My name is Nan.
I work as a mentor and guide.
I use various techniques in my toolbox that I learned over the years like coaching, hypnotherapy and other therapeutic disciplines. And of course, my intuitive abilities are the main factor I work with.
Teaching and guiding are my passions.
Seeing people grow, expand their perspectives, and embrace their true selves is why I do what I do... In my work, I aim to always guide you back to your essence and grow spiritually and emotionally.
Hope to see you.
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It takes many layers of shedding our emotional wounds before we understand the fundamental truth that people's actions and choices, at the end of the day have nothing to do with us and everything to do with them.
Just like the choices and actions we make deep down have a basis in our understanding of ourselves, reality, and all the beliefs we held on to for so long thinking it would work somehow. It never does though, does it?
As children, we don't have the capacity to rationally think things through, so most times to gain a sense of control of the situation we blame ourselves. This follows us into adulthood and it is understandable, right? If the way you treat me is my fault, and I just fix that fault you will treat me better, right? Wrong.
Before we have even done any sort of healing work the pattern we fall into is thinking why does this keep happening to me? We always feel victimized, and please don't get me wrong being a victim is very real many times but I am talking about the kind of victimization we put on ourselves. Like a big wet blanket preventing us from enjoying the little things that make life, life. We get so caught up in these emotions of despair they drown out our inner power to make a different choice. We simply forget we allow things. Again, not to victim blame, but to remind us of the control we do possess in any given situation.
To give an example. Many of us have been mistreated by people many times, people that abuse us, selfish people, or we simply just choose people that are very emotionally unavailable, and these are one-sided and very painful relationships to maintain. I wrote about when this pattern keeps repeating, there can be many reasons but one is that we have suppressed a side of ourselves that keeps getting mirrored. So for example, we keep attracting emotionally unavailable partners, chances are a part of us is emotionally unavailable and is in actuality very afraid to be in i close intimate relationship because we want nothing more to be seen for who we are, but at the same time standing in the way is this adopted shame form our upbringing that keeps echoing how embarrassing those parts are.
Having someone not interested in those parts makes it feel safer. But I do want to add that when this pattern starts to feel very uncomfortable, it is a sign you are ready to shift the belief and heal it. And please let me remind you of one thing. Emotional unavailability does not mean there are no emotions, it means there are many emotions but a huge crippling fear to express them healthily. It is a fear of being seen for who we truly are.
But back to my point. I highlighted a pattern above, and what happens after we are aware of this pattern of always being mistreated? We get to stand in the sacred middle as I just now decided to call it. The sacred middle is where we stop being so emersed by a pattern and start to look at it from a more detached point of view. The mistreatment starts to trigger a little less and makes us start thinking, why in the world am I putting up with this?
Here, it’s crucial to make a choice. Choosing different thoughts about yourself will automatically create different feelings about the situation at hand, and most importantly it will propel us to choose different actions. We start growing and expanding. We might decide to approach the person differently, to talk about things in a more vulnerable way, to express all of ourselves. But one thing I know for sure, this process will make the people in our lives either grow with us or we will simply grow apart. It hurts like hell, but there is no other way if we want to be truly happy. If you ask for your needs to be met if you ask for someone to consider you and they still choose not to, it might be time to start thinking about leaving the situation.
Staying somewhere we cannot be seen and appreciated, even if it worked for us in the past, is not only keeping us stuck in a painful pattern creating suffering and reinforcing the belief we are not worthy of real love, it also enables the other person and stunts their own growth.
Changing something so ingrained in us and created to keep us safe is very scary. But staying with this wet blanket of invincibility and not making any changes will hurt a lot more, trust me.
Have you ever thought about how little we express our truth? Since when is it okay to protect people from the truth of life and deliver it in a pretty package? Yet we do it all the time.
We are certainly not doing anyone any favours. There are certain behaviours we need to stop adopting in our relationships. Protecting our friends and loved ones from themselves is not out of kindness. It's enabling and nothing else.
We, humans, do all we can to preserve a good self-concept. We pride ourselves on the ability to make others feel good. But the most important question is, a drug also makes us feel good but does it do us any good in the long run? No.
I fully understand this concept because I am healing from it myself. I've watched people my whole life protect each other from painful truths. All with the belief they are doing them a favour.
This does not come from a loving place no matter how many of us would love to think so.
Everybody knows someone that acts like an asshole. That seems selfish and demanding to people around them, but you know what usually happens with those people in our lives? We talk a lot of shit about them behind their backs, but we are too afraid to be upfront about their bad behaviour and letting them know it hurts our feelings. I am not saying everyone will care. There are people so lost in their trauma they become self-absorbed. But not all people are like that, and some maybe never got told that they hurt the ones around them. Give people a chance, if they don't care, well then you know that specific person doesn't have your best interest in mind, and you can make a choice. But sticking around someone toxic without saying anything is not at all a loving thing to do no matter what you have been thought. It is not loving towards yourself, nor the other person, if that is what you have been telling yourself all this time.
