I embarked on a weekend at the Women's FEST of CAMP Rehoboth with the intention of meeting like-minded individuals who were confident, inspiring, and respectful of consent. To attract these people, I knew I had to embody these qualities myself. What would I have to do and be that I didn’t already do on a regular habitual basis, was the question I posed myself.
On my drive down to Rehoboth, Delaware, I listened to Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements audiobook. According to the book, when you are impeccable with your words, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best, you will have a sense of ease and less conflict. However, as I continued listening, I became agitated by his use of language like fight, war, and battle. Although the message was undoubtedly insightful, I found myself unable to overlook the contradictory nature of those words in relation to his message.
Upon arriving at my friend's place for the weekend, my mind kept going back to a situation from the previous year's event. I had met a group of people through a party hosted by someone I didn't know at the time, but we became friends through monthly phone chats thereafter. Spending time with that group of people ignited a desire in me for a community that I could return to year after year at the Women's FEST. However I learned quickly that I wasn't welcome in the party goers’ group chat because it was only for women of color. While I understood the importance of having a safe space for underrepresented groups, I couldn't help but feel excluded and isolated from a community that I had wished to be spending time with at the next Women’s Fest.
Do you ever find yourself creating narratives and imagining potential futures that you never share with anyone, only to have them become unfulfilled expectations that leave you feeling unsatisfied and disappointed? That's exactly what happened to me.
I attended the first dance of the Women's FEST with trepidation, holding onto my dreams but unsure whether I was welcome in any groups from the previous year. It's ironic how our fears can make us act in ways that bring about the very thing we fear, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the dance, I said hi to my friend but didn't fully engage with her due to my fear that her group wasn't welcoming. It was only when I confronted her with how I felt about her not seeking me out and staying with the chat group that we were able to learn what was really going on. She told me that she didn't approach me because she assumed I already had a close-knit group of my own.
By confronting my own assumptions, expectations, and fears, I discovered the truth. Emotions serve as indicators of potential areas for personal development and growth, rather than something to fight against. This is why I felt uneasy when Don Miguel Ruiz used words like "war," "fight," and "battle." Making peace with and accepting our shadow selves is the key to uncovering the truth of our authentic selves. I realized that I wasn't actively seeking the community I desired. Rather than taking things personally, I could have stood in my truth of belonging and invited people to join "my" friendship. Although I didn't have enough time to do so, I learned that next time, I would prepare by communicating my desires and not letting my fears prevent me from extending an invitation to those ready to join me.
Consider this challenge: Remember that your emotions are not obstacles, but rather, they can provide insight and guidance. Take the time to explore them and acknowledge their presence, and don't immediately assume that the narratives they create are accurate. Instead, listen to them, engage with them, and try to uncover the truth of what they are revealing. It's important to recognize that what we experience is a reflection of ourselves. With this in mind, ask yourself, "Who do I want to be at this moment?" and choose accordingly.
If you need help or support in finding your authentic self, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I offer workshops and one-on-one coaching to help seekers on their journey. For free resources to help you tap into your authentic voice, sign up by visiting reneebeyor.com/free-resources.
Ray Beyor, owner of RAY Life Coaching, provides her clients with resources and practices that clarify their values, set steps toward their purpose, and master confidence while facing fears with patience, compassion, and accountability. Ray’s training in attachment theory, codependency, yoga, meditation, polyamory, consent work, dance, and astrology is used to guide her clients into their authentic and abundant selves.
To schedule a free call or learn more, please visit:www.reneebeyor.com.