The Broken Hearts Club: Finding Power in Your Experiences

February 16, 2011

In the service of love, only broken hearts will do. [Max Cleland, Strong at the Broken Places]

As of late, I have been thinking a lot about ambition, and what it means to be authentically YOU in choosing your profession and how you represent yourself. I happen to be in the business of honesty, but that in and of itself is a hard choice. One of the things that I first learned when reading the Fire Starter Sessions, is not to get good at doing things that you hate doing.

Throughout the course of my life: I have been very good at doing things that I hate very, very well.

We all want to succeed. But, what happens when you are such a good little succeeder that you find yourself ten years later kicking ass doing something that you never really loved doing in the first place. It is much easier to just stay on the track that you’re on than reinvent yourself and start anew. When you’re on on track, you are provided with the calm comfort of money in the back (sometimes), and knowing what tomorrow is going to look like, more or less.

I love knowing what tomorrow is going to look like. I’m the kind of girl that lives habitually. I pack my lunch. I set up my coffee maker the night before. I drive the exact same way every single morning. I love few things more than a good routine.

Being true to yourself, and living intuitively, is embarking on a sort of anti-routine.

One of the hardest parts about intuitive eating for me was always knowing what to put in my refrigerator, or pack for lunch the night before. How can you plan on a whim? How can you resolve to honestly listen to your needs/wants when what you need/want might be something that you haven’t quite prepared for?

Taking risks is good practice. Breaking your routine often will make you realize that there is a life outside your tightly wound day-to-day. Doing things that scare you? Crucial.

Love is a Fruit

image by lel4nd

Part of doing what you’re good at is embracing who you are. This Max Cleland quote spoke to me immediately when I was having a crisis of faith about how much to disclose here and how to best serve my readers. In the service of love, only broken hearts will do. Each and every one of us has strength in our own experience. If I had never had my heart broken, how could I know what it feels like for it to slowly mend over time, taking space to really feel my emotions, and know that someday you will feel whole again.

In reconsidering why I blog, I have decided that my best work comes from remembering my really hard, dark places, and feeling compassion for myself during those moments. This is one of the many reasons that the Teen Week project was so very important for me – part of my recovery means writing to myself in my most vulnerable moments.

We will always be the experts in our own experience – one of the many reasons that we will always be at our best working in projects that we are personally invested in. The mainstay of my experience as a person is in learning how to love myself, better, more completely, and in a way that allows me to move forward and support myself absolutely in whatever I choose to do next. This is what I have to offer the world. This is what I’m good at. And now? Learning how to do that in a more productive, ambitious, and creative way.

As the expert in your own experience, what is some of the best advice you can give to someone else about learning to love yourself and live authentically?  What are you really good at?