Firstly, a massive thank you to all of you who came out and laughed your hearts inside-out with us over the weekend. Seeing your faces, receiving your hugs, sharing your smiles, and hearing you laugh was a beautiful gift that makes me sincerely grateful. Zoom does not have the same feedback loop for a jester (like me.)
I still get nervous at getting on stage and sharing who I am with the world. I had to hold my nerve all weekend by focusing my mind on positive self-talk and gratitude. I spent years unconsciously tearing myself down, and it was hell. When I follow fear to its root, it boils down to being rejected and exiled to live in the woods, and I’m not great with wolves. I tell myself, “Lizzie, if it comes to living in the woods, you can adapt! Get out there and shine.”
It’s so easy for me to go into self-criticism after putting myself out there. Still, gratefully I can avoid that black hole today because I choose to be kinder to myself. It’s not about being perfect when I do Hilarapy; it’s about shining a light on the shame that kept me playing small for years. All I ever wanted was to be connected and feel a sense of belonging. Today, the connection comes from inside me.
I adopted negative beliefs growing up; too gay, too much, not enough, have to be perfect, the list goes on. Who can relate? Hands up! I used to keep those parts of myself hidden. I showed you only what I thought would make you love me. But instead of connection, I pushed you away. If you got too close, you would have seen how broken and unlovable I was. I had to keep you at a distance.
Today, I know those are the parts of me that I have to show you. It feels counterintuitive, but my vulnerability allows you to move closer. That’s what Hilarapy has taught me. I will only be lovable, good enough, imperfectly perfect when I say I am. What you think of me is none of my business.
Hilarapy helps me grow, and although growth can be painful, it leads to great freedom and joy. Thank you for walking with me. We all deserve to know we belong. I affirm to the depths of my being, “I belong, and so do you.” There is room for all of us.
Shine your light brightly so others can find their way.
Love and peace always,