I am re-posting a blog entry.
I was called to re-think this blog entry because I have been witness to a collective cry from friends, colleagues and clients alike who struggle with comparison and self-flagellation. So therefore, I will remove the veil of my not-so -perfect (very often ugly) life to allow the judgers to relish and the supporters to applaud.
If I touch one life--it is worth me exposing my dirty laundry.
Women, in particular, have been growing in numbers as they greet me with a cloak of shame and unease while professing modest transgressions. They have been ruminating in a place of unworthiness for large chunks of their lives because they feel they do not deserve goodness. This message is substantiated by the consistent regularity of their social media news feeds enforcing that their neighbors are doing good and living well. This nuanced dance of feeling shame-- coupled with the profundity of imaginary lives on Facebook or Instagram creates a chasm of isolation that is rising to epidemic proportions.
So as I let you into me raw, not so perfect life- I hope you too -do not feel alone.
Please refer to the prologue below. If you can relate ---please let me know.
If you feel called-- let the world know of your beautiful imperfections that allow you to feel this human experience. Judge me or Join Me. Just don't ignore this call to action.
I keep telling myself that I am real. I thought I was a real girl that all relate with....and then I got a reality check.
Yep- this is what I thought until this morning. Before this morning, 5am on April 16th, 2019-I thought I had my realness down pat. I have good girlfriends--a kaleidoscope of different ladies who enlighten, energize and make me just so proud. I felt I knew their struggles-mom struggles, body image struggles, work and relationship obstacles. And then I woke up.
Today is the day I start being authentic.
Julie you are real. #realgirl. Yep- this is what I thought until this morning. Before this morning, 5am on April 16th, 2019-I thought I had my realness down pat. I have good girlfriends--a kaleidoscope of different ladies who enlighten, energize and make me just so proud. I felt I knew their struggles-mom struggles, body image struggles, work and relationship obstacles. And then I woke up.
I am not real. I am fake.
So here you go.
I will try to paint the picture so you can imagine my puffy eyed, uninspired body curled up in my bed while combatting an inner monologue. This monologue began with, "This sucks, I am tired, I am defeated, I have no drive today". Again, my alarm rings. I think to myself, if I am real, why am I so guarded about myself? Why don't I shout it to the world that I always think about the pudge around my tummy? Why don't I post on Facebook that I obsess about getting to my next exercise class- and explain that working out is a chore now and no longer shifts my spirit? Why do I feel so defeated when my , normally cheerful 14 year old passes me in the hall and does not acknowledge me? And why do I further an illusion by posting on social media the cutest picture of us together? Why am I not the best wife I can be- I mean does anyone know I struggle? Does anyone else worry about this? #wifefail. Why do I fear people seeing me without my make-up mask? Why do I live and die by online shopping (okay--I think this is an acceptable flaw). I mean- this list is countless. My flaws are too many to even enumerate in this tiny, miniscule blog. But--why if I am so flawed-do I insist on filtering these human experiences and twisting them into something beautiful? Social media is a fairy godmother.
Me. Circa 1984
Social media, grants me, with her magic wand the ability to hide behind fantastical posts. And maybe--this makes a mockery out of the real life that I am living. So if you look back into your childhood, look at real pictures. Look at the one from 1984. Look at , a Kodak imprinted snapshot of your mom. Maybe your mom is wearing round, owl like, tinted glasses. She doesn't seem to fuss with untucked shirts, her frosted hair, messy house, messy kids or messy times. 1984 was not filtered or photoshopped. 1984 was as real as it gets. And in today's world it is hard to harness truth in pictures. Now we have become experts on building our very own --personalized brands. #perfectbody This personalized branding ensures we are always happy. Branding gives us the divine ability to birth perfect, perfect little children who are perfectly dressed and perfectly posed. And if perfection is not produced there is a simple remedy--DELETE it. #perfectionisnotforme
We are all on a journey. And we should, as sisters and brothers, embrace our struggles. Let us use our Social Media fairy godmother for good. Post a real pic of you on #julielokuncoaching or my Facebook page-Julie Lokun Coaching. Let us start a revolution. Let us get real. It starts now. Not so bad getting real. Feels pretty good. #getrealcampaign
I am a divorcee
As a coach, I do not offer up personal information in our conversations because coaching is a sacred space for my clients. However, many of my clients talk about the pain of their divorces. It is the ambient beat of women and men facing the disintegration of the dream they had, probably since childhood, of their "happily ever after".
