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I don’t want to shame myself anymore for being who I am. It is one form of suffering I feel I shouldn’t have to endure. There is nothing shameful about me. Not one single thing.

I gave myself up this week. I spent the week trying to be someone I’m not, and in failing to make that person real, in pretending to be her. All the while telling myself that it is not okay to be me, or to have whatever experience I was having. I spent the week judging and shaming myself, and by the end of it, I felt more alone than I do when I actually am alone.

I almost went to bed tonight without asking for what I needed. Then I walked into my mother’s room where she was getting ready to sleep and said, “I really wanted you to come into my room and ask me if I’m okay so I could say to someone that I am not okay.” Then I burst into tears.

Nearly two hours later, we both went off to bed, and I was aware of how relaxed my body felt. It was such a relief to speak my truths and have them heard.

Regardless of anyone else, I want to experience the freedom in myself to be all of me. I want to give that to myself. I want to allow space for the totality of me. Without shame.

This is the work I do every day. This is the reason for 212 nightly posts. This is part of who I am. And, I am happy that it is.

I am an intense person. I have a lot of feelings, and my feelings can vary sharply in a short span of time. I value relationships in which I get to share my feelings. It is part of how I feel seen, and I need to feel seen.

I don’t want to pretend to be someone else. I don’t want to tell myself anymore that I need to be someone else. I want to love being me, with all the many, many things that are true about me.