Staying True To Yourself
Man, does my ego ever get in my way! It always squishes me into this tiny little box saying, “Oh, you better stick to the norms of society because people will judge you if you don’t!” Well screw that! I am my own unique person and I have a message to share. That’s my goal with this blog.
My hope is to help inspire people to embrace all that they have experienced and change past adversities into positive inner strengths. Life is short and the world needs people to be who they are meant to be. We all try to fit into what we think the world wants and in that process of changing ourselves we lose who we are truly meant to be. Actually, I don’t think we fully lose ourselves I think we just get buried beneath our monstrous egos. I have been in the process of digging up all this dirt and baggage and getting back to my honest truth. Let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy but it’s been rewarding when I can get there.
Sometimes I feel like my ego takes my shovel out of my hands, smacks me on the back of the head and starts burying me again…but I just get back up, knock that bitch out and try to dig faster, deeper and stronger to get to my true-self once again! It takes a lot of strength and self-love to be who you are meant to be; but if you don’t try, then you rob the world of letting them see all that is unique about yourself.
When I was in treatment we did this exercise called “THE WALL!” This is the wall you build around yourself, then hide behind to protect anyone from getting to know the true you. My own fears amounted to, “what if they don’t like me for the real me? At least when I am hiding behind this wall, and someone doesn’t like me, I can tell myself, “well they don’t actually know the real me so, it doesn’t really matter.” In effect my thinking favoured being half a version of myself so someone would like me, rather than take the risk of being completely authentic to who I am, and have someone dislike me. And that’s living in fear!
When you are doing the wall exercise, your peers and counsellor(s) draw your wall for you, on a piece of paper. They base it on what they see and how you come across. I kid you not, more than half the page of paper was covered with the word “FEAR”, written in black sharpie. I was like, “what?? You guys can actually see that?
That’s the thing with addicts, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. I was in a facility with a bunch of other people who pulled all the same shit I usually did and they could see right through me. Fuck! What a nightmare! There was nowhere for me to hide! The wall forced me to look at all this uncomfortable stuff that I had been hiding behind.
Over the years I have learned how to be a chameleon and adapt to whatever friend group I was around. I think this is why I felt such an emptiness inside, I wasn’t being true to myself. How can you connect with others when you aren’t connecting with your own feelings? It just doesn’t work! Connection is intimate and vulnerable. In order to have a true connection to someone, you have to be willing to open up yourself and be prepared to face your fears.
I used to think I was always connecting with people when I was high on cocaine, especially at 3am when having “heart to hearts” with friends. But that’s not the same thing… I thought it was, but there is a HUGE difference. Being someone people can rely on and a person who actually shows up in life, is what builds those true connections and relationships.
Also not everyone is going to like me, that’s just how it is. To be honest, I would love to say I’m okay with that, but I am still not. It’s something I continue to work on. Of course I want everyone to like me but that’s just not how the world works, and by me making this blog I am opening myself up for potential criticism and comments because I am putting myself out there. It’s a step in facing my fears.
Instead of letting my ego run the show, I decided to show up and speak to the people who will benefit from my experiences because they are the ones I wish to connect with. There is a saying that goes, “if you are speaking to everyone you are speaking to no one!” It’s so true! The older I get, the more I realize where you might be (in life) if fear didn’t run the show. And that just crazy when you think about it.
Today I had a moment where I let fear get the best of me as I continue to learn what triggers fear inside of me. And in the midst of that, I find what helps most is meditation. However, for the longest time I would do these half-ass meditations just so I could report back to my sponsor saying, “yup I’m really working the program!” When clearly, I wasnot. In reality, I was only robbing myself of the benefits.
Well this last month I have actually been doing my meditations for 11minutes a day. I shit you not, I am actually seeing real benefits! I have a mind that goes a million miles a second and it’s non-stop chatter in my head. So, I started doing Gabby Bernstein’s meditations that have mantra’s; and though I feel like a complete nut job doing some of them, I feel so much more grounded. I feel this inner peace and guidance that I have never experienced before. To be completely honest it’s one of the reasons I started this blog.
I think a lot of things begin and end with ourselves. We can only change if we really want to change, and we can only get to know our true selves if we put in the work. I used to never be able to sit with myself and my thoughts. Now, I love my alone time, it makes me realize I’m actually a pretty cool person! I have a respect for myself that I never used to feel and that’s pretty amazing. Believe me, I just couldn’t spend an hour alone with myself before because I felt so much shame and discomfort inside. Instead, I would always have to be drinking, doing drugs, or mood altering in some sort of way, or being with a ton of people. I hated being in my own skin on. I can honestly say I am proud ofwhere I’m at today.
I’m going to end this blog post with another quote I love, because quotes just seem to be my thang, and yes I just used the word thang!:p (may I’m not as cool as I think… lol)
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao Tzu