Palms Up

I picture myself as a modern-day Woman-Woman, using my superpowers of to-do lists and pure force to get what I want. Is there something you would like to try harder at because you believe it would make all the difference? Conversely, what is something that you could stop trying so hard at that might actually help you manifest what you’d like? (Prompt credit: Kat McNally

Wonder Woman; those words, the icon, was how I attempted to define myself throughout high school and college. It embodied a choice to overcome limits and make naysayers think twice about proclaiming what I was and wasn’t capable of. It was the reminder to do better and be better, and if I couldn’t do that, then I had to try harder. Some of it was ingrained in me, while the rest became an armor that I often wore to shield myself from pain. Or maybe less severe pain, because some thing still hurt regardless of pretending otherwise. 

Over time, the want to do all and be all slowly diminished; I’ve slowly discovered that it takes more energy to hide and pretend than it does to be authentic and vulnerable (albeit the latter is terrifying). Yet I’m not entirely sure of how to do away with that complex, at least without feeling like a walking target. That, and the prospect of accepting that I’m always going to be/act a certain way and that growth is no longer possible.

On one hand, I could tell you that I’d like to be less impulsive; to stop reaching for my phone when I’m experiencing an extreme emotion, or several at one time. I’d like to be less of a worrier where the worst-care scenario is not at the forefront on my mind. More than anything, I’d like to stop fighting for the wrong reasons. 

On the other, all of this can be described in several ways: 

The demolishing of a wall.

The lifting of a veil.

The deflating of a piece of plastic (think floating inner tube).

Turning over your hands and lifting you palms upward.

 This is actually one of my favorites because it symbolizes release and surrender, which in a way is what we choose when being authentic. This is what I often do at church and when I am praying; it’s my way of letting God know that this experience is fully about the two of us.

I could go on, but this ultimately shows what it means to have the courage to show who you are. This is not easy for me to do because I have several layers and it’s too daunting to peel them back all at once. I’m not saying that what you see isn’t what you get, it’s only part of it. There are many aspects to my personality and displaying them all at once is draining, and at times seems impossible.

Yet if there’s ONE THING, and I mean ANYTHING that I feel inclined to actually work at in 2015, it’s asking for what I need. 

I have never been particularly good at that; a constant fear of being labeled as a burden, ridiculously needy, and the like have plagued me for years. Case in point, the number of conversations that involved “I do all these things for you and this is the thanks I get?!” along with the fear of being told no, flat-out and without explanation. No, because having another person wrap their arms around you and holding you there for at least a minute is too intimate and personal. No, because baring your soul to another human being (without advice or a solution) is like asking to do open heart surgery when he/she hasn’t been to medical school. No, because few people actually have the time or energy anymore to spend time with someone they care about. Wrap it all up in a tightly twined package and call it “The Way The World Works” (supposedly). 

Silly? Yes. A complete load of crap? Most definitely. But it is what I have carried, yet I am now determined to leave it behind. 

Just Be. Do what feeds your heart, your soul, and your spirit. 

It is making decisions out of love rather than out of fear. Asking someone for something is an act of love because it indicates that you care about them and you want to share an experience with them. It does not guarantee that the other person will agree to be present for you; I’ve learned the hard way that different people give you different things, and not one alone will be able to give it all in exact. It’s a tough reality, but a reality nonetheless. 

It will not be easy. There will be times where I would rather someone else ask me than boldly doing the asking myself. There is still the self-exerted pressure of having to be a specific kind of woman in order to be loved, let alone cared for. However, I’m done twisting and turning; I don’t want to change and shape for the sake of having to tolerate someone else if they refuse to do the same for me. 

Surrender. Put the cape down. Palms Up.

photo credit: bbaltimore via photopin cc

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