As many of you know, I've been hosting #theimperfectboss campaign to ultimately break the perfection myth around online business that exists. Many women entrepreneurs are posting their confessions and this is one of mine.
I am about to share this story, not for the shock or because it is a wild one, but because I want to prove a point that there is nothing that can disqualify us from being loved and building our dreams. Nothing.
For the last five years, I have wrestled and waded my way through an online sex addiction. My mistakes and my decisions led me into a lifestyle that stole more from me than it ever gave.
My first online business actually started in the middle of walking out this darkness. I thought maybe if I could build something amazing, if I could get people to see me, if I could just lean on my gifts, then maybe the struggle would stop. Maybe I would stop hurting. Maybe I would stop doing the very thing I didn't want to be a part of.
But I couldn't. No matter how many businesses I built and no matter how much work I did and no matter how gifted I became, my struggle remained a struggle. Follower counts didn't matter, income numbers didn't matter.
There was a war going on inside of me.
I can think of times where I would strip myself off the floor, hours lost as strange men and women called me a slut and a whore and I would stand in the shower hoping that somehow I could get clean. I'd run late at night to grab french fries and fountain pop, plop myself on the couch and craft campaigns that would ultimately change people's lives.
In one way, I was shaping and creating and being a voice for so many women and in another way, I was taking off all my clothes for strangers and thinking, "I feel like a prostitute, but I cannot stop."
I was filled with so much shame and fear, so desperate for breakthrough, with no idea how I would ever get it. I longed for a simple fix, I longed for a miracle. I wished and yearned for God to step into my world and be like, "ta-da! it is done." But that's not what happened.
Healing has come in my life, but not always in the ways that I anticipated it would. They told me go to church more, get accountable, pray more. But the more I did, the more ashamed I became.
Because you see for me, it wasn't about doing and fixing. I was longing for connection and the more you threw at me, "fix yourself!" -- the more haunted with torment I felt.
And so healing, that damn sweet healing. It has been in little moments more than it ever has showed up as a big game-changing minute.
I've found healing in warm hugs, in tender conversations, in therapy, in extravagant self-care, in people who chose to see me, in high-fives, in dreams made possible, in medication, in long walks and in this God who has sat with me even when I wondered how He could love me still.
And see the thing about addiction is that it takes so much from you. It drains your worth and your energy and your heart. I carry the scars of words I should have never heard spoken to me and moments where I gave up so much for one fleeting second.
But, I wanna tell you something. Yes, addiction stole so much from me and it is my choices that have landed me here, no matter what happened to me growing up. But, addiction has also taught me so much.
It has taught me that all people are really craving is true, genuine connection. It taught me that shame will kill someone's voice faster than anything else. It has taught me that grace is much more lavish than I ever believed. It has taught me that we are body, soul and spirit and that what we do in our businesses is affected by what we do in every other part of our lives.
It has taught me that I am human and I am flawed and I am broken. But that what makes me powerful is not an absence of weakness, what makes me powerful is when I surrender the weakest parts of me and say, "this is just where the light is stronger than most."
I wanted to share this to convince you that it doesn't matter what you're going through and no matter how dark it gets, you are still alive, still equipped, still full of purpose. You can still do your dreams, you can still take actions and you can still say yes.
Your perfection never makes you more fit for the job. In fact, I would argue that it is actually your imperfection that makes you ready.
Whether you have an addiction or maybe you struggle with fear or you wish you looked like that girl over there or whatever it is for you, let's remember this --
You are a miracle. I am a miracle.
The businesses won't heal us. The followers won't change how we think of ourselves. So, let's never forget to unplug and figure out who the hell we are when we're not on the Internet so that when we get on here, we can own ourselves and our gifts with full power.
One hundred percent.
Cheers to vulnerability this week, my friends. My story isn't over and neither is yours.