Metaphorically speaking even though this story is pretty literal.....
This story dropped in my mind a couple weeks ago but my inner critic has been doing one helluva job as gatekeeper trying to block me from sharing because this story reveals my humanity and my inner critic has worked her whole life to keep people from seeing the things that make me human. This is exactly why I feel called to share. I warn you this is literally about 💩💩 (and metaphorically how we learn to deny our humanity). If this is gonna turn you off then stop reading now 🛑 ✋🏼.
Apparently, I liked to talk about poop so much in nursery school that my teachers had a meeting with my mom and discussed kicking me out if I didn't knock off the 🚽 talk . Now as a mama all I can think is, “did anyone take me to the bathroom because I probably had to go??”
This is especially true given I was encouraged as a child to hold my poop and only go in the comfort of my home. We avoided public restrooms at all costs. I never really thought much of it because this was my “normal” and I adapted as kids do. And I never realized how this early message caused shame and disconnection from my body. Plus a lot of energy holding back something that is 100% natural. Side note: why is poop such a taboo subject?
I never realized how this early message caused shame and disconnection from my body. Plus a lot of energy holding back something that is 100% natural.
Fast forward to those early months of my relationship with my husband when we were falling in love and it was so special and new. Incrementally we'd spent more and more time together, one night turned into a weekend which became a long Valentine weekend. After a full weekend of delicious meals around Boston we would celebrate our first Valentine's with a couples massage followed by a romantic dinner of fondue. Or as I now say fonDON'T.
All of this sounds pretty amazing, right? Except when I remind you that I learned shame around pooping and had a history of holding until it hurt (this goes for far more than poop). That weekend was no exception. I held my bowels for 4 days. I DO NOT advice this. This takes a helluva lot of control and caused a helluva lot of discomfort. And was 100% rooted in shame around being human.
How in the heck was I supposed to relax during a massage with my husband in the room and a gut full of stool? And how was I supposed to enjoy the creamy, cheesy and chocolatey fondue🧀 🍫 ? It was a nightmare though he had no idea because as I said last week, I was masterful at pretending.
And I'll never forget our honeymoon/babymoon in Key West when at 28-weeks pregnant I launched a code brown in the restaurant bathroom and I proudly shared with my hubby who was glowing because he knew what a big deal this was. Healing isn't always 🌈🦋. Sometimes it's learning to embrace our 💩.
I'm sharing to highlight just how incredibly hard I once worked to hide my full humanity and how early childhood messages live in us until we CHOOSE to release them (pun intended). I learned to feel ashamed about something that is natural. In fact, I learned to feel a whole lot of shame around my TRUE NATURE and therefore to hide my shit-once again literally and metaphorically speaking.
My shit being my full humanity. I poop. I bleed. I feel everything. I cry. I rage. I explode. I lose my way. I snap. I criticize. I try to control. I make mistakes. I fail. I FEEL. I cling. I withdraw. I dream. I desire. I shine my light. I cast a shadow. I laugh at my own jokes. I don't know. I change my mind. I change my mind again. I compare. I hide out. I come forward. I question. I change my mind. I need. I need a lot. Then I need more.
This is what it means to be human with bodily needs, ever changing moods and emotions, maladaptive responses to stress and relational wounds. We are not above or below one another. I feel so called to be a stand for what is REAL. The only way to do this is to open up and share the things that are real for me from moment to moment. And I just couldn't keep this story in any longer because it so perfectly brings lightness to the heaviness of shame.
In a world where people work so dang hard to hide their flaws, scars, imperfections, emotions, wounds, wrinkles, rolls and humanity it is a HUGE act of courage to let ourselves be witnessed FULLY.
We are either resisting being human or responding to being human.
Resistance to being human is rooted in fear (and shame) and feels like contraction, tightness, tension and holding our breath. This can look like rigidity, control, perfectionism, people pleasing and pretending. Aka holding and hiding ya shit!
Responding to being human is rooted in love and feels like expansion, release and a deep exhale. This looks like being attuned and in harmony with one's needs, complexities, body/mind/soul as well as the environment you are in.
Here are some journal prompts to support your self-reflection:
Are you denying or embracing your true nature?
Where in your life are you still full of shit AKA hiding/holding?
What shit are you holding? And why?
And finally, how would your life be different if you learned to LET IT GO?
As always, be gentle with yourself as you sit with these questions. Think curiosity & compassion. And REPLY here if you have a story that wants to be witnessed. At this point I think we've established that it's ALL welcome here.
One more thing….my inner adolescent is equal parts delighted and horrified that I went here. 🤩😲