Some of the stories are empowering and others play a well-worn track of how I will never get what I really want in life.

This weekend what felt most like love was to allow it to surface. To allow it to wail. To allow myself to feel darkness and sadness and grief with no other agenda. Can I hold space for the darkest parts of me without judgment? Without trying to stop it, to manage it, to fix it?

And to feel my way into the edge of this fear by opening my heart to its truth—that it is there. And that I’ve carried it like a weight with me always.

I can’t skip steps and find the happy rainbow to paint over the fortress. I am learning that leading from the heart requires everything to be exposed — all of it.

And so I stand here tonight sharing this with you as a way to disarm my fortress. A way to find a new path for my heart to follow. With no agenda to fix me since I am not broken.

Only with love – by telling you all of my heart.