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When Things Fall Apart: Are you Shaming Yourself into Living Your Purpose #TruthbyBrenda

Mental Health | 6 comments

How many times have you heard (or been told) this:

Suck it up.

Move forward.

Get on with it.

Quit your whining and just do it.

How many times have you told yourself that you have to keep it all together, when you felt like things were falling apart?

I saw a meme posted in a Facebook group recently that really got to me. It said “Just do it” and something like “Quit whining.”

I get so tired of hearing that. There’s definitely some truth to tripping up the Universe for a win – doing something different that makes you feel uncomfortable. But sucking it up requires you to shove your emotions down into your body and subconscious, so that they can build up over time and hit you over the head later on… which is very likely why you “get in your own way” now, when it comes to living your purpose.

For example, when I got on stage to sing for the first time, it wasn’t because I sucked it up. I did it because I had support. I was feeling anxiety and stage fright in the moment, and thinking of all the people in my life who didn’t like me or were mean to me. I was terrified that people would hate my singing and boo me off the stage like some people did at a school talent show when I was only about 5 years old. But this time, I had the support of my friends for over a year leading up to that moment on stage when I was 17. They inspired me to get up there. When I got up there, that feeling of being supported softened the anxiety and stage fright. If my friends had told me “oh, quit your whining and get up here and sing,” without encouraging me all that time, I probably would NEVER have gotten on stage. I had way too many experiences of people laughing at me, bullying me and just not hearing me. I had to work through the leftover grief and pain of those experiences in order to step into my purpose as a singer – and I had to do the same when I began working with healing energy.

Yes, some people talk or daydream about their dreams without ever making them come true, and they really will just never do what it takes to fulfill their calling. Sad but true. I hope you’re not that person. I hope you’re reading this because your desire to live out your purpose is pulling at you, and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to step into that calling and let it lead you.

For those of you who have experienced trauma or if you’re energy-sensitive and empathic, it can be a real challenge to step into your calling, even when you want it badly like I did since I was 11 years old. That’s because you’re processing a lot of emotion OR you’re using a lot of your body fuel to suppress those emotions, like fear, shame, doubt or grief.

Sometimes there is a real palpable need to dream, whine, cry and wait. Sometimes that’s part of the divine plan because things aren’t set up for you yet energetically or emotionally, or because you’re going through something major right now.

When my son was murdered earlier this year, I couldn’t even think about living my purpose. I was in shock and processing more than most people will ever have to process, so my brain couldn’t handle anything else. With the support of my friends, mentors, counsellor/elder, healers and my own resiliency and teachings, NOW I can “just do it”. It took me several months to get to this point – with that support.

If I had done what I did when I lost my parents as a teenager and just squished down my grief and sucked it up, I would not be writing this right now. I might have lost it. I was afraid of losing my mind, seriously. But thankfully, I have been doing whatever it takes to get myself into a place where I really can let the pieces of me and my life fall to the ground, and pick them up one by one to arrange into a new form.

We are not meant to hold onto the unexpressed grief caused by trauma, abuse or empathic energy sensitivity. When we begin to move those unexpressed emotions up and out, with support, then we can release them and the memories don’t have to trigger us into trauma anymore.

Stepping into your calling becomes pleasure and not punishment when you are LOVED into your purpose.

You can start to change your self-beliefs NOW. And if those beliefs are coming from a place of past or current trauma, you can get support for releasing the build-up of unprocessed grief, fear, doubt and a feeling of having to hold everything together.

The problem is, you’re not just holding yourself together… you’re holding onto toxic beliefs and emotions that are stopping you. So before – or when – you “just do it”, you might need to get some support to burst the dam so the waterfall of your awesomeness can pour out, and you no longer have to carry the heaviness of what holds you back.

I know this is true for many people who have experienced trauma, or are just extremely energy-sensitive, because I’m living it now and have lived it many times before.

So let me just say… if you’ve been holding back, check in with yourself. If your desire to fulfill your purpose is strong, then take the necessary steps in front of you to activate and begin to live your purpose. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a huge leap in this very second. It might mean that you get support or some kind of training. It might mean you take some baby steps towards your purpose. It might mean you really do need to STOP and re-evaluate your identity and belief system (that’s me right now). And it might mean that you do need to take a major leap of faith right now.

Give yourself what you need in order to take that leap of faith.

Please don’t shame yourself into fulfilling your purpose. If you feel yourself being called, and you heed the call, it’s like you’re creating a big energy bubble around you that communicates with the Universe to help you get what you need.

If you’ve experienced trauma, especially around the subject of your calling, you may need that extra support in order to go there at all, because it might trigger unexpressed grief from that trauma. So doing the emotional processing and other work of moving the effects of trauma out of your body and mind is not the easy path, that is for sure, but for those of us who have that strong spiritual calling, it is the best path. Plus, once you’re on that path and stay on it, things do get easier. I’m not saying Dark Nights of the Soul won’t happen ever again, or that suddenly your life is going to be perfect. What I’m saying is, when you open to the power of your spiritual calling, and you do whatever it takes to honour it, a lot more opens up to you and how you think about things shifts your reality.

You definitely CAN do it, if you feel pulled towards your calling and your desire is strong, but you don’t have to be in a rush about it or let outside pressure force you to do it. Let your calling lead the way.

Got your own ideas or feedback about grief, trauma and sucking it up? Aha’s hitting you right now? Please share on the blog. I’d love to hear about it. (:

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman



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  1. Miranda Hanus

    Thank-you for this article! I could really relate to it. Former journalist and memorial counsellor, burned out from both and trying to start over.

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      You’re welcome, Miranda! And I’m glad to hear you’re moving towards starting over.

  2. kate

    Brenda thank-you for sharing your heart. WE had a sign on the wall at our clinic: relax, things fall apart so they can fall back together. You have articulated it perfectly from such a real place. I love your phrase “burst the dam, so the waterfall of your awesomeness can pour out.” here’s mine, “let go and be yourself!” Sending love your way.

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Awesome sign to have at your clinic, Kate! I’m glad you enjoyed.

  3. Simone

    Oh.My. Goodness. This is me…childhood abuse coupled with high energy sensitivity have made it hard to find my purpose but will guide me to it as well. I’m on a deep healing (all self healing due to funds) journey to unfold and heal emotions while working with spirit to find my voice and get over paralyzing stage fright amongst other things in not wanting to be seen. I’m loving myself better and have not had much support in my life so am also trying to open to receiving and allowing support to come in despite my brain troll wanting me to isolate for independence. I’ve thought I was crazy, hyper-sensitive/analytical, inept, but just knowing I’m not alone bolsters my self belief. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Blessings to you Brenda!

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a difficult life journey, Simone. I’m glad this article has helped to give you some hope. Hang in there. There is always a way through. Blessings.


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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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