You know, the self you were when you were a kid before the programming from your environment sunk in.
Before you tried to fit in with a certain group of kids at school.
Before you learned that you had to be smart or talented or cool or funny or controlled or rebellious or (fill in the blank).
Before you started acting a certain way to impress him or her.
Yes that you. Where’d she go?
Oh she’s still in there alright but you’ve long detached yourself from her and forgotten her. But she hasn’t forgotten you.
And if you can reconnect with her – reclaim her as yourself – she will show you a blossoming freedom that you can’t even imagine!
I started learning several years back that I didn’t really know who I was when I started noticing certain patterns in my life. When I was in a relationship (romantic or friendly) I took on the characteristics of that person as well as their likes/dislikes.
For instance, my partner once said ‘I hate Dave Matthews’ and I said ‘yeah, me too!’ Even though I didn’t really know any Dave Matthews music.
At one point my best friend said she hated wearing gold. She liked silver much better. I thought, ‘yeah me too!’ And I quit wearing gold altogether. And ya know what? I started wearing gold again recently and realized how much better it looks with my skin tone and how much more I really like it.
It wasn’t that I was trying to follow along without question. And these people in my life weren’t forcing me to like or dislike what they liked and disliked.
In fact, I still had my own likes, but I wasn’t really being me. I wasn’t considering the truth of how I felt about those things. Because they felt strongly about whatever their like or dislike was, I thought it worthy and decided to feel the same way.
There was another time in my life when I was younger that I made a mistake at home and my dad yelled at me. No, he reamed me. Totally chewed me out and I felt like a complete stupid idiot. I WAS a complete stupid idiot! I felt so much shame and embarrassment at the stupid mistake I made.
So what happened? I started living much more cautiously, taking less risks on things I wanted to do, and would quit when things started to get hard (because if they were hard, I would certainly make a mistake and feel all that terrible shame again).
It wasn’t until recently that I learned how much that incident affected me. It taught me that it wasn’t safe to take risks for fear of making a mistake and being made to feel stupid. It’s so much easier to protect yourself when you stay “hidden” in life and don’t stand out.
So in that moment I stopped being “me” because being me wasn’t good enough. Does any of this sound familiar?
A client and I once worked through a similar issue for her.
She was young, about 7, when she and her friends were caught being silly, rowdy and rambunctious in (Catholic) school.
The nun who caught them made them cut out a black dot from construction paper and hang it on their desks — the mark of a sin they now each had on their Souls — and stand in front of the class to be shamed.
Guess what this horrible incident did to her. It caused her to be cautious. All the time. To be quiet and not seen. To not make a fuss and not stand out.
She grew up not being herself because she learned early on that being herself wasn’t safe.The world missed out on her sacred spirit medicine because it wasn’t safe for her to share it.
It wasn’t until later in her adult life, when she was restless and struggling with how to make her life and business work the way she wanted, that she learned how this one incident changed the trajectory of her whole life.
She still held anger and sadness about this incident about 40 years later!! (Don’t worry, we worked through it)
For both of us, once we worked through the issues… once we became conscious of how they were affecting us and holding us back… once we understood how we weren’t free to be ourselves, to pursue our dreams full out, to be seen with all our quirks and uniqueness, we were able to acknowledge and release the masks, and step more fully into who we truly are.
Maybe you’ve had an incident in your life that caused you to be someone else.
Maybe you’ve noticed that you started going with what other people like/dislike/think/feel/do without much of a second thought.
Maybe you just feel like you have a voice inside that wants to be heard.
Whatever the case, there is healing work to be done to help you find yourself and to plug you in to your own wellspring of inner wisdom and intuition.
Maybe you haven’t noticed any of the above things I talked about. There are other symptoms that you aren’t fully yourself.
You might feel like something is missing from your life or that you haven’t found your purpose in life.
Maybe you feel like you have gifts to offer the world, but you don’t know how to access those gifts so you feel unfulfilled.
The biggest symptom is that you’re trying to start or grow a business and you can’t get it going. Even though you have brilliant ideas and an authentic desire to help and serve, you just can’t get traction.
The reason is, you don’t have the foundation created of who you are from which to build your business. You aren’t making authentic connections because you aren’t operating from your core.
If any of these ring true, there’s healing work to do, my dear.
There are layers of masks and capes and costumes and wigs and shadows and delusions and other people’s choices to peel away in order to reveal your true shining light and help you find the happiness you deserve.
So if the following gives you a jolt of anxiety in your belly or a wave of fear that your secret has been revealed:
You don’t know who you truly are. Not who society tells you to be or who you think you should be or who you want to be. You don’t know who you ARE… OR, you DO know who you are, but you’re scared to death to BE your true beautiful authentic self and so you wear a mask of something else in your life… OR, you’re just tired of being split between different aspects of yourself and you just want to BE YOU…
Instead of hoping for the best or waiting 4 more long months for the new year to start so you can start over, take the leap and do something to find yourself now. The world needs your sacred medicine.
You have a true beautiful authentic self — a radiant, magical, intuitive, real woman in there who wants to come out and share her medicine with the world. It’s time you let her lead!
What do you think is holding you back? Share with us in the comments which layer you want to peel back to find your authentic self.
Sending lots of love (and a great big peeler!),
image by Pixabay