One of those nights when you don’t stop laughing.
When you laugh so much the backs of your ears ache.
The kind of night you share only with long-held, trusted friends.
The kind who know you really well.
The kind you can be your true self with.
The kind you don’t need to put on a front, or wear a mask, with.
Finding Your “Tribe”
Except these weren’t old friends.
They were, mostly, brand new.
I had met all but one of them that morning for the first time.
We had shared an intensive, honest, wonderful day of training together.
Supporting each other and feeling supported.
‘Seeing’ each other and feeling ‘seen.’
I knew within the first half hour that I was going to get along famously with these women.
Our responses to the first group exercise had evoked a list of raw, colourful four letter words for the course leader to write on her whiteboard.
Nobody was putting on a ‘lady-like’ front for the lone male in the room, the assistant leader.
He didn’t seem to mind. Quite the contrary.
If anything, his presence made these women’s honesty and vulnerability feel even more raw and authentic.
They weren’t holding back.
These women were my kind of people.
I felt very at home.
Not surprisingly, we continued our camaraderie and connection in the pub afterwards.
We shared the kind of stories you don’t tell to people you’ve only just met.
And soon, the evening disintegrated into a riot of fun, juvenile humour and carefree, shoulder-shaking laughter.
It was a night to remember.
I was still smiling to myself when I got home.
And it got me thinking.
What Made It Special?
Apart from the amazing company I was in, what made it so special?
It was this:
I had permission to be totally ME.
And I recognised what a rarity that is.
We have our professional face.
Our mum face.
Our wife face.
Our daughter face.
And the dozen other faces we wear at the appropriate moment of every day of our lives.
Maybe we show our ‘real’ face occasionally to a few, trusted, carefully selected, confidantes.
But we dare not show the wrong face at the wrong time to the wrong person.
That wouldn’t do.
Because then, ‘they’ might find out we’re not what we seem.
‘They’ might find out we don’t quite fit the mould we’ve carefully carved out for ourselves.
‘They’ might find out we’re a fraud (whoever ‘they’ even are!)
But what if we are what we seem?
And a whole lot more besides.
What if all of who we are refuses to be shoe-horned into a neatly labelled box?
What if we owned ALL of who we are?
Even when different aspects of our personality seem to contradict each other?
Even when we’re afraid some people might not like everything about us?
What I Learned from my Night of Riotous Laughter
I am a mass of contradictions.
And so are you.
And it’s okay.
In fact, it’s more than okay.
It’s what gives each of us our own unique blend of amazingness.
It’s okay that we’re:
A consummate professional AND someone with a juvenile sense of humour who snorts with raucous laughter over a glass of vino or three.
Shy and introverted AND gregarious and outgoing.
Serious and focused AND flirtatious and whimsical.
Responsible and irresponsible.
We can be all of these things and more, often at the same time.
It’s okay to be who you are.
ALL of who you are.
In fact, living your best life depends on it.
It feels amazing.
Not Sure Who ‘You’ Are in Your Marriage Anymore?
Have you lost your sense of ‘you’ in your marriage? Are you yearning to get ‘you’ back, but you’re not even sure who that is anymore?
If so, get in touch and request a complimentary 30 minute Mini Clarity Session with me.
I’ll help you get clarity on what’s not working in your life and marriage. Then we’ll explore if working with me may be the right solution to help you make the changes you desire in 2017.