Holding Out for a Hero

Holding Out for a Hero…

S_A-hero-is-someone-who-has-given-his-or-her-life-to-something-bigger-than-oneself.For the first time in almost 20 years, I am single, and although I’d ideally love to be in a committed romantic relationship someday, I am truly grateful. You know why? It’s a new paradigm. I have learned, through harrowing experiences the last few very intense years of my life to be grateful for EVERYTHING. Cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment? Grateful. Flat broke? Grateful. Recovery? Grateful. Divorce? Grateful. Homeless? Grateful. Am I a crazy woman? No. I am a woman with a lot of faith, and finally and for the first time in my life, my faith comes from personal experience, not from a mentor, teacher, preacher, pastor, bible, book or billboard. It comes from getting down on my knees in inexorable pain and surrendering to a power greater than myself, the daily practice of step by step healing that has carried me through the most difficult period of my life, and from an amazing support group of people who love me for exactly who I am in this moment, not for anyone they want me to be or change into.

How can I be grateful for something seemingly bad, like having no money? Or getting cancer? The simple fact is this. These situations are opportunities to rely on the power of infinite love in the universe. Some people choose to call it God, the divine, Source, the Infinite…but no matter what we call it, we can all agree it is a pure energy of light and love that surrounds us when we can’t stand and lifts us up. It is this divine presence we must call upon in our worst moments and darkest hours. And then, somehow, if we are able to ask for help, and let go of our expectations of how things should and shouldn’t be, let go of how things are “supposed” to be, this amazing power comes in and heals us, changes us and transforms us. That is my experience, and I am not alone. Any person who truly wants this life of happiness, joy and freedom can have it if they are willing to surrender.

As a result of this recovery, healing and gratitude, a shift has begun, deep down in my bones. My self-deprecating sense of unworthiness has fallen away, shard by painful shard, and the scales over my eyes which previously blinded me from my own lovability have fallen away. For the first time in my life, I can honestly look in the mirror and say that I love myself. It isn’t a bullshit affirmation. I am not faking it until I make it. It’s raw and vulnerable and real and almost feels as if I am outside myself looking in. It comes on the heels of over 2 solid years of the most intense spiritual and personal work I have ever done. It comes as I finish 19 months of a battle with breast cancer. It comes as I have said finally without reservation, “to thine own self be true,” and refused to stand one second longer in inauthenticity. The road to my change is littered with the bodies of those who could not choose to follow me, but here I stand, naked in my truth, gulping the fresh air, knowing I am loved beyond measure by the spirit of the universe and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I am connected to you, though love, through pain, though humanness and through our journey together on this beautiful planet.

same essenceHaving said all of this, and knowing in the depth of my heart it is the truth, I also know today that I can hold out for a hero to share this all with. I’m not searching to fill a void in my soul that no human can fill. I am not looking for a soulmate, or the perfect match on my vision board to complete me Renee Zellweger and Tom Cruise style. You don’t have to either. Let’s join, and hold out for a hero together.

We don’t need a disney hero, or a knight in shining armor to rescue us or to save us. We crave a true hero. A hero dedicated to something bigger than just themselves. Someone who is real and raw and vulnerable and allows their partner inside and underneath all the beautiful to the ravaged and damaged. This person isn’t afraid to be real because they don’t base their self worth on any approval or disapproval. They don’t need romantic connection or human love to be whole. They know who they are and where they are going, and they know it in the darkest depths of their imperfect human soul. When they struggle they ask for help and search deep inside for the answer, without blaming their environment, their loved ones or their circumstances. When things become disjunct, this hero can look you directly in the eye and has the courage to tell you exactly what you need to hear for growth and change, then quietly listens as your voice speaks in turn. The two of you link arms, lock down and hold on to this roller coaster called life not because you don’t want to die alone, but because it’s much more exciting to share life’s ups and downs together.

You-are-beautifulFor the first time in your life, choose to know that you are worth all that. Knowing this places you in a state of grace and acceptance. There is no loud click of the biological clock, no white picket fence you need to install and no Caribbean cruise awaiting your decision. It’s the peace and comfort of infinite love and the space to be authentic which we revel in. And whether or not some beautiful person shows up to join with us on this path today, tomorrow or never, we are joyously content holding out for a hero. The paradox is this: You needn’t even hold out; the the true hero is YOU.

Transparency

She’s frantic, running ragged in the tiny maze of corridors, stuffing all her tender bits of pain into the crevices and crannies, locking up in tiny lockers of her broken heart the things she’s sure that others won’t accept. She wonders how she fits into schemes, roles and scenarios instead of how she fits herself to be of maximum usefulness in a true and passionate life.  She nearly becomes open and true, only to furtively look over her shoulder for who might disparagingly see. The woman in this maze of secrecy, self-doubt and shame used to be me.

