Recently, I uncovered some childhood journals. I sat down beside the pile, excited to jump back into the simplicity of 2007, but what I found was so much more than I bargained for.
Between the pages I unearthed the repressed memories of an angry, confused, and often heartbroken girl between the ages of 11 and 13. My preteen-self answered a lot of my own questions I had about past experiences through events that I’d somehow long forgotten about. It was a lot to accept. There was a lot of bullying I’d absorbed the hits from, thinking I’d deserved it, and never told anyone about to the point that I compartmentalized the memories almost into non-existence. And as I read the pages I could suddenly see the faces of the girls, and I could feel my cheeks burn hot, and it almost felt like I was back, standing in the middle school cafeteria as everything I wanted dissipated before my very young eyes.
The benefit to this, however, was that through my digging I unearthed a lot of roots of emotions and reactions that pop up in my adult life. I realized a lot of overreactions to things were simply responses to those old wounds being exposed again when it actually had very little to do with what was happening. In all of the times where my internal rage was boiling to the surface out of control, I believed that my anger was my true Self and that it needed to be hidden away from the world or else everyone I cared about would abandon me. But the reality was, the anger was just my neglected Inner Child demanding to be brought into the light.
If the childhood memories are the roots, and the overreactions are the blooms, the pot that holds it all together is low self-worth. Through all of these experiences, past and present, the common denominator was that I was trying desperately to force myself into a box that would make me more accepted by others. I learned (falsely) over the years, that the truth of my personality was too much – too unlovable. So, I closed it off.
I didn’t allow myself to like what I liked. I learned what the people whose attention I wanted liked, and then I liked those things too. I didn’t talk about what I needed, instead just accepting whatever it was I got because at least it was something. And if we’re given something, we aren’t allowed to complain because others have nothing, right? Or so I believed.
I kept almost everyone at arm’s length, because as long as I didn’t care too much about them then they couldn’t hurt me. If they didn’t know who I really was, then they couldn’t reject me. I fell in love with men who didn’t care to know me because then I didn’t have to do the work of discovering and asking for the things I really needed.
This led to its own problems. Namely, I developed an intense fear of vulnerability that brought me into some seriously toxic relationships (and the toxic relationships only created self-fulfilling prophecies that I was unlovable). But I also completely lost touch with who I was. I had no sense of what I really loved or what lit me up. Like the little match girl, I wandered from person to person trading my fire for pennies.
This is why uncovering Authenticity is so vitally important.
We all intrinsically know what lights us up. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that this is what’s happening, but we do recognize the feeling of being LIT with that soul glow from within. It is the same sense of wonder that you get from looking up on a cloudless night and seeing an endless array of stars. It is the way the wind blows across your face when you’re driving with the windows down. It is the old song on the radio that brings you back to barefoot dancing with your best friend on a Friday night. What we don’t realize, however, is that it is possible to feel this way, to feel this glow, every day.
This is why we do the work; this is why we look for others who can guide us along the path to Authenticity. When we reconnect with what truly makes us shine from within, we approach the world with strength and understanding rather than with fear and desperation. We accept ourselves, and therefore attract others who accept our truth instead of looking for validation from those who could never love us for who we are.
What I wasn’t understanding, amidst my anger and overreactions, was that it wasn’t me who was being hurt by the situation at hand and it wasn’t me who was responding to it. It was my wounded Inner Child calling the shots, reliving over and over again the wounds that I never allowed myself to deal with. What I wasn’t understanding through the unhappy relationships and experiences was that I wasn’t unhappy because there’s something wrong with me – I was unhappy because my fearful Inner Child was protecting herself by keeping her needs hidden away from the world.
What I wasn’t understanding was that the hiding, the quick temper, and the refusal to be vulnerable wasn’t a defect – it was a defense mechanism.
Everything we encounter today has its roots in yesterday. Sometimes it takes the work of asking the right questions and digging deep into our reactions to figure out where the roots took place, but the answers are worth the dig. Finding your Authenticity means understanding that every answer you seek is already inside you – as cliché as it sounds. And finding your Authenticity means that you are worthy of living exactly the life you picture for yourself.
You are worthy of being loved exactly the way that you are. Everything in your wildest dreams is tangible, all it takes is clearing the overgrowth from the path and taking the first step.
If you’re ready to take that step, I encourage you to book a Clarity Session. Through these sessions, we will dig into the roots of what lights you up and where you’ve been trading your fire – as well as how to get it back. No one needs to walk this path alone, and together we can illuminate where it is that your soul really wants to go.
Go well, be well, and Live Truthfully. Namaste.