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How healing my shame was the ultimate act of rebellion

I was the textbook rebel. Short spandex skirts, heavy metal music, smoking, ratted hair a la 1989. Yelling, raging, fighting, using my body as a weapon with anyone willing to use it and then throw it away. My rebel wounds were deep.

As a child of abuse, the child of an alcoholic stepfather and a drug addicted mother, my rebellion was a cry for help and a cry to be seen. I was told by so many people that I was unlovable not just with their words, but with their actions. As I grew into my 20s I got into shitty relationships and shitty marriages. Self destruction reigned supreme.

I spent the first half of my 20s stoned and drunk. I never truly quit smoking my precious Marlboro reds despite telling everyone that I had. My rebel shame took me down a road of duplicity and lies. I believed the “rebel without a cause” trope. In my rebellion I was an unlovable waste of space, unworthy of love and connection.

I didn’t heal those wounds until I was 35 years old. Healing my rebel shame and wounding took lots of therapy, daily writing in a journal, and the willingness to be so vulnerable and raw that I could no longer close myself off to feeling all the feelings.

That is the ultimate rebellion. Allowing all your heartbreaks to rip you wide open like a filleted fish – bleeding and exposed – ready for whatever the world has to throw at you. When you are open like that it isn’t excruciating, the earth doesn’t swallow you whole, you don’t die. In fact, you become ready and available to receive the greatest love, the greatest adventures, the greatest opportunities that God has to offer.

In my work today I work with many women who come from two different camps of rebellion. One group thinks there is no way in hell I am a rebel, I would never do such a thing. The other group of women are like me, they went through their “bad girl” days and still haven’t recovered. I know some of you don’t identify as a rebel, but you are. I know some of you identify well with the rebel archetype and you are ready to heal the shame of your rebellion.

I have not always been this vulnerable. Sure I have always been loud, I have always been saucy, I have always been outspoken. But, I was also shut off to all that love and possibility that could have been mine for the taking because I had built a wall to protect me from the critics who had opinions about my short skirts and sexy ways.

Your very being here is an act of rebellion. Your very willingness to explore outside the conventions of your upbringing is a rebellion. Your willingness to love and be loved is a rebellion.

Oh, and one more thing, Rebel School is not about teaching you “politics”. Yes, rebellion is a political act but it isn’t about traditional American bipartisan bullshit politics. Each one of us is a Natural Born Rebel. When you heal your wounding around who you are at your core, you will be able to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

Because of my healing I have more authentic relationships with my friends, I speak from a voice of love and my truth, I have released the need for absolute thinking, I experience a vulnerable relationship with my kids, I am able to tell my husband my whole entire truth. Because of the work that I teach in Rebel School, I can preach and educate, inspire and do magic, and embrace the entirety of all my parts without trying to squish the bits of me that are afraid.


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