Limitations and Deserving

Usually, when I stumble upon a big personal revelation, I dissect it in my journal. Then, if I feel lead, I summarize the journal entry summation and pair it with the relevant story to create a post. This time, I am just going to share the enter journal entry. I’m doing this because, while the revelation is personal to me, it is so common. So many of us limit ourselves based on what we believe we deserve. And sometimes we even stop dreaming, relegating ourselves to rational thoughts and plans, locked in fear and anxiety about lack and abundance. The middle ground between the two is the tug of war because making it and struggling. No one wants to exist, there but sadly most of us do.

The other reason I’m sharing the entire entry is because I fear I will water down the message if I try to summarize what was written. So for the first, but probably not the last, time, I am giving you a page out of my journal. May it reach who it was meant for and help spark your journey to healing.

As is the way of life, once I recognized my blocks, the universe sent me methods of healing and combating those blocks. This time it was in the form of a zoom call with the EAM group that featured a woman named Tasha Chen who was hosting a money attraction challenge at the end of August. Yes, that means it’s been almost two weeks since the journal entry was written, but it is no less relevant today than it was then. I am simply in a slightly better, but ever improving, mindset. I pray the same for each reader. May the universe provide ways to support you in releasing your blocks, fears, limitations, and resistances so that you can begin to create the life you deserve.

So without further introduction, my journal entry is below.


Today, during the Black Girl Magic Summit, I had a glaring epiphany. I had to write it down, and really work through it in writing.

Epiphany:  I haven’t just been hiding; I’ve been asking to be passed over and overlooked, often under the guise of a generous heart.

This epiphany is a pure example of believing in scarcity and the limits of the universe and myself. It screams, “I don’t deserve to be taken care of; I don’t deserve to have good things, not yet, not me, choose someone else.” Last year there was a chain post on Facebook circulating that required you to tag other women. If they agreed to participate, you sent each other gifts. Though I was excited to surprise and support another woman during the tough year, I participated knowing, believing, and asking (mentally and energetically) to be excluded from receiving gifts. So I did my part. I sent my gifts and reposted the chain. However, I stopped at the part that required me to add my name to the list of recipients, breaking the chain and ensuring that I would not receive a present. Part of me was so disappointed in myself that I actively prevented myself from being a recipient. The other was glad to have been of service but not spotlighted.

When I sent out those letters of gratitude, I outright discouraged people from sending me one back. I didn’t want the gratitude returned; I didn’t want to be seen. To be honest, for the next few weeks, seeing the mail person gave me anxiety. Little did I know, most people ended up just calling. Those were some awkward but amazing conversations.

This theme of not wanting to be recognized or spotlighted shows up repeatedly and gets worse as I get older. We were a one-income family when Monster was born, and times got extremely hard for a bit, especially when I was no longer able to nurse. I probably qualified for WIC, but I didn’t want to take funds from someone who wasn’t making it work. I got into a good amount of credit card debt those two years because I was paying bills with my check and buying food on credit. Similarly, I always (even then) donate to food, clothes, and supply drives, but I never accept anything for myself, not even when I needed the free supplies the most.

On one hand, I acknowledged that our lights were on, we were eating, and bills were getting paid (mostly) on time, none of which is true for others. So I didn’t see my need being great enough to take from someone who possibly wasn’t making ends meet as closely. I grew up being in a paycheck-to-paycheck household. I learned from the best how to reduce the gap between those checks as much as possible and how to reduce the negative impact of the gaps. The other hand is not as pragmatic. It’s a fear of asking for help. It’s the training of head down and make it work by any means kicking in and rooting itself. If I’d asked for a little help by just applying for WIC or finding a food drive on those weeks when we were short on funds, I would have kept myself out of debt and kept my good credit score.

So the epiphany is larger than credit cards and gratitude letters. I realize it is one of the reasons I teeter on the idea of owning a business, even though I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since elementary school. Owning my own business, especially as it will most likely be around writing, will require me to step out of the shadows and be seen. Well, that’s not going to work. Even on my blog, I use an avatar instead of a photo of my face.

While I am an introvert and networking don’t come naturally to me, during high school and college, I trained myself to do it and do it well. Today I realized that for the last few years, networking has become extremely difficult. I’m at war with myself as I struggle with being frightened and nervous about making too many contacts while knowing I need to expand. Too many people and I feel nervous and inadequate, not enough, and I feel safe and inadequate. I feel similarly about making money, which explains my financial situation.

While some of this behavior has turned dysfunctional; it stems from my belief that you are supposed to give freely without expectation. No quid pro quo. I detest it when you think someone is giving something out of kindness only to find expectations and resentment attached. I dealt with it a lot growing up, and I refuse to be that way. However, I can see now that I’ve taken that belief to the extreme. I am now timid to receive. And when I do, I stress about it; I’m so uncomfortable that (in the moment and a short time after) I often find it difficult to be grateful. I’ve learned who to argue with and who to just accept things from. However, today I realized for the past few years, I have been actively negotiating with the universe to either not give me something (like the gifts or letters) or to place a cap on it. Give me a promotion, but I know it can’t be at the level of X, so something between them and where I am now. Give me followers but not too many that I will become a known blogger and actually have to be consistent. Give me the ability to influence and help but within this tiny, ever-shrinking box because I’m no longer comfortable with the reality of being a change agent. Give me a good relationship. I know it can’t be a happily ever after because that’s not real, and it’s good enough that I’ve found my soulmate. These are all the things I asked for, including all those conscious and subconscious qualifiers.

Part II: Identifying and Unpacking Blocks

So right after my epiphany, a few blocks came to mind. The blocks and resistances were around making money, being in the forefront, and business (blog, publishing, other venture ideas), and feelings of scarcity and lack.

Along the same lines as being fearful of being in the forefront, I am slightly afraid of how much my life would change with abundance and if I actualized all my dreams.

My life fell apart when I achieved all my dreams. It happened more than once. And I always picked up the pieces and made new dreams, but over time my fearlessness was chipped away. Now, I am scared it will implode again if I reach my star.

I also don’t want to be held in high esteem or in a spotlight. The weight of expectations (and judgments) remind me of growing up being seen as lacking, and even at my job being seen as “great, but…” and “an expert, but….”

There is no buffer in my own business. Then again, I will finally be in control of my own narrative and image, which hasn’t happened lately…maybe never. Right now, that prospect is daunting because I’m not sure who I am. I don’t even know how I see myself. So it’s hard for me to feel comfortable presenting and representing myself. Maybe portray is a better word?

I see the connections. I see the double glass ceilings. Sadly, the one placed by society and my field is only slightly lower than the one I’ve placed on myself. I see that I lowered that ceiling bit by bit, one year at a time.

I am ready to release all of that. I’m ready to release my blocks and resistances around money, the spotlight, career, and business, and really around success, happiness, and abundance.