Karen, Liberated

When I was born, I had both the fire of the opal and the watery coolness of oceans within me. Like a golden glass orb, I was shiny, complete, and whole.
And like glass can be broken, so can hearts and spirits.
We break our own hearts and spirits with the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves.
One day, a long time ago, I told myself a story:
I’m bad! I’m pathetic! I’m a loser! I will never get over it and it will always be a problem. It is written in the stars that I should be ashamed of myself.
{The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new. – Pema Chodron}
For a while, I was unconscious to this story, but I clung to it and never imagined there could be a different one.
I let it hurt me…and then I let it ignite passion and purpose.
This is the gift of embracing trauma as a change agent.
Rather than believing that beauty could only exist in perfection and symmetry, I now know, deep inside, that beauty lies in shifting impermanence and imperfection.I am not my fractures and brokenness – they don’t represent the end of my life but rather a moment in my history.
I choose not to hide my flaws from inspection, but rather to emblazon them with golden significance.
Repair requires transformation.
What is pristine and perfect is not better or more beautiful than what is broken. The amazing shape of me was impossible to see until I was fractured.
For me, writing is like the Japanese art of Kintsugi or “golden joinery.”
As I write about, embrace, and accept my wounds and my brokenness, joining the pieces of myself with words of gold, I become more beautiful than my original perfect self.
(Thank you Evan Puschak, aka TheNerdWriter, for informing this part of my story with your video, Kintsugi, The Art of Embracing Damage)
{The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms}
I know how to be true to myself.
Because there’s a part of me that never, ever believed that story.
There’s a part of me, a part that existed since before I was even born, that knows that story isn’t true.
No matter what they said.
Because: There is, within me, the very essence of truth and her name is Pele, Goddess of Fire. She is my source of creation and my source of destruction. She lives within me as sure as the internal structure of a precious opal makes it diffract light.
Like that opal, which depends on the conditions in which it was formed to take on color, I take on and reflect back all the colors of life: fire and lightning and the soft shine of far seas.
Also within me is the masculine energy of iron and it connects me to physical power, growth, dependence, and protection. It promotes lust, confidence, courage, strength, stamina, and resilience.
This is my birthright and my identity. I see it outside myself, but what I see “out there” is also within me.
Understanding this has laid a foundation for engaged dreaming and for guiding desired change.
I know what it is like to set goals from the place of “not good enough” and to believe that someone else has the answers.
Now I dream from the place of already knowing. I allow myself to be pulled towards what I desire rather than pushing away what I don’t want.
I already have much that I desire.
I have desires that I have not yet met.
I am shedding that which I do not want.
And I am clear about what I don’t have, and don’t want.
I already embody everything that I sometimes believe is out there beyond my reach.
I am creating my identity and making meaning of it over and over again, traveling an upwards spiral as I revisit my story from a higher place.
It’s the same story through a different lens at a different time. Always the same precious soul.
I am the hard and the soft, the big “fuck you” and the gentle namaste, the muck of self-loathing and the hands-over-heart gesture of self-compassion.
I am rich, deep red-purple-gold, spicy chocolate, velvety moss.
A giddy, sandalwood drumroll!
A slow and steady strut.
Mischievous! Exhilarated! Generous! Content! Grace-full! Vital!
I summon profound self-trust, compassion, equanimity and deep listening.
I conjure autonomy, resilience, eloquence, assertiveness, and observing.
I stand for justice, self-realization, and integrity.
I stand with my hands on my hips and stay present to the woman of wonder that I am.
I shift fear and shame, while at the same time knowing that fear and shame are mean to be felt, not resisted or banished forever.
It is onyx that defends against negativity that is directed at me, and at the same time it encourages a healthy ego.
And I know that nothing needs to be different than what it is.
I love deeply. I do vulnerability. I step forward. There is no veneer.
My voice, which resonates with the truth, gives me strength.
I speak my truth, with no sword on my tongue.
I know there’s no truth in the concept that anyone, anywhere, ever, could be disappointed, offended, or upset by me being my own happy and free self.
It’s just not possible.
So I am that.
I am myself knowing that to do so is my true purpose in life. And finally…I know that I deserve all of this and more.
Because I am Liberated.

Write your Liberty Story.