Here’s my entry to the second letter of the #selfcaresaga E – express your true and authentic self! I hate that it’s been so long since I’ve written. This is just part of my journey, though: experiencing, processing, writing, repeat. But I’m here now and that’s all that matters! What I realized is I’ve got to actually participate in the #selfcaresaga in order to actually write about it from experience. I can’t help others if I don’t help myself first. Fully immersing myself in my life experiences and then writing really helps to integrate them in my psyche. I think that’s a marker for seeing if you’ve learned something, are you able to explain it to someone else in a way that makes sense? So sometimes my frustration and stubbornness in writing is just me still learning to trust the process. It’s so beautiful to witness. Soul growth is a wonderful thing. I hope you are present for your journey, so that you can experience your own beautiful transformation.
I’ve lived the majority of my life being what everyone needed me to be. Well, what I perceived everyone needed me to be. Sure, I think some motivation behind my actions came from my true self, but I did a lot of things to appease people. Neutralize the situation. I’ve been in the habit that if you can make everyone happy, then your job is done and you can rest knowing that everything is fine.
That works for a while, yeah, but as you grow older, it gets a little more complicated than settling for the gray crayon when you really wanted the pink one. I would promise to hang with a friend even though I was dog tired just so I wouldn’t have to deal with rejecting someone or worrying if they would be upset. I would tell my boyfriend that everything was okay while I was screaming on the inside. He doesn’t know how to handle me crying or being upset, so if I just pretend like I’m fine, then we won’t have to address that. Work needs a shift covered? Sure, sign me up. I wanted to be the one who was always willing to step up, help out. But then that meant I was working 50 hours that week.
Those are only a few examples out of the Encyclopedia of People Pleasing, but I think you know where I’m heading. One day I realized how important it was stop and listen to my body. What do I want? Why are you continuing to stretch yourself thin, to lie to your partner, to deny yourself of what your soul craves? After pondering those questions for a bit, I just started laughing. Laughing because I had no real answers. Realizing there is no benefit to working so much when I had a life to live, a body to nourish, a soul to nurture.
Living behind a mask disables any ability to express our true selves. I believe there is an actual energy blockage happening when we don’t open up our hearts to what we truly desire.
Let’s take a couple steps back. What is the benefit of living behind a mask? To protect ourselves. Okay, from what? It could be a couple things. Fear of losing someone’s approval or love. Rejection from a loved one of who we truly are. When I try to brainstorm rational answers, my brain kind of stops. I’m learning there is no benefit. We are wasting energy trying to be someone who we don’t align with. Our old selves. And maybe you like wearing a mask. It’s definitely easy. Until it gets so hard you fall into a deep depression and you have no idea how you got here. We are so out of alignment with our soul that our psyche is foggy. This is that energy blockage that I mentioned.
I really think that in order to lift ourselves out of oblivion that we must choose to express ourselves.
Choose to listen to our hearts and act accordingly. Choose to communicate our true feelings because they matter. Choose to be vulnerable. Choose to shine light of the fire burning in our hearts. It seems cheesy when I read back over it, but damn, if it’s not true! Creating this alignment within ourselves allows for total energy flow. To me this makes sense in so many different disciplines, so hopefully it’s not too woo-woo of a concept to grasp.
If we aren’t living our lives for ourselves, then who are we living for?
Expressing yourself can happen many different ways. Through the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, how you spend your free time, the people you associate with. If you don’t know how to begin, first, start by stopping and listening to your mind and body when they send signals. Much like when our tummies growl to tell us we’re hungry, our brain sends us messages, too. When we are mindful of when they arise, we are presented with the choice to act. Will we choose to be in alignment with our hearts? Or will we wear the mask and pretend to be invincible?
For me, the analogy of the mask is pretty spot-on with the process. We are conditioned to having this elaborate mask, that it would be too scary to try and take it off. But once you finally realize there is a beautiful face underneath, it becomes easier to remove. Eventually, you wonder why you even wore one in the first place. It took me a long time to choose to be vulnerable, but if I could even explain to you the shift in energy I feel. It’s as if I had been wearing all these layers of clothes, weighing me down on my journey, miserable with all this extra baggage. Now I feel free. I still have some layers to shed, but I am so grateful I made the choice to act in alignment with my soul. I have learned to love the face underneath with my whole being. It is unique. It is who I am. I wouldn’t be me without it. So why should I continue to hide my greatness from those around me?
How can I share the light if I won’t let it shine?
This has been a huge revelation to me in the self-care saga. You don’t realize how much you depend on expressing your true authentic self. I wouldn’t say it’s the only element, but it sure is an important one. Choosing not to express yourself is like telling yourself no. No, you don’t deserve to be unique. You don’t deserve to be special. You don’t deserve to feel good. And telling ourselves that is no bueno. Why are we denying our own soul the right to experience life? What good is that doing for us? When we can begin to clear this negative and toxic energy, we can make room for more fun things. More time for ourselves. More energy to allocate to creating our lives. More opportunities to share the light with everyone.
Remind yourself of the fact that you are a part of something bigger and beautiful and are loved unconditionally. You can be yourself and still be fully loved and accepted.