I had a choice. Stay locked behind the armor and the masks I’d made my home and my identity, OR choose me. Choose the girl/woman who deserved freedom, safety, love, connection and the chance of a lifetime to be herself.
I chose me. Not right away though. There was struggling for me to create and habitual self-torture to enact. Because of these rituals, these patterns, I knew I couldn’t trust myself to do it alone. I had no idea what trusting myself looked like, or even how to do it!
Since the day shame entered my life as a young girl in the shape of violence and silence, I welded a suite of armor that I thought would protect me from pain, and I wore a mask that I thought would make me worthy, or more accurately, hide my unworthiness.
I did not seek help solely for myself. I only knew it had to start with me. I made my choice so that I could return the love to the people in my life that were giving me love. Also, for those who would show up later in my life to love me; like my un-born children. I had to, and still have to, break the cycle of unworthiness. The scariest part of making this choice was not knowing if I would be loved if I revealed the person who had been hiding. Not hiding out of not wanting to be seen, but out of not wanting to be hurt or loose the people I so deeply cared about. The fear of hurt and loss had cost me too much in my life and I was exhausted with being in their debt.
After meeting Misti and hearing about her work, I heard the whisper. The soft sound of my own voice asking me to reach out. It took me a long time. I thought I had to be put together more….just a little bit more. I thought I had to be a better at yoga or teaching yoga…just a little bit better. I thought I had to have my story, my reason for needing help to be a little bit more worthy of asking for help….just a little bit more. This was my self-made finish line of lies that would always get further and further away. I had to face the truth that I would never reach that line and what was beyond, what was possible, without help.
I have myself to thank for walking in the Pathfinders’s doors. I can say that NOW. That I thank myself. I can acknowledge NOW that it was me that braved the whippings of shames’s tongue. At Pathfinders, I was offered a space that was made for creative experimentation for the sake of transformation. A space where ANYTHING goes. A space where what needs to be released can be set free without judgement. A space that begot space for endless possibility.
Pathfinders is also where the feeling of safety woke back up. It was always there, with me, but I couldn’t feel it till it was felt. As a student and client, I have never felt more safe in a room to be bare me. Misti’s passion for helping others is as strong in authenticity as her compassion. Her continued practice to show herself and others compassion is what defines Pathfinders – “where compassion meets direction”. Here, a practice can be found that directs compassion inward, so that it can be unleashed; can be released out into the world and into the hearts of those we love, want to love, and will love.
I’m so blessed that I get to grow up again and rediscover the world. I get to be in infancy-like wonder with the girl and the woman I am, and have always been. I’m ready to fall and get back up. I’m ready to be messy for the sake of finding joy and love. I’m ready to take risks so that I can decide what stays in my heart and what needs letting go. I’m ready to practice being human and being Brittany.
Thank you, Brittany. Thank you for the armor you built to protect us so that we could live. So that we could get here, and not just live, but be alive.
Brittany lives and works in Nashville. She is passionate about her long time career in theater and acting/coaching as well as being a newly Certified Yoga Teacher. Her future plans include collaborating these two loves into something brand new to serve and lead others to live their best lives.