“There’s nothing to chase, nowhere to go, nothing to do but be authentically you in every moment. That’s magic.”
– Mastin Kipp
I was going through old photos this weekend and came across this one of me in London 4 years ago. I had gone to stand beside my dearest friend as she said “I do” to her beloved. Life as I knew it was about to change, forever. The girl in the photo was yet to know what lay ahead, a short 4 weeks after that photo was taken my life changed drastically, devastated by loss and heart ache. When I look at the person in the photo, I hardly recognize myself, the girl in the photo was young and carefree but she was a mere shell of a person, so concerned with pleasing others, never putting her own needs or wants first, so worried about being accepted and not doing anything against the norm, always trying to conform. She was too afraid to use her voice and speak up for herself, too afraid to say NO and stand her ground, too afraid to sparkle and let her own light and fairy dust shine.
What a journey the last four years have been, I feel like I’ve been peeling off the layers slowly but surely, some of them have been tighter and more stuck than others but I’ve been quietly finding my path. Letting go of the belief systems that no longer serve me, unbecoming all who I thought I was, rediscovering or discovering myself, I’m not sure that we really know who we truly are until we are tested to our core. Perhaps it is only through suffering that we begin to let go of the false self because when nothing else is left all that remains is the true self, the essence of who you really are. And when we drag ourselves up and out of the depths of despair that’s when we realize just how resilient we are.
I am gently learning to the love the person I am becoming. No more trying to fit in, no more trying to conform, no more worrying what others will think of me (albeit these are all still a work in progress but I’m getting better). I am finally beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin, finally starting to love and accept myself for who I am, finally starting to value myself, finally starting to feel like I am home.
This year has been the most incredible journey of growth, in the past growth has come from sad and difficult times, my brain is starting to learn that growth can come from joy and happy times too. The walls I built around my heart were so high, because I could not bare the thought of heart ache again, that pain of loss, of having my support structure ripped away, was so raw and tender, the only way to cope was to close off, to shut down, build a wall and become fiercely independent. I am gradually opening up, starting to let life in again, to see the beauty around me and find the joy in everyday living, dosing myself with extra self care.
In doing so I am beginning to feel joy bubble up inside me, I can feel my heart softening and opening again. I am slowly becoming authentically me.
“Treating yourself like a precious object will make you strong.”
– Julia Cameron
*First published November 2017*