Eleven years ago I made decisions that massively shifted my life in ways I could not even begin to fathom at that time. All I knew was that I was making a decision to not live in a place that wasn’t healthy to be in and that I was going to create a life that was healthy both emotionally and physically. Within days of making that decision I traded in my engagement ring for a set of diamond earrings that I loved. Those earrings were a tangible symbol for me of this step I was taking. What I didn’t realize then was that they were also this emotional shield of sorts for me. I wore those earrings daily for the past eleven years. They became a habit, but they never stopped being a reminder either. A reminder of how being independent was so good. A reminder that I did not need anyone to do the things I wanted to do.
Over the past few months I have been thinking about taking them out of my ears. Coincidentally, over the past few months I have been finding that while being independent is not a bad thing, letting myself open up to and lean on someone isn’t a bad thing either. I can still be the woman who financially takes care of herself, who can handle pretty much anything life throws at her… at the same time there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting someone else be there to emotionally support me when life is tough. Having another person want to help me with projects or just with my moments that I am weary and worn does not take away from my strength. It just adds to it.
See the thing was, not only were those earrings a bit of a shield for me, so is the independence I have so strongly fought to keep. By being so independent I could keep people at a distance which means I didn’t have to worry about being hurt. That isn’t how life works though. Having nobody you are willing to let close doesn’t keep you from hurting, it is just a different hurt you feel and it is much easier to hide it from the world when you don’t let people close enough to actually see all of you.
Saturday afternoon I took those earrings out of my ears. Soon they will belong to someone else. When I took them out I also had a little chat with myself about that shield that they symbolized. That shield has been destroyed because it no longer serves me. It is time to move forward without a shield. It is time to let vulnerability be my cloak and let the truth of my soul and heart be what shines out of me without fear. This is a journey on a path that is twisting and uneven, but it is so worth it.
Friends, if you have a shield that you are carrying I urge you to examine it and find if it is truly serving you. Vulnerable is scary, our truth and our love aren’t always easy to share. These things are necessary to live an authentic and full life. What else are we here for if not to share ourselves, our story, and our love? I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to give and I am finding life is much better when I share it with someone who values it and cherishes it.