It took a long time for me to love myself completely. I was a people pleaser my entire life which was intense and exhausting. I found over many years of trying to be everything for everybody that you lose yourself. Somewhere in the process of fighting to be seen or validated or liked or loved, you lose your connection to yourself. I was constantly chasing validation and trying to find my worth and value based on the opinion of others, the programming was so deep I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I never found my worth externally, loving myself was the only way to find my way back to being whole and complete. Not many of us get the memo, the answers are inside, our worth is inherent! Our society through the media, news and cultural expectation models and rewards conformity and a picture of what success looks like. No one says go out there, be weird, and BE YOU! After doing a lot of soul searching and deep inner work, I came to this place of acceptance and love for myself. It was love for all of me not just the shiny glossy parts of me, I love myself completely.
I’m not sure if any of you can relate, but I always felt different. I did everything to conform, wearing the right jeans and rocking the Farah Fawcett hair (for those of you who remember Charlie’s Angels), I looked the part but inside, I didn’t fit in anywhere. Something happens when you feel different, it becomes a negative story. You ask yourself what’s wrong with you, you assimilate and morph into what you think others expect of you, and you expect everyone to get on your party bus so you feel loved and accepted. Feeling different is lonely and it’s hard, it’s private and it’s isolating on the inside. I wonder how many people I know look amazing and have a fabulous outside life but feel empty on the inside, like something is missing but they don’t know what it is.
When you assimilate and blend in, you dull your sparkle. Don’t shine too bright and draw attention to yourself you think, then people will know who you really are and that’s a risk right? I spent my life dulling my sparkle and shine. Now I think I shine so brightly it’s blinding and I’m like I’m here! I’ve taken all the masks off and show up fully present and sparkly for whoever I meet along the way. I think a lot of us have learned through unspoken language and social cues what is expected of us. Look beautiful, don’t draw attention to yourself, remain silent when it comes to your opinions, and do everything to avoid conflict. This feels like a life sentence to me, and I lived it until I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was killing my soul.
I was a caterpillar who hadn’t reached her butterfly stage. There is a very messy, metamorphosis phase that happens in between the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. A lot of shit happens in the chrysalis stage. To change something within ourselves, means we must let go of what we are currently attached to. Things have to breakdown and it feels like your world is crumbling and life as you know it is ending, which in a way it is. It’s uncomfortable to change behavior patterns and ideas about who we are. How we relate to the world has to be examined and refined. There was a moment I decided I needed to be me, but I had to find myself first. That’s where that messy stuff happens, where we go deep into our heart space and unpack everything we’ve been burying and hiding from. It’s kind of like cleaning your closet, you don’t want to do it because it’s a mess and you’ve ignored it for the last 10 years and god knows what you’ll find.
The unpacking phase felt like quicksand. It’s like everything I looked at led to something deeper and deeper. It was a difficult time in my life although most people around me had no idea. I was an expert at looking like everything was GREAT on the outside! There comes a pivotal moment when you realize the only person who is coming to save you is YOU! When I was physically and emotionally uncomfortable or suffering, I was asking who can I call on? Ultimately, it had to be me. I chose to heal my inner wounds. I was the one to change my perspective, my attitude, and my relationship to me. No one was going to do this for me. To get out of quicksand you make yourself as light as possible (toss everything that doesn’t serve you), take deep breaths, and move slowly and deliberately. That’s exactly what I did. Baby steps led to bigger steps and soon I cleared myself of the negative voice in my head.
I learned to meditate and be present. I detached from the mental chatter and story and silenced my mind. Everything that didn’t serve me (things, people, my inner critic, work) had to go. No excuses, no apologies, just a complete letting go of everything not for my highest good. When we make excuses what we defend usually isn’t aligned with our highest good. People do this all the time as they cheat on their diet or hang on to a toxic relationship or job. If it’s aligned and for your highest good there’s no reason to defend your position. I found answers in the silence.
If you feel lost, or like you need help navigating your way back home to yourself, let’s connect. I’m a phone call or email away. I know you because I’ve been there myself. I lived an unconscious life for a long time and finally found my way back to myself. Loving myself completely allowed me to love others completely without an agenda. Once you get to this level of acceptance and self love you are unstoppable. From the place of oneness with yourself and the world you create change and impact.