When There’s Nothing Left to Lose

Lately I’ve had lots of people tell me how much they appreciate my vulnerability, my rawness, my way of putting it all out there.  Some tell me that they couldn’t do the same.  So I’ve been asking myself, how could I be so vulnerable, now? Why have I not been so vulnerable before now?

And then it simply came to me: when you’ve lost everything, there’s nothing left to lose.

IMG 1104 1 e1298498616279 When Theres Nothing Left to Lose
A Stormy Sky | A Stormy Life

Of course I say that tongue-in-cheek.  I still have my family, shelter, a car, my dog.

I’m kind of over talking about all the things I’ve lost.  It’s getting boring and old.  So if you don’t know, just know that I lost my business and the income to go with it, my house(s), cars, and lots of things that are usually found inside a house.  I went from living in my 4000 square foot home, to living out of a bedroom in my parents house.

Yeah, it’s awesome. (Again, tongue-in-cheek, I’m very grateful.)

Out of my enormous losses I have found treasures far more valuable.

Prior to my losses I lived only half truthfully.  I kept hidden the parts of me that I didn’t think would fit in. Whether with my family, my church, my neighbors, the boogyman.

Why?

Because I wanted to be liked.  Was I liked by all of my family members, church members, neighbors, and the boogyman?

No.

You know the old saying, you can’t please everyone?  I tried to please everyone, anyways (come on, don’t we all?). As if I knew what would really please, and as if they really cared.

NOW, I’m in the practice of ‘being’, with nothing to prove and without placing my value in results.

My value is in being.

And if I am being an imposter, or only a shadow of me, then the value that anyone places in me is erroneous, invalid and an applaud that is not mine.  And maybe that is why life could feel so lonely sometimes… when we’re only second-handers.

It’s lonely to be unknown, don’t you think?

I’m sure you’ve heard this one:

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~Andre Gide

I’m sure my being so open about my life makes some people very uncomfortable.  Or it embarrasses them.  I have no judgment about that.  I acknowledge it.  I get it.

What I know is that I can breathe easier than ever before.  Since I’m no longer resisting, there isn’t anything pushing against me anymore.  My creativity is flowing and finding a groove to rest in.  This shift makes me feel genuinely happy.  I feel free, without a cage around me.  I’m not so exhausted second-guessing myself.

I’m NOT second-guessing myself.

I’m just being.

And my being is the only way to truly reach others, to connect, to relate, to empathize.

“We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~e.e. cummings

“Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.”  ~Shakti Gawain

I know why the caged bird sings… because her heart is still free.  I could technically be considered caged with my present circumstances, but I’m freer than I’ve ever been.

omgbird e1298499029923 When Theres Nothing Left to Lose
Free Bird*

*Photo credits: http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff52/BrokenMarionette_AngelicScars/omgbird.jpg

And if I am being an imposter, or only a shadow of me, then the value that anyone places in me is erroneous, invalid and an applaud that is not mine.  And maybe that is why life could feel so lonely sometimes… when we’re only second-handers.


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10 Responses to When There’s Nothing Left to Lose

  1. Gretchen says:

    I sooo get what you are saying! too much of my life I have struggled with trying to make others like me, or just caring what they think when it isn’t supposed to matter to me. It has been a struggle to get over that, and in a way, get over myself.

    Love you, cous!

    [Reply]

    angela Reply:

    @Gretchen,
    Yes… getting over ourselves is exactly right!

    [Reply]

  2. Alana says:

    Beautiful. Allowing ourselves to be seen makes us vulnerable but I have found too, that it makes us strong, and allows us to step more fully into ourselves. I know I live with more joy and less pain because of it.

    [Reply]

    angela Reply:

    @Alana, Agreed, it absolutely makes us strong. Maybe because after all our fears of being seen, we realize we can still stand and are more resilient than we ever knew we were.

    [Reply]

  3. marilee pittman says:

    Angela
    In my 68 years I’ve decided to life the rest of my life without secrets or shame. It’s very liberating…. and best of all being honest with myself… loved the post.

    [Reply]

    angela Reply:

    @marilee pittman, Thank you, Marilee. I’m glad you’ve realized it’s never too late…

    [Reply]

  4. cry says:

    look up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhC1pI76Rqo its evenescence (everybodys fool) We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld. it reminds me of your words above. I call it my song with my sickness of depression and i just want to say
    BE YOU! BE TOTALLY YOU!
    I KINDA LIKE YA, GIGGLE

    [Reply]

    angela Reply:

    @cry, Great video -- isn’t she hauntingly beautiful? That kind of rage can only come from anguish over her own self-betrayal. I know that rage… but that is a thing of the past. I do know that our greatest weaknesses can one day become our biggest strengths. And there is so much hope and promise in that.

    [Reply]

  5. Tamara says:

    this is beautifully written angela. i too went through an experience of losing it all…and am forever grateful for it.

    [Reply]

    angela Reply:

    @Tamara, Hi Tamara! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad that you found the beauty in your losses. There are so many lessons there for us in loss.

    On another note… I wanted you to know that I got your email after you realized who I was from the retreat :-) I tried emailing you back, but it bounced :-( I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you.

    Thanks so much for visiting. And of course I remember you and your mom.

    Stay in touch!

    [Reply]

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