I often want to interject--I KNOW! I KNOW! That was me! This pain is real and it will be ok--I promise. I have felt the shame of failure. I have looked gripping despair dead in the eyes. And I made it to the other side.
15 years ago I went thru the hardest time in my life. It was a grueling half decade of self flagellation, doubt and drama. I inflicted untold scars upon my children. And after remarrying my second husband, I struggled too. Who am I? Am I good enough? This path of embracing my past and releasing it has become a critical source of healing.
I have ADHD
For years, I felt stupid. I clearly remember before entering law school, the Dean of Students required an in person meeting prior to my acceptance. I trudged downtown, 7 months pregnant in the sweltering mid-summer Chicago heat to be met by Dean Johnston. Johnston was a stern older gentleman with icy blue eyes and a soft, hypnotizing cadence.
He sat me down and began a gentle interrogation--
"Ms. Drost- do you have a learning disability?".
I scoffed. What is he talking about? Apparently my test taking skills were sub-standard and my admittance would be conditional. I left the austere walls of academia in a sweat soaked, mascara stained mess. How dare he insult me? I am an intelligent and focused woman.
Fast forward 16 years--I am sitting in a beige 10 x 10 office taking a battery of tests my personal physician recommended. I am face to face with a psychologist as I awkwardly attempt 8 hours of testing, I surmise that this intellectually advanced woman (doctor) at the other side of the table must be frustrated with her remedial patient. Dumb I am!
What appears, at first, to be child-like exercises in memorization quickly presented itself as one of the biggest mental challenges I have ever encountered.
Results- I have a working memory in 10th percentile which makes it an incredible challenge to recall a phone number that has just been given to me. I am equally as challenged with details of a colorful picture I just looked at 10 seconds prior. What this feels like is I have a fog looming in my brain when I am tested to recall fairly simple facts. I am now faced with the reality that I ha severe learning disability.
However, my communication and expressive skillset ranked in the 99th percentile. I suppose I have always compensated for this memory deficit. I believe, now, that looking back at this fact--if I had known of my struggle when I was younger I would have used it as a crutch. And perhaps, I would have talked myself out of college, law school, jobs and even starting my coaching collective.
And now, I watch all 4 of my sons struggle with this same challenge. And I do not allow them to use this as a crutch or an excuse. And many days as I watch them struggle I have to remind myself that this is what will make them valuable contributors on this earth.
I FEAR the dentist
This is perhaps a fear that stems from the first time I had oral surgery. My mom could hear my wails from the waiting room. I was having a tooth pulled and the anesthesia wore off mid- procedure. The dentist kept telling me to shut up. My mother heard this all. Today I am endeavoring in a long and grueling procedure of getting tooth implants. This fear may look insignificant to most- but it grips me in a way I cannot even explain. I work on it everyday. And I just wanted to let you know--your fears are not trivial. Your fears are part of the tapestry of your life. It is what you chose to do with your fears that change your life.
By spreading this message and embracing the failures of our humanness we can change the world. YOU GOT THIS GIRL.
prologue to my prologue: And this is a side note--for some reason, perhaps it has been a gift from the Universe, I never ever worried how strangers perceived me. I really think this is a gift I never asked for or wanted, but is greatly needed.
As long as I knew in my heart that I purposefully was doing the best that I could for the best people in my life I was content. I knew if my actions aligned with my core purpose things would be ok.
And this is the truth. So be it.
xoxo-love your, divorced, hot mess of a parent, legitimately impaired coach.
p.s. wait til y'all hear about my struggle with IVF and body dysmorphia!