With your crooked heart

The woman handing me the contract is named Monica and she is put together in ways that reverberate the word exquisite. Her white blazer falls perfectly against a well-tailored black dress, her hair is slicked back in an immaculate ponytail and her makeup looks flawless. She smiles at me from across the table, waiting for me to sign the page.

But I don’t want to.

 

THE DILEMMA:

#1
: I need the money.
#2: But she’s asking me for 9 hours a day. She’s asking that I wear heels, that I skip dinner with my family, that I give up my Saturdays. She’s asking for a whole lot — for too much — and when I plot out my happiness index alongside how much I’ll be earning, it is painfully and obviously not worth it.

I’m afraid of commitment. That’s what I realize after talking to Monica. I want all the trappings of commitment — the surefire certainty that comes with it like a pay check you can count on at the end of the month or a person who’ll listen to you when your day has been ugly — but none of the sacrifice.

My heart is fickle and nervous and, if I’m going to be real honest, scared shitless. Commitment costs and I’m tired of being broke.

I was feeling pretty sad about all of this last night. I used to think of myself as strong, as this valiant love warrior. I used to think that I was fearless. But maybe the truth is that I’m the Wizard of Oz. Maybe I’m a farce, an illusion. Maybe I’m a sad old coward hiding behind a big and beautiful idea.

This morning I re-watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. Let me tell you: there’s nothing like Mama Brene’s words of wisdom to put things back in perspective. Brene Brown is a data researcher and analyst who spent years studying the value of vulnerability and human connectedness.

Here are a few parts of her talk that really hit me (suckerpunched in the heart kind of hit me) the most:

  • A sense of worthiness; that’s what this comes down to… a strong sense of love and belonging:  There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who struggled for it. And that was: that people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. That’s it. They believe they’re worthy. And to me, the hard part about the one thing that keeps us out of love and connection is our fear that we’re not worthy of love and connection, was something that personally and professionally I felt I needed to understand better.
  • What do I call these people living from a strong sense of love and connection? Whole-hearted. These are whole-hearted people.
  • Here’s what I found. What they had in common was a sense of courage. And I want to separate courage and bravery for you for a minute. Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language, it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart, and the original definition was to tell the story of who are with your whole heart.
  • And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect.

I am stepping out of the illusion, using my words to echo truth into short distances, because I really don’t want to be at the mercy of fear anymore.

I am afraid of being known to my core. I am afraid that people won’t stay. I am afraid that I’ll never be good enough. I am afraid that people will move forward without me. I am afraid that I won’t reach the level of success that I dream of. I am afraid of being alone, like really really alone. I am afraid of pain. I am afraid that all this hope in my heart will end in ashes. I am afraid of rejection. I am afraid of being antagonized. I am afraid of becoming cynical. I am afraid of being boring. I am afraid that I’m wasting the best years of my life. I am afraid that God doesn’t like me sometimes. I am afraid of being so pitifully afraid.

I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid.

But I want to be wholehearted. I really do. And I want to start now.

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