You see, we as a species rely on the social group. It is wired in our system because guess what? Exclusion from the group equals death. No man is an island on to themselves. I urge us all to start expressing what we feel and begin implementing people in our lives that makes us grow. But also to stop enabling the people we experience as toxic.
Staying with someone that is not treating you well is not you being a good partner, it is not you being a considerate friend, it is not you being a "good person". It is simply avoiding something uncomfortable because it is the tactic we learned to stay safe. It is not for THEM it is something we do for OURSELVES. This can be a tough pill to swallow, I know. And releasing a pattern we created unconsciously takes time. But the first step is always to see reality for what it is not adding these sugar-coated stories around a situation to fit our narrative.
A key element in this is to not run away from our shame. I won't go too deep into shame for the risk of sounding like a broken record, but running from the feeling of shame does so much damage in all of our relationships. I can give you an example.
I was very in love with a guy and he ended up deceiving me, it was a mess. I was devastated. The pain of being heartbroken was horrible as we all know. But deep underneath that pain was another one more intertwined into my core. It was me being ashamed of myself. Being ashamed that fell for it all. I was scolding myself just like when I was a kid. It runs very deep we often dismiss it. From that day forward I made a deal to always be on my side no matter what. And I realized, the thing I fear is my self-concept. I also learned that if we spend our lives running from ourselves.. well we are doomed.
The difference between being "nice" and being "kind" can be a tricky one. Nice is just saying yes to get a sense of belonging and it also makes you a doormat with no identity and people will take advantage of that. That is simply the reality. Kindness is thinking long-term, it is being authentic and understanding to all people, yet wise enough to know when to walk away and when it is time to speak some uncomfortable truths.
It is time for us to take responsibility for ourselves and start caring about each other in authentic ways. And know that caring sometimes means walking away. We all need to learn and grow. We do that in discomfort no matter how uncomfortable it is.
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash
If you asked me years ago what it meant to love someone, I would have told you that it means to abandon yourself completely and let the other person take advantage of you. All the while you feed them grapes.
No, but on a little more serious note, it wasn't far from that.
Lately, everyone has had their eyes open to narcissism. Like it was the disorder of the year, I don't like to call it disorders since it limits the potential of the person. And it bothers the hell out of me that we demonize narcissistic people. Not because they aren't abusive, not at all. But because yet again we humans create a scapegoat someone to blame and with that we miss out on the opportunity for self-awareness. From my observation narcissism and co-dependency are the common relationship style today just in different degrees of course.
Again don't get me wrong, I grew up with self-centred people and spent my life figuring out how to heal the pain of a lost and abused self. A journey I am still on and knowing I am far from the only one makes it even more important.
And many times the co-dependency and narcissism overlap each other. If you become aware enough you will clearly see that in some relationships you are acting co-dependently while in others it is reversed you become the narcissistic one. The universe functions like a mirror so this shouldn't be surprising.
For example, you had a narcissistic partner. You manage to decide to leave the relationship (or trap to be more exact). Naturally, there will be a period of deep healing, and that means feeling all of your feelings. The good, the bad and the ugly. This is crucial in processing all your hurt emotions. The issue I have seen is being stuck in this phase. And it is liberating realizing what you just went through is abusive and you blame the other person because you were victimized. After a while, you will start to feel powerless again. You come to understand the pathology of narcissism, you understand this person is not going to be saved by you and it was never your job to save anyone. And that my friend will piss you off even more. Here we enter a slippery slope. One crucial thing I learned early on, was that the co-dependant fills a need by being with the narcissist. They fit like the glove, both are looking outside themselves for a sense of self.
The healthy thing to do when you are ready is to take the laser focus you put on the narcissist and turn it around on yourself. It is crucial to start asking ourselves the hard questions of why? All the why's. Why did I feel this was the only love I deserve? What deep wound of rejection and abandonment have I been trying to run away from?
What feeling is underneath the anger? Why am I letting their actions (or lack of actions ) mean something about me?
When you dig deep enough to come to the bottom of your wounds you also choose to not be controlled by it anymore but to face it. See, co-dependency has the same wounded self that a narcissistic person does. The difference is that the co-dependant person will get their needs of approval met by being the "good guy".
This takes you out of the victim vibration and into empowerment. It is signalling that you are ready to grow.
None of us would find ourselves in a narcissistic situation unless we experienced a similar dynamic in our childhoods. Remember, we only attract the love we think we deserve. When we encounter someone who reminds us of the way we were treated and felt when we were children, we assume this is love.
The work begins in that land of awareness where you are confronted with the messed up message most of us got growing up. That we are unworthy and inadequate just for being who we are. These are stories we have bought into for far too long.
So, to make it simple and to the point, here are some tips I collected along the way that can help you out and these can be applied whether you feel co-dependent or narcissistic since the core wound is the same.
- Let yourself FEEL. All of it, the confusion, the misery, the panic, the gaslight oh my. Let yourself pour out into a safe container. You see, the ones of us suffering from these kinds of attachments emotionally handle things like toddlers. We were never shown how to process and express our feelings in a mature way. Guess why? Well raised by narcissists so it was toddlers raising toddlers. Yes, that should scare you. It sure as hell scares me.
