For years we’ve played small, pretending to be more or less of our authentic selves in order to be liked and accepted by people we might not even remember in years gone by. It’s what I’ve termed Parapet Syndrome.
Sure, you’ll always remember the people that hurt you and the people that you loved, but what you’ll remember above all is how they made you feel. Maya Angelou said something to that effect too:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
We have forgot this and made it about the dress, car, house, title, trip, and what we have when it’s time for us to strip it back to the basics and remember who we truly are.
We have bought into veils of illusion that we’ve accepted as truth when they were just someone else’s idea repeated enough times by enough people that it became something we accepted too; when we’re trying to fit in it’s easier to accept a crazy little idea about our inadequacies than it is to accept our greatness.
Culturally we suffer from Parapet Syndrome which sees us pretend to be less than we are because we learned early on that it’s more dangerous to stand out too much. When we do we activate the negative emotions of fear, jealousy and comparison in others and put ourselves in danger in the process, or at least that’s what the dream of collective consciousness would have us think.
I was reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s masterpiece The 4 Agreements: A Toltec Guide to Ancient Wisdom recently and in the first chapter he wrote of the collective dream we have all inherited before we had a conscious mind to discern the input we were receiving. It ties back to how much we fear how the judgements and rejection of others will impact our internal emotional state too.
Parapets are the high and low edges along a castle or drawbridge that offer protection against attack. Parapet Syndrome is the tendency to keep your head off the chopping block and out of the way so as to not become a target, but in playing small you also don’t get to experience and express as much of your potential as you could if you felt more liberated.
When I first moved to England and started promoting my empowerment work I started in Worcester where I was living with the man I’d moved there for. I got permission to host a workshop at a local artisan type space and as my ex and I walked the streets together handing out flyers to promote it, we kept hitting the wall of ‘not sure so not interested’… to be fair, it was disheartening but it also introduced me to the idea of Parapet Syndrome because I believe many of these women declined because they were scared of what they’d find.
We have been trained to seek answers and most everything outside of ourselves and yet it’s only when we go inside that we can truly find our authentically fabulous self.
We look to others to approve of the outfits we wear, the cars we drive and houses we live in but the truth is it is only when we get quiet enough to listen to the still small voice deep inside of our heart that is begging us to let more of our amazing self out.
It’s selfish not to share your gifts with the world and I realize I’ve been hiding my own in the name of ‘the book’.
Perfectionism is one of parapet syndrome’s silent weapons because it makes you feel like you’re being productive ‘getting it right’ but we are all works in progress so when is enough ever really enough?
I got so attached to finishing my book that for the last year I’ve been writing and writing and writing without sharing all the wisdom I’ve gained from the process. Maybe pieces here and there but nothing close to all that I’ve done, and yet I fell into the ‘not good enough’ trap without even realizing it.
By holding everything back till the ‘grand reveal’, I realized I’ve been holding myself in limbo unnecessarily.
A book is the container for amassed wisdom and while I can’t wait to announce its arrival, I’m more focused on getting this information into the hands of those hungry to hear it and if you’re one of those individuals be sure to sign up for my free video series on my website so I can email you the puzzle pieces I’ve acquired as they come.
You’ll be hearing from me more regularly because I don’t think any of us can afford to not know what I’ve been learning, studying and writing about this past year because now is the time for us to master our emotional body and that’s part of what the teachings I’ll be sharing are about.
It’s easy to look back on past relationships and opportunities that didn’t turn out as we’d hoped and to think of them as failures but the truth is that it’s all brought us to the present moment with the awareness we have now to deal with what’s coming next.
As you become the Hero of your own story it’s vital to realize that every painful experience has made you stronger and able to help others dealing with something similar for it. Maybe not now while you’re still in the heart of the valley of transformation, but soon enough things will get easier as your climb evens out at a higher altitude.
It’s about realizing that every experience has been purposeful and fully part of the Divine Plan we are all part of.
No more hiding or waiting for the grand reveal of a single masterpiece. Instead you’re going to get the pieces as I birth them and it’s going to hit your inbox every few days moving forward so be sure to share this with friends you think could use some guidance on the Hero’s Journey they are maneuvering too.
Laura JE Hamilton