We sat across the table from each other, sharing hot cups of coffee and pieces of a decadent chocolate cake I had made earlier in the week. One of my closest friends had come over to catch up.
We talked of love and fear and laughter and home and the daily joys and challenges of living. We shared secrets as easily as we’d shared the cream and the sugar for the coffee.
She was clearly unhappy.
Then I asked her a question I’ve asked I’ve asked a kajillion times before:
Darling, what do YOU want?
And then came the pain. The heart- wrenching can’t-catch-your-breath kind of pain. The kind of pain that no amount of chocolate cake can assuage.
We talked about existing and feeling numb instead of truly embracing life and living it. And she uttered the words to me that I had heard more times that I want to count from girlfriends and clients and strangers who have conversed with me over the last few years:
“I don’t know if I want to ask those questions because I’m afraid of the answers.”
My heart shattered into a thousand pieces, just as it always does, when someone – anyone – lives with that kind of fear…that kind of self-loathing…that kind of numbness. My heart shattered because I’ve been there. I’ve numbed myself with food and alcohol and sex at different times in my life so that I could forget about the question. I’ve surrounded myself with stuff in the hope of burying the questions under piles of clothes and shoes and knick-knacks.
But the truth, my dear, is this: You cannot begin living until you begin to ask those questions.
I would never lie to you and say that this is easy.
I would never lie to you and say that it instantly changes the world.
I can tell you, though, that when you begin to release yourself from the layers and years of numbing what your heart and soul are crying for, you will begin to feel alive. The passions that begin to blossom in your heart will also begin to burn away the fears. Loving yourself, and accepting yourself as you are in the moment, will push away the moments of loathing.
Love will begin to replace fear.
I can tell you that getting right within your own soul is the path to healthier and happier relationships. Because, Darling, if you don’t make your relationship with yourself healthy, then none of your others will be healthy.
I’ll be even more honest with you: I don’t have the exact answers for what you need to be happy and what you need to feel sexy and alive. But I do have something that will guide you along to those answers that only you can unearth: the questions.
When we arrive at the question, the answer is already near. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ihave other things I can offer you.
Make a leap of faith in your life and discover what you really want. Take a tiny courageous step. Begin your journey to the clearest, shiniest, most passionate and sexiest version of YOU.