Saturday, July 21, 2012

Krista Allen’s Letter To Fear...

A few months ago, I was neck deep in planning and promoting a charity staged reading called “My Letter to Fear,” which benefited the East L.A. Women’s Center so they could continue to offer counseling and services to women who had been in abusive or other dangerous relationships and living situations and needed to gather the strength and the tools to fight for their freedom. Little did I know at the time but my friend Krista Allen was also working with women in a similar capacity. 

Allen, who recently returned to the small screen in The L.A. Complex took part of her TV hiatus to start working with women, many of whom are trying to break into the industry, on the importance of a support system and of believing that you are enough.

Her story and her spirit have inspired me for years, but here I hope she will inspire you in ways you didn’t even consider before.

And now a few words from Allen herself: 

“I get to help other people and support them and find a solution for whatever their journey is, in whatever their time frame is. Everybody gets it at a different time, and the coolest thing for me in being able to work with these women-- and I also get to work with children now and young women that are breaking into the business and things like that, which is really amazing, because a lot of these girls don’t have support. You know what? I came from a background where I didn’t have a lot of support [either], and so my choices weren’t very solid in a lot of ways. I was missing a support system. 

“The girls that I’m speaking with, or the women that I’m speaking with, they’re also lacking that. And it’s so amazing because I can show up every week at this venue; I can tell my story, and I know somebody there is going to know exactly what I’m talking about because they’ve gone through it and come out the other side. And I can identify with that, and it gives me inspiration, and I walk out of there feeling stronger. 

“The only person that these women need to worry about changing is themselves. That’s it. A lot of people look on the outside and go ‘Well, if he would just be good to me; if he wouldn’t cheat on me; if he would do this…Or if my mom was just—or if I could have just had a happy childhood, then my life would be good.’ People always look on the outside. 

“My whole take on this is going in and talking to people about their own core belief systems, which is all bullshit; it’s just not true! The core belief systems that we get—that little place from a long time ago from the first time you realized the world wasn’t a safe place. Maybe your mom would say ‘Don’t talk to that man! Get away from that dog!’ It’s not yours. Or it’s somebody that’s hitting you, telling you you’re bad. When we’re young, even as we grow older, it becomes a belief system that is bullshit. It’s not even yours. And so it’s learning to retrain and just remind your mind who you authentically are, which may not be these things, but you’ve lived your life in that way, so how is the world going to show up for you? 

“No one has to be stuck. It seems so easy to say, but it’s the hardest thing to do. I had a huge awakening—a massive, massive awakening. I hit a very, very dark place, and really, really let myself—I don’t know. This kind of feeling was just so intense for me, and what helped me was I knew somewhere inside of me that I was better than what I was living. I didn’t have to be in this place, and I didn’t have to subject myself, my family, my friends—I was losing everything, and I was continuing to get smaller and smaller. People lose themselves, and that’s what I did, but here’s the cool part: the women that come into these places, one of the things I talk about is ‘Hey, I get it, you feel completely, completely dead, but you know what? Sometimes maybe it’s that part of you that has to actually die. You have to lose yourself to find yourself sometimes—most of the time.’ 

“It’s really that place of really being willing. I look at different women that I’ve worked with, and they will listen, and they will thank me, and we’ll be there—there’s a lot of people who talk, but you know what? They’re the same women who show up every week with the same story. “I know how hard that is; I know how lonely that is. You don’t want anyone to know. But when you have someone on the other side that can hear you, there’s no judgment, and it’s coming from a place of ‘I get it’—how bad do you want to be happy? 

“I’ve seen so many amazing things happen; it brings tears to my eyes. Women who made a shift; they took their kids; they got out of a bad situation. It’s hard, but they’re so much happier, and they have a sense of freedom. They have support. And how people generally get into that situation is a lack of support and not being honest with yourself. 

“Say you’ve grown up with a certain body type, and you say ‘Okay, I’m going to go to the gym everyday’, and you go to the gym, and you feel fantastic—you feel really great about yourself—but if you stop working out, you’re going to go back into a place that you’re not comfortable in. And then things are going to start to fall. It’s the same with working that muscle in your head or your spirit. 

“I think my whole life I’ve been in a rush to get somewhere, and I haven’t been able to appreciate the moment that I’m in because I’ve been in a rush to get to another place, and that’s a really big thing for me and something that I encourage others to [get past]. When you’re so busy trying to get someplace else, and you’re not in that present moment, you miss out on a lot, and I take my cues from Jack [my dog] a lot because as we’re taking a walk, he’s sniffing, and I’m saying ‘Come on, come on, come on; we have to get back,’ but you know what? He’s in the moment! 

“You’ll get there when you’re in enough pain. You’ll get there when you’ve had enough. You’ll get there when you’re ready, when you’ve hit your fucking bottom. People might think they’re at their bottom, and you still have farther to go. And that was me…and finally, it was just that awakening moment of ‘If I do not do something to change my thinking, to change my life, to change my thoughts, I’m never getting out of this place, ever.’ I had to break through every single fear that I had in that moment and go for it.” 

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