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Naked in the line of fire

Joëlle Lydon – Photo by Deborah Neary




“Joelle, sweetie, honey, I can’t believe the muck and mire you have gotten yourself convinced of and trying to make a buck out of peddling it to sick clients.” ~ Aunt Nancy

It is appropriate that today is Labor Day here in the U.S. as I have labored over writing this entry.

I got the above email last week from my aunt (with whom I have not really communicated in 20 years) in response to my most recent post.  Since I made the choice to unabashedly open up to recount my story over the last few months, a sub-plot has been playing itself out behind the scenes….

By way of explanation, I have none regarding the direction I have chosen to take with my blog:  I’ve put potential clients on hold and all of my programs on the back burner for right now.

I am giving myself fully to dissolving these days.  It feels like the right thing for me to do despite not knowing why.  Except I am not who I was even a few months back – and yet I don’t know who I am becoming.

Many of you might have been reading my posts lately thinking, “What the hell does that have to do with coaching?”  Some of you have actually told me you are put off by the content.  And others, have just chosen to “unfriend” me because they are not receiving the kind of information you had bargained for.

I get that.

Part of living deeply and meaningfully means that not everything will make complete sense.  Sometimes life gets really messy, it presses up against all of our scariest corners, forces us to react like we have never done before while figuring it out.  It takes us to the edge of truth and pushes us off the false, solid ground of the mind.

Life is not tidy.  It’s not meant to be lived in packages.  It’s not meant to be put in a suit.  As I see it, my role is to share the wisdom I glean from the struggles I experience, in part, so you may take some portion of it and find yourself right wherever you are.  It is to share the process around exchanging the way I have done life up to this point for something that feels more real, more true.  It is to do so as I welter into dissolving and trust that part of me that knows my destiny to give me instructions about how to reorganize the remnants of my old identity into something altogether different.

More importantly, it is to no longer hide – which is not just healing for me, but for many of you also.

“For when I am weak then I am strong.” ~ Corinthians

I thank those of you for letting me know when some small part of my story resonates and ignites your courage to make change.

(That’s what this community is for: to create a container in which we can help one another especially through the mucky bits.  So much of these changes are kept in the dark – it’s so helpful to be shown a road map… even if it’s a bit circuitous.)

When one choses to stand, transparently, alone, one also choses to put oneself in the line of fire – and sometimes, those holding the weaponry are one’s own family.

This is the back story…

It occurred with my aunt, who first chose to anonymously comment on my blog under a nom de plume “Smotherbegone,” then through my website and Facebook (where I shockingly discovered who this mysterious person was), and finally directly via e-mail.

At first I opened my arms to the diverse, albeit a bit odd, view points.  And, when the comments became increasingly bizarre, no longer considered the content of the blog, rather my own character, I felt compelled to spam them.  The last of the comments is the quote you see above.

I guess the content hit a nerve.

I guess transparency was viewed as weakness.

I guess these tactics were thought to be able silence my voice and force me to put my “good girl panties” back on.

Smothered?  Nah.

Gone?  No way.

Be?  Yes.

It is exactly for this reason I am telling this story and I am in such deep gratitude for the comments I have received from her.

She is showing me the depth of the wound around this subject.  Not just mine, but hers as well.  She is showing me much healing is still left to do for every woman in my lineage who bought into the bullshit that silence and betrayal (of one’s sister, one’s grandmother, one’s mother, one’s daughter, one’s niece) was the way to keep them in line.  Taught within a structure that pitted women against one another within the family itself as the way women behaved out in the world.

No wonder it took so long to trust…

This is the root of my work.  This is the reason I speak aloud, publicly, shamelessly.  This is what has fueled my single minded desire for healing and to bring this to others.

The comments that were made these past few weeks on the blog just made me want to draw the line even more deeply in the sand.

This legacy stops with me.

I thank you for showing me the way.

I love and wish you peace.


“Troubled? Then stay with me, for I am not.” ~ Hafiz


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