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A word on clarity, declarations, and the power of your voice (part two)

This is the second half of a two-part post. Click to read the first installment, in which I talk about the relationship between clear declarations and living the life you want to live.

Diagnosis: Hashimoto’s Hypothyroiditis. 

The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in the front of our throat regulates metabolism and energy. I recently learned my body is home to an autoimmune disease that has shut down my thyroid. Furthermore, my immune system creates antibodies to attack my thyroid when it tries to turn back on. There is no cure. It doesn’t go away. There is only lifelong management, daily medication, and a new normal. I don't feel qualified to discuss the medical details of the disease, I’m still reeling and researching, I’m simply here to thank The Universe for the lessons my new reality is teaching me.

By not expressing my fully authentic voice, I was slowly killing myself. Literally and spiritually.

The task The Universe has lovingly handed to me is one of reconciliation with my own voice. The need for this healing sits literally in my diseased thyroid / throat, and sits spiritually in the expression of my fully authentic voice. The metaphysical correlation between the two is real and it's urgent. I felt that correlation wash over me the instant the fourth specialist I'd visited looked up from my seventh round of lab results and said, "Hashimoto's Hypothyroiditis," touching her throat.

I show distrust of my authentic voice whenever I live by rules I didn't create for myself. I neglect my authentic voice when I say yes but feel no. I disrespect my authentic voice when I strive to align my life with people's opinions of who I should be. I abuse my authentic voice when I numb out in any number of unhealthy ways and mask shame with meticulously curated perfectionism. In true perfectionist fashion, I've absolutely mastered all of it. I've carried on for decades.

The disease is genetically inherited (my mom was diagnosed one month before I was), but what I need to forgive is the fact that I am still responsible for much of what fed this disease for years prior to my diagnosis. I've built a successful career in higher education in which I use my voice all day every day; a voice that is intelligent and insightful, expert even. I was traveling and consulting nationally, keynoting conferences in packed hotel ballrooms when I was 24 years old. I completed a Master's degree on my own time and dime, and became a department head by age 27 because I wanted to lend my voice to big visions and change the system. I worked 60-hour weeks for a decade straight because I was driven, obsessive compulsive, and mistakenly thought I could handle it. I've stood my ground and ended relationships with the anemic religion of my youth and the disrespectful men of my twenties. No one who knows me would accuse me of being passive; but while I can cite all that active expression in my life, what I need to forgive myself for is simultaneously frying my adrenals, destroying what little thyroid I had, ignoring my body's requests to slow down, and pushing aside my fully authentic voice, telling her "someday."

No more someday. Now.

My authentic voice is now clear about the life I actually want to live. My authentic voice has unapologetically declared my intention to quit my job and travel the world. My authentic voice knows that living the life I want to live is not irresponsible, it's not selfish, it's not naive or shortsighted. It's brave. Period. My authentic voice knows the work that needs to be done is really fucking hard and really fucking scary. I don't know what it looks like to not have a full-time job providing my salary and health insurance. I don't know what it looks like to travel the world with an autoimmune disease that requires specific medications and treatments. I don't know how my body will react to the piles of new prescriptions pumping through her right now. I just don't know.

But here's the magic of speaking from my fully authentic voice: I don't need to know. 

The Universe is welcoming me with open arms, thrilled that I've made it this far. I can feel it with every chronically fatigued, shaky cell in my body. She'll take care of it. I will live my way into the answers. I will make this path by walking. My new mantra is what Jen Sincero writes in You Are A Badass: "Your job isn't to know The How, it's to know The What." I am crystal clear on my What. My declaration is made. It's happening. Living my way into The How is now my co-creative tango with The Universe.

I Failed! Also Titled: Why My First Rejection Letter Is So Awesome.

A word on clarity, declarations, and the power of your voice (part one)