I stumbled upon this private journal entry from 15 months ago and I felt called to share it. I hope you find inspiration through my story.
June 16, 2015
[I was going through massive transition in my life: taking the next step in my business, completely just jumping off the ledge with no parachute; ending a long-term relationship; coming to terms with the expiration of a friendship; drowning in debt; and just really feeling life hardcore- “Swimming in life soup,” as my Life Coach, Sara Goff likes to call it. “Drowning in life soup,” was more like it.]
I don’t normally cripple under stress. Or at least I thought I don’t. But this time I crippled. The stress was unbearable. I couldn’t breathe. I was consumed. Suffocating. Drowning in overwhelm and fear and doubt and unknown and uncertainty. What am I doing? Am I even doing the right thing? Who do I have to lean on? Who’s here to support me? How do I even start? Where do I even start? There’s no way I am going to be able to do this. I’m so alone.
I was cracking. The feeling I had that day was indescribable. It was a complete mental, emotional breakdown. The walls were closing in on me. I felt crushed, lonely, scared, lost. So lonely. So alone. This feeling of being alone is crippling. A complete lack of support, in every sense of the word. I was feeling so much. As I sit here and write this, I realize what this all boils down to……
A complete lack of male support, of male companionship. I don’t have a father to call up and ask advice. What decision should I make? How do I go about handling my finances? What do I do when it comes to taxes? Can you help me move furniture? I’ve always had to look to friends and boyfriends, and friends of friends, acquaintances. And I’ve always found my way, found my footing, survived, made it work, figured it out, made ends meet, and ultimately succeeded in all that I ever put my mind to.
However, there is an element which is seriously lacking in my life.
Now, by no means am I discounting, whatsoever, my enormous gratitude for the people I’ve had and currently have in my life. I’ve been beyond blessed to have a tremendous support system of friends, coworkers, peers, family and even strangers. Always. Still to this day.
But, what I’m talking about here is the feeling of not having my father as my go to. I’ve never known what that’s felt like. To go to Dad for male support and advice. To have Dad there as an unyielding supportive rock in my life. To have Dad there to help me figure shit out. To have Dad there for anything and everything and to know that he’s always there to catch me if I fall. To know that dad won’t let me fall. Or fail. Ever.
This lack of a solid, supportive, I-got-your-back, role model father is causing me quite a bit of pain in my life. And as I get older, it’s striking me how it’s affecting me more and more. I thought I had done all the work around my childhood pain and forgiving my father for his neglect and abuse and fucking up his children’s lives. I thought I healed those wounds. I thought I successfully moved past that chapter of my life. I thought I had already brought all this shit up to the surface and did everything I had to do to completely clear it, heal from it, and utilize it as a positive. There was no doubt that I found the silver lining years ago and turned the pain into insight, wisdom, strength and purpose.
But I guess I didn’t. Clearly there’s still a certain level of suppression going on. As I get older and my priorities shift, I am realizing more and more how I wish I had Dad to lean on when shit gets rough. This lack of male companionship, of male strength in my life- in the way fathers are meant to support and guide their daughters- has left me feeling very sad. Very alone.
As I sat there in that car shop waiting for my oil change, feeling ALL of this, all of this shit coming up to the surface out of nowhere, all of the weight it suddenly crushed down on me, all of this heaviness, as I felt this breakdown boiling quickly up to the surface, I knew I was going to lose it any second.
I made a phone call. In search of male support, of the strong, male, I’ve-got-your-back-and-I’m-gunna-hold-you-up support, in search of not breaking down hysterical crying, I made a phone call. What I received on the other end of the phone was exactly the opposite of what I needed and wanted to hear.
“I don’t think you made the right decision, Steph. I just don’t want to see you fail.”
I don’t know where my next words came from. I wasn’t even quite aware I had felt it until I said it, but through weak, welled up throat of tears, and a feeling of absolute despair, I was hardly able to get it out without bursting into tears, “I just need support.”
To my surprise and with compassionate intent, he asked, “What kind of support do you need?”, a question which forced me to face this truth which has blasted itself in my face, without warning and with no resolve in sight. I paused for a long moment and again, a response came through me beyond my realizing I had even felt it.
