Permission To Be You.. (before you kill your soul)
Before my first trip to Italy I read the history of the Roman Empire, listened to hours of Italian language CD’s and trolled thousands of strangers photos on tripadvisor. None of this compared or prepared me for the real thing of course.
So when I found out that I scored a ticket to the sold out Selfe event featuring Rachel Hollis the New York Times bestselling author of Girl Wash Your Face event just two days beforehand, I was tempted to spend an entire day listening to her audiobook and trolling her Instagram to unravel her secret. I feared this would be somewhat disappointing. I did not prepare.
My gut instincts proved correct. Nothing can prepare one for Rachel Hollis. WOW. HER GOOD ENERGY. Within minutes there was an auditorium of women dancing, laughing, crying, cheering and sharing. After an hour there was a sense that you were never really going to be the same again, and that was a good thing.
When asked the next day by a girlfriend what Rachel’s message was, I paused knowing that each woman walked away with a soundbite of what resonated the most with them. The moment that brought the sting of tears to my eyes was when Rachel said this:
“Most of us are taught to be people pleasers. We give away parts of our souls trying to make other people happy.” I wondered why this resonated deeply with all of us.
The essence of Rachel’s message is that we keep ourselves from the truest experience of who we are meant to be because we are afraid of what other people are thinking. Maybe it’s just one or two people, but it doesn’t matter if it stops you from being you. We kill off parts of our soul every time we spend our moments working harder to be someone we are not, than who we really crave to be when no-one is looking.
In her unique form of oratory skills being a Pentecostal preacher’s daughter as well as being loving, funny, and beautifully authentic, Rachel not only gave me permission to be who I am, but insisted that we cannot be anyone else successfully. But first, we must stop the comparison game.
As Rachel said, “You can not pay enough of your soul to make yourself worthy of someone’s opinion of you.” Other people aren’t thinking about you anyway.. they are thinking about themselves.
And maybe a year ago this wouldn’t have hit the same chord as I was still in college as a forty-something mom juggling our family, school, friends and keeping intellectually stimulated. Now I sit in self-doubt in my kitchen staring at the walls wondering why I haven’t finished my first book or written a hundred blog posts. Listening to Rachel I realized the message that she did not explicitly state but that I heard in everything she said was, “Never give up on yourself.”
Because as Rachel repeated, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.”
I think we all need to take that step forward towards what feels right for own selves. And then another. And you know the rest.
I’m rooting for you. I really am.