This post is not about filmmaking. But it is about a part of my journey I’d like to share:
On December 31st, 2012, I made a conscious decision to spend 2013 falling in love with myself. This would be the year I intentionally take time to explore the facets of myself I was too embarrassed, ashamed or prideful to explore; to experience a whole other level of vulnerability; to relish in the joy and love that already exists inside of and around me; this is the year for me.
I’ve been spending the last four months doing the external things, like treating myself to nice dinners and watching movies in bed all day; but I’ve also been doing a lot of the hard inner work that is making me a much more whole-hearted, self-actualized human being.
I’m confronting my shortcomings head-on, instead of hiding behind them. I’m practicing being present in my feelings and desires. I’m confronting people about grievances I have with them when I have them (all my life, this has actually been a very difficult thing for me to do). I’m embracing those who are positive influences in my life and who affirm me, while letting go of those who are not. But the biggest thing that I am journeying towards is my unconditional embracement of the fact that I am enough.
These three words sound so simple, but I realize not many people truly, truly believe this about themselves, including myself at times.
I am a confident person with an indomitable spirit. I was raised to always walk with my head held high – and I do, literally and figuratively. But then there are those moments, like when I am afraid to engage in conflict with someone I care about out of fear of losing them; or when I hide behind this false shield of perfection, instead of standing tall in my imperfections and my most authentic self.
All of these moments require an immense amount of vulnerability, and in being vulnerable I am sending the message that I am enough. Even after a confrontation, in spite of my imperfections, even during my moments of self-doubt and fear – I AM ENOUGH. I am enough to be loved, whole-heartedly and unconditionally. I am enough for any film festival, distributor or grant. I am enough for my friends, family and students. I am enough. Chinonye Chukwu is enough.
Ever since my first rejection for AlaskaLand, I’ve been doing a lot of vulnerability work, and confronting my own shame and embarrassment (so many of my blog posts since then have reflected a level of me exploring my own vulnerability). But these past fourth months, and what will be a long time after that, I am practicing vulnerability and courage (I really believe true courage and strength come from being vulnerable) and actively embracing my own self-worth.
My life already feels so much lighter, my work is already getting so much stronger, and I am connecting to an even deeper love and joy within myself that I’m finding has existed all along.
A few clips from two videos that really helped me on my journey are led by Dr. Brene Brown:
On Daring Greatly, The Courage To Be Vulnerability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YeulUgWNp8
On Vulnerability Being Your Greatest Strength: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi0IEOBDRpQ