Slowly but surely I am starting to love being me. That there is a big statement. For the first half of my life I was just trying so hard to not turn out like someone else (who shall not be named). The next part was just trying so hard to be a better version of myself. Like who I was, was not enough, and I had to cover it up, hide from myself, so afraid of how different I felt to other people that I strived harder and harder to be like everyone else. I ran and I ran and it cost me dearly. You see I spent so much time running away from my life, from myself, from who I was at heart that I spent no time developing myself. I drank myself into oblivion (and let me just say in defence of my 15 year old self, that was culturally very appropriate), but for me, that was not the answer. The more I drank, the worse things got. The more I didn’t like myself. The more I didn’t like myself, the more I drank. As you can tell from just these few sentences it wasn’t a pleasant situation. It was killing me.
Nowadays, I am spending more and more time discovering who I am. Undoing all the layers I put up to shield myself from humanity. My partner recently pointed out how rude I came across when we met. How ignorant I seemed. Which was a great opportunity to clarify as I was actually able to articulate that (at least at that point in my life) I had to be. From my viewpoint, I was very much protecting myself. I had to be hard, I had to be strong and tough and I had to act like it. Where I’m from, if you don’t, you get trampled on, you get taken advantage of and that’s where abuse happens. Sadly, I had built walls to other human beings out of necessity. Survival techniques. As I also pointed out, I have softened now. I am in a long term relationship with someone I trust. Who deserves my trust and is worthy of it. I am no longer in a position where I need to protect my own heart and keep people out because I am safe. I am able to let my walls down and let people in and I also trust myself a lot more these days. I am able to use my judgement of character to discern who I let in and who I keep out. I have fences instead of walls. I let the good out and in and I keep the bad out. I am learning all over again, how to feel, how to express myself.
I am so happy to be able to do what I do now. I am so happy to write this all out and share with others the things that I am learning. There is great joy for me in knowing that as I uncover little pieces of myself and I learn more about myself and others and as I unpack all that stuff, people get to read about it and learn about their own selves.
I believe that underneath it all, we are all inherently good. I believe we are all worthy of love. I just think that some of the tools we use to cope with life can be unhealthy and can lead us into versions of ourselves that we don’t like. I think the key to it all is found in understanding ourselves, uncovering our true natures and developing our character to display the unique make up of who we are and what is important to us personally. To do that we need to trust that we are okay, and that we will be okay. That underneath all the walls we have built is something worth digging up and shaking the dust off. Sometimes we need a bit of help to do that. For me that means consistent therapy with a professional as well as a whole fistful of other tools and support. Navigating your inner self can be scary and it can get dark. It’s like a deep mine in there and without a map you can get lost. But ultimately, in each of us, there’s gold at the core. I’m beginning to find mine and I can see it and it is worthy of loving. I’m going to work with it, develop and polish it, I’m going to treasure it and I’m going to let it shine bright. Hopefully bright enough to illuminate the path for someone else.
Much, much love.