“I need emotional support. I need intimate support.” The words barely left my tongue. The tears welled up in my eyes faster than I could blink, I hung up the phone, ran into the bathroom of the car shop and before I could close the door behind me, the tears bursted out. Hysterical and uncontrollable. Convulsing sobs. My legs no longer able to hold my weight, I dropped to the floor, knees into my chest and just fucking sobbed. I hadn’t cried that hard in God knows how long.
At some point, I managed to pull myself up and found my own eyes in the mirror. Staring into those slits all blood shot, puffy, and full of tears, I looked at the person staring back at me. What am I doing? What am I doing?!! What am I doing?!!!!!!!
I was so pissed at myself. And so mad. And so sad. I said it over and over and over again, until I couldn’t look at myself any longer because I was a hysterical mess. The feeling of loneliness, of emptiness, of fear, of not being good enough, of suffocation took over my body in a way that was so crippling. I had never felt anything like it in my life. It hurt so bad. The feeling of not being good enough. The feeling of I don’t have this. I can’t do this. I’m so alone. It was paralyzing.
Needless to say, the rest of that evening was spent on the beach, gathering myself and my thoughts, finding myself again, reconnecting to the ME I know to be true. I had to just sit with these feelings. I didn’t want to run away from them. I didn’t want to suppress them with alcohol. I didn’t want to shove them down with food. I didn’t want to devalue their gifts and wisdom with judgements of their existence.
I just sat with them. I knew I had to feel. And I felt them. I felt them all. And I breathed deep. And it sucked. And it hurt. And I wanted it to go away so bad. And I breathed deep. And I surrendered. And I sobbed. And I surrendered to myself. In that moment, that’s the only surrender I know, and I know surrender to be powerful. Until I had my head in level with my heart. Until I was able to operate from a place of heart center, instead of head center.
It’s in moments like that where I turn to God and ask Please be with me. Please be with me. Please be with me. I said it over and over and over and over again. Please guide me. I know I’m not alone, but I’m feeling really alone. Please remind me that I’m not alone and that you have my back. Remind me of what I know- that I’m going to be alright. As easily accessible as this truth is, many times I seem to forget and it can allude me rather quickly.
I believe in divine intervention.
Sitting there on the beach, as I pleaded to feel comfort in God, and pleaded to find resolve, and pleaded for the strength to see this through, all of a sudden, a conversation I had a week prior with this man- truly one of God’s messengers- popped into my mind.
We will refer to this man as A.
In this prior conversation, A must have sensed I had some shit going on, and completely out of context, arbitrarily said, “Steph, two questions.”
He paused, waiting for my permission. I gave the green light to proceed, “Yes……….?”
“Do you believe in what you’re doing?”
No hesitation. “Yes!”
“Do you believe in yourself?”
Again, not a stitch of doubt, “Yes.”
“Then that’s all I need to know. The rest will figure itself out and fall into place as it should.”
This beautiful soul. He believes in me. He always makes sure to tell me whenever I see him that he believes in me. There’s not an ounce of doubt in his heart that doesn’t believe in me. And theres not an ounce of doubt in my heart that this man has been divinely put in my path for a reason. As a guiding light and beacon of support. Over the past several years, this amazing man has always been there for me, protecting me as if I were his own daughter.
It was in that moment on the beach- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically weak to my lowest point of weak, literally crying out to God, seeking resolve, seeking clarity, seeking certainty that everything was going to be OK, seeking a relief from this deep-rooted emotional pain that came out of nowhere— that my prayers were answered.
I believe in what I’m doing and I believe in myself. That is my truth. That’s all that I need to know. The rest will figure itself out and fall into place as it should. This beautiful moment of divine intervention, being divinely recounted to me. I heard it so vividly and so clear.
I got the message!
I must continue to trust the process. I must continue to trust myself. I must continue to trust myself. I must continue to trust myself! I must not fall defeat to my limiting beliefs. I must not lose the distinction between fact and fiction. My fears and limitations are fiction. My truth is fact. I believe in myself. I believe in what I’m doing. I am good enough. I am supported. I do got this! What’s true is here and now. What’s true is what’s in my heart. What’s true is setting that intention out into the universe and trusting how it comes to pass. Trusting the journey and the process. Listening to my gut. Feeling what I’m feeling. And knowing that everything is going to fall perfectly into place just as it’s intended to. And I surrender to it all. I surrender to the pain and I surrender to the joy. I surrender to the divine unfolding of it all.