I was searching the internet for an electronic version of one of my favorite quotes by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
I clicked on this article from USA Today, and I have to say I was more than a bit surprised.
It was an article about this brilliant author that most of us came to identify with through her best-selling books of the 90’s, Simple Abundance, and my own personal favorite, Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self.
But it was not the story I was expecting - the story of an author who found amazing success writing about her beautiful philosophy of everyday abundance.
No, this was the story of what happened after the success. The story I did not know about. The one where she lost everything and found herself washed up on her sister’s couch with only her old cat and the clothes on her back.
Because, you see, my beautiful friend, although we’re always so quick to assume that everyone else has something that we don’t, that everyone else – and especially a successful author like Breachnach - has something that we lack and thus we can never have what they have, the truth is that there is always so much more to these stories.
And as we read here, this is about so much more than the outward loss.
“The problem wasn't money. It was her emotional baggage about love and pleasing others that she attached to money, dating back to childhood.”
It was the shame.
“The worst was the shame. Here she was, a best-selling self-help expert, swamped by bills she couldn't bring herself to open, much less pay, whose creditors were threatening to call Oprah and expose her.”
Even though she was a hugely successful writer, she still fell prey to the same emotional traps that plague nearly all of us. She still fell into the same pitfalls on the journey to love, the journey to finding herself, that we all fall into at one time or another.
We're all human.
Do you see a pattern here? It doesn’t matter what you achieve on the outside. It doesn’t matter what kind of name you make for yourself or what level of success you achieve for yourself in the eyes of the world. It doesn’t matter how much money or love you find.
If you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t give yourself permission to live the life you were meant to live, if you don’t shed that old emotional story of having to please others and believing you have to do something or be something in order to be loved, then nothing is going to change. At least not for long.
Regardless of who you are.
So take them all down off of those pedestals you so easily put them on. Every single one of them, and especially the ones who you especially admire and look up to because they seem to have everything that you don’t.
They don’t deserve to be loved more than you.
They don’t deserve to be happy more than you.
They aren’t anything more than you are.
They don’t have anything you don’t.
They aren’t any “luckier” than you.
They're just like you.
You see, it’s always easier to live with ourselves when we can credit someone else and discredit ourselves. It’s easier because then we don’t have to do anything different. We can stay stuck, we can stay right where we are, believing that there’s nothing we can do to change our lives because we just don’t have what they do. It's something external.
It’s time to change that way of thinking, my beautiful friend.
It’s time to recognize all that you truly are! It’s time to believe in your own potential, in your own possibilities, and give yourself permission to live the life that you were meant to live.
Because living for someone else – or everyone else – is no way to live.
Because trying to please someone – or everyone – is an impossible standard that was never yours to live up to.
Because feeling ashamed – of anything! – is never what any one of us deserve, regardless of what we think we’ve done.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what your story is. You, that beautiful woman who has so much to offer, and nothing to prove, have everything you need to be all that you are, to create the life you were made for, to make your dreams come true.
It all starts with believing this, it continues with a plan, it happens when you start somewhere and keep moving. One step, one new way of seeing yourself, one belief in yourself at a time.