There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.
But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.
This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way. My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.
I fell in love with Dr. Martens when I was in high school. I’m now a few months shy of my 40th birthday. It’s been 24 years and I’ve never stopped loving them. I live in Minnesota now and just in the last couple of years, I’ve looked at hundreds of pairs of boots. Every single pair has been held up against the only boot I’ve actually ached to have on my feet.
When I met my children’s father, he wanted Docs, too. I bought him his first pair one year for his birthday and years later, I introduced my not-even-remotely-prone-to-wanting-Docs second husband to them. He learned to dig them, so I bought him a pair, too. While I was in my third marriage, I celebrated as my ex-wife bought herself Docs.
(There is an obvious temptation to wonder off into a conversation about my many former spouses and the variety of pronouns used to discuss them–two males and one female, if you’re counting–but that’s not the point of this blog post. Stay with me, people.)
Even with all of that boot giving, as you may have seen coming, I still never had a pair of Doc Martens to call my own.
The one who has my heart recently asked if I had brown Docs. I told her no, that I had no Docs, that I’d never owned a pair. I told her the story I shared with you above. As I was thumbing the ridiculous story into my phone, the series of texts made my heart ache.
Twenty two years of desire–frankly, regardless of what it was a desire for–remained unmet while was doing whatever I could to make sure that the people I loved had the exact thing that I desired.
I even spent about six years trying to teach my daughter to love them before I finally gave up because she grew frustrated with my persistent denial of her not-even-remotely-prone-to-wanting-Docs nature.
Seriously. What the hell was wrong with me?
Damn codependency. Again. It’s always Cody when the stories suck like this. (I’ve written a great deal on the subject. I can’t bear to go into it again here but if you need support around that, let me know.)
I spent two decades of my adult life (and many of the years of my childhood) obsessing about other people’s needs and desires being met. Or, worse yet, my perception of other people’s needs. Yes, I was not just helping people eat and have shelter and whatnot, I was making sure they had just about anything they want and what I wanted, too!
My love fabulously replied, “Wait. What??? I thought you sent me a picture of four or five pair?” Oh yeah, that.
Almost seven months ago, when we first reconnected, we were exchanging war stories, lessons learned, and things we enjoy, and I sent her this picture… of my dream boots. Apparently, she thought I actually owned them.
I looked back in my history and I still had the picture, still had a picture of boots that I hadn’t made possible for myself all of these years.
She replied, “Well, I know what you’re getting for Valentine’s Day.”
I actually wept.
The tears were not that I was finally getting the boots of my dreams. It was that I’d denied myself something so very accessible for such an incredibly long time. Dr. Martens were the metaphorical representation of all that I’d denied myself. And even in that moment, after that epic realization, it was hard for me to keep from telling her no. It was difficult to accept the gift of something I’ve wanted for more than half of my life.
The whole thing left me spinning. I felt overwhelmed by old stories rising from deep within about being unworthy, plus a flood of sadness and shame that I’d found all of this anchored so deeply inside me.
I’ve gone without so very much. Some of that sacrifice seemed… I don’t know… maybe more honorable? There were times when I honestly couldn’t do the things I needed and desired and feed the children. But there were many, many times that I could have made those boots possible for me. (And clothes and dental work and… oh hell, never mind. There’s a list. It’s long. I’ll leave it at that.)
And then today. This conversation. This wake-up call. This invitation to check those old, tired, oppressive beliefs, thoughts, and actions. I promised to put an end to this madness.
Plain and simple: I am worth having my needs and desires met.
I laid down all of that martyr crap and declared that it is safe to allow myself to experience desire. It’s okay to want that which will help me stay warm but also what helps me feel beautiful and strong and sexy. It’s okay to want Doc Martens, to want a freaking rainbow collection of Doc Martens… just as I have since I was a girl.
It’s okay to want this business to leave behind the “survival” stage and into a place of powerful abundance. It’s okay to want a damn near utopian relationships with these teenagers in a world that keeps saying it is not possible to respectfully co-exist. It’s okay to want to travel and invest in myself both personally and professionally. It’s okay to to want love that’s open and honest and breathtakingly beautiful every single day.
It’s safe to want to live my truth. It’s safe to want to really live.
Speaking of that love… before the sun could even set on the day that all of this unfolded, the beautiful one appeared with a most unruly love offering.
And just like that, 24 years of longing comes to an end, and my codependency journey is suddenly reminiscent of a fairy tale from my childhood. You remember it, don’t you?
I am basically Cinderella. Except that in my story that prince charming is a beautiful, soulful, remarkable woman, our castle is a tiny apartment in the heart of Minneapolis, the mice are a couple of fabulous teenagers who can’t sew the first stitch of a ballgown… and those glass slippers are actually a perfectly badass pair of brown Doc Martens.