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On the outside I was confident, funny, wide-smiling, motivated and caring. But although I was able to be helpful to others, I had no clue how to help myself. Inside I was absolutely terrified. Being terrified of what others think is pretty common. I was also terrified of what I thought about myself. The scraping pain of knowing I was unloveable and unworthy ate at the depths of my soul. I had a sinking feeling that somehow I was broken. And because of that feeling, I couldn’t bear to be real. The lonely ache deep inside me, told me I was the only dysfunctional one and I had better hide the fact. I hadn’t the faintest inkling of how to even begin to be honest, transparent and true.

The amazing thing is that, even in my terror, latent miracles bloomed. I truly believe today that the amazing grace of love flows through us all, whether we are in our darkest hour or our shining reverie. That is the miracle of oneness. Paul Williams on a recent Super Soul Sunday spoke of this same miracle. He spoke of how his songs were a light in the dark until he had the courage to recover. I know this musical thread has not only saved my life but at times it’s been the only source of the hand and voice of God itself. Because of these experiences, I know in the depth of my heart, we can be a channel of light even inside our own darkness. Like Paul, this grace saved my life until I could find the courage to embrace who I was, and by doing so, embrace oneness.

I met a new friend recently who seemed a little surprised by my commitment to be transparent. I had to honestly admit that after all I have been through, the exhausting charades, the people pleasing, the melodrama and the unnecessary suffering, I couldn’t fathom being anything else. To me, staying alive directly depends on my authenticity. To be authentic, I must be transparent. I cannot afford to hide any part of myself any longer. I need the energy I used to use to manage my life to LIVE my life. I need that energy to BE. I need that energy to engage and feel and experience. For me, that means I’m no longer afraid of answering questions directly. “Yes, I’m writing a rock musical. Yes, I only have one breast. Yes, I’m single in my late 30’s after 2 messy divorces. Yes, I feel deeply connected spiritually and yes I believe God loves me whether I am GLBT, republican, democrat, straight, succeeding, struggling, or anything else.”

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The divine is our source of all love. The divine is our source of all beauty, and hope and faith. We don’t go out into the world to gain these things, We are born with them. To be loved and loving is every human being’s divine birthright. To follow our true callings in life and live our passion for the greatest good of the universe must be our focus. Anything that reinforces the ideas that we are unworthy or unloveable just wont do. It simply does not work.  Say no to “Not enough!” Refuse to drink that kool-aid any longer. I want you to know, honestly, from the depth of my heart and soul, and from the voice of the divine that you are worthy and lovable. You can feel divine energy all the way down to your bones if you just ask and you don’t need any human being to affirm that for you. We don’t need external validation for what we know to be true in our souls. For this gift we can be truly grateful. And as a result we can be fearlessly transparent.

Authenticity: Healing Remedy

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Authenticity is the most healing remedy I know. But it doesn’t start out roses and daffodils, with a sultry voice singing you lullabies as you sip the sweet nectar of the gods. Nope. It starts flailing, uncoordinated, verbose in silence and yet silently morose. It starts in the trenches as a fight. But it’s a fight that’s worth every drop of sweat and every blackened bruise.

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For me, it started with swallowing a hard pill I couldn’t choke down without help. Honesty. I needed solid mentors in my life that could be transparent with others, honest with themselves and true to every fiber of their being to lead the way. But all this shining light of the people I admire, like Jeff Brown, Panache Desai, Chely Wright, Oprah and Deepak… was just a catalyst.

I had to take action.

I had to change my life.

Hiding who I was was killing me, and living as a fugitive from my own heart was eating my insides to the point of emotional and spiritual death. I couldn’t even fathom at the time that I had painstakingly started on a journey of epic proportions. All I knew, in the depth of my aching soul, is that I would die of inauthenticity if I didn’t escape the harrowing torture. Shame and fear were killing me, well before my medical diagnosis put the exclamation point on the need for a clean slate. Doubt and obsession were close bedfellows, and my life was unmanageably messy as I sulked and shivered under the cold clamp of powerlessness.

I couldn’t be more grateful for that today.

…Today I am free.

Because I broke the chains of people pleasing and self hatred, I know you can too. Have your ever felt like your entire life was someone else’s? Like you were watching some half-slated TV Drama, and you were the fresh face star no one has heard of yet? I have. I’ve heard the canned music and narration, and I’ve said my lines brashly in the full force of my ego. How? I had to drown my heart. The only way to ignore the depth of your soul is to drown it. You can suffocate your own voice for so long you forget what it sounds like. But thank all of divinity, it never goes away.

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My name is Paula Verdicchio, and this is my first blogpost for AUTHENTIC PASSION. Why write? Because when I thought I would die of inauthenticity, the words I heard through others, verbally and on paper when I was too broken to leave the house saved me. I believe in love and life and Karma and passing on what is freely given. I am compelled to share this journey with you.

I hope it paves the path for you to share yours with me. Let’s heal together.

Namaste!
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