“The Privilege of Lifetime is being who you are.” ~Joseph Campbell
We’re all on our own hero’s journey. We arrive home when we find out who we are and learn to be her, becoming the hero of our own story. Sounds simple. It is simple; but why is it so gosh-darned difficult? Why do we fight with the force of a tornado against resting in the peace of our true selves?
Last week, I received a text from Liz Watson’s office asking me to volunteer this week. Mind you, I want Liz to win the House of Representatives seat for our 9th district, and I want to help make it happen. I’ve even volunteered to host a coffee for her in my home. But when they asked me to knock on doors on her behalf, I developed an instant tummy ache followed by a wash of shame. I didn’t want to do it. Not my thing. The me of yesteryear would have responded immediately and said “Sure. I’ll help however you need me to.” And I would have nurtured a low-grade dread until I just did it. And it would have been okay, and my people-pleasing gene would have remained intact.
The present me didn’t respond immediately. I stopped to take my emotional temperature. I listened to the whisper in my gut. Considered. Heeded. I texted back and declined canvassing duty. I’m always amazed by women who seem to have been born with a strong sense of self and an ability to say no without feeling guilty.
But then I thought of a way I could support and stay within my boundaries. I texted back and offered to deliver a home-made lunch for the staff and volunteers. “We’ll never turn that down,” was the reply.
I had a wonderful morning stirring a pot of butternut squash soup, chopping veggies for a fresh salad. Making cute little pinwheel sandwiches, cleaning strawberries, and rolling no-bake oatmeal energy bites. I was in my bliss. And when I dropped off my little mini-feast at Liz’s campaign headquarters, the appreciation of her staffer wiped away any doubt regarding the value of my efforts.
I returned home happy–feeling as if I’d made a difference. And I did it using my talents. Within my boundaries. I’m hoping the more I exercise this be-true-to-me muscle, the stronger it will become. The more I pause and consider what feels right in my gut before I respond, the more I’ll grow into who I’m meant to be. The more I practice not comparing myself to others, the easier I’ll rest in my authenticity and the closer I’ll come to being my own hero.
Yes, it is a journey. And yes, it is a privilege. And for today, I let me be me and it felt right. Happy.