- Make self-love your best friend. It is hard to know where to start with self-love since society teaches us to be selfless. So naturally, we have the belief that loving ourselves makes us selfish. That is the biggest lie ever told. Self-love is like filling up a cup, so much that it spills over. It is a genuine extension of your love and not just coming from a void of fear and unfulfilled emotional needs. Take time to approve of yourself every day, raise your self-esteem and there are many ways to do that. Please surround yourself with gentle people you trust that can support you through this journey. If you find you don't have anyone like that, please know they will show up and now is the time to be kind to yourself so take advantage of the internet and connect with strangers! There are millions of people going through the same thing and communities online are incredibly healing.
- Learn about your attachment style. Our attachments are formed in early childhood. Specifically in our infancy. Going through all of them would be an article in and of itself. And I am not a psychologist just someone with a lot of experience and curiosity. Instead, I will list them. There is plenty of information out there about them.
Secure attachment style
Anxious attachment style
Avoidant attachment style
Fearful-avoidant / disorganized attachment
- Creating secure attachment requires building a healthy sense of self, and that means strengthening your self-esteem. Growing up we learned to play it safe and keep ourselves small. Hating ourselves was a way to adapt. We need a big dose of self-acceptance and approval. There are again many ways to do this. Writing a list of all the things you like about yourself would be one example. As you do this watch yourself start feeling bigger, like all of a sudden you are sitting up taller. The thing is we are all unique, sure this world ushers us to be just like everyone else but the truth is, you are not like everyone else. No one is. Every one of us carries a spark that is infused with our unique qualities and getting in touch with that improves the relationship with ourselves and in turn, improves all the other relationships we have in life.
Having a secure attachment means having a safe base to fall back on.
- Compassion and forgiveness. Do not by any means rush this process. Many times we want to be seen as good people, both by ourselves and others and this can be particularly true when it comes to us in the spiritual community. But spirituality isn't about being the good guy and eradicating the bad guy. it's about realizing that under the right circumstances we can all be the bad guy, and these roles will change many times in life depending on the situation and person at hand. People that are deeply narcissistic or co-dependants are that way because of trauma. They did not wake up one day plotting how to make life hard for people or themselves. Again, this part of the process should never be rushed, you can strive to get there but you will know when you are mature for it. Forgiving yourself can many times be harder than forgiving another person. Let yourself grieve.
With that being said. We are all humans that get hurt and hurt others. It really is like the saying goes "hurt people hurt people" Anybody can and has the capacity to change and grow no matter how toxic or self-sacrificing you are, it just takes bravery to face reality and then a conscious choice to do something about negative patterns. Avoid getting in the trap of thinking you can change somebody, you can't. What you can do is make someone aware of something but what they do with that is totally up to them. Life is too short to be reliving old negative patterns set up in our childhoods so decide today you will be brave enough to try another approach and the world will thank you.
Being an observer of yourself and the rest of creation can be a tricky task. We are visceral beings that have emotions and feel all sorts of things. We use our senses and this is exactly as it should be to have our experience. To let the divine experience itself through itself. This is not something to change or try to run away from, any time we run we create resistance and thus you make something that was fluent, solid. Something that is solid is determined and gets very heavy. There is nowhere to run from ourselves if we are both the experience and the experiencer.
To not attach doesn't mean to disengage from life and feel left out from it, that is a sate of refusal, a state of being on the run like a refugee. It is in fact creating a secure attachment with the sense of belonging to all of creation. A sense of safety because we are one with it.
Beyond love and wisdom on this spiritual path we need to come to a certain peace. A peace within that is not just felt, but it is our ultimate nature, it is the nature that holds it all together. One that can't be collapsed into a name or a form, because the second it does that, it is no longer absolute, it is absolute taking form and thus has a sense of self.
Practicing non-attachment is simply observing something just as it is knowing deep inside that it is not fixed or stuck in that state forever. When we come to the realization that everything is fleeting and has a purpose even if the purpose is for a slit second, it is exactly as it should be, we view it as precious. This type of energy is purifying, but don't get me wrong, sometimes when we say purifying we might think of something that is unclean and in need of cleaning, but that is not what is meant to purify something. In a world full of distractions purifying takes away what is unnecessary in the situation, and leaves what is needed. It exalts truth and leaves us with a sense of coming home.
This is a practice. It is not something that will happen over night. It is a life long practice of remembering our true home, the one within our being that is never changing and that always is.
There is movement and there is stillness then there is what is beyond both of those principles. It is a certain middle way in between all extremes.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where we have to face some hard truths in order to grow. Well, you don´t HAVE to but the price of not doing so is very high many times.
Growing up in denial is a form of barrier we carry almost like having our head in the clouds while we know that a rapid-fire is burning under our feet. If we feel powerless to change, put the fire out, we come to the conclusion that if we simply ignore it must certainly put out itself.
Now, we all know how fireworks right? If it is not stopped it spreads and oh boy does it spread fast.
Facing shadows and hard truths about any situation is not fun and it is very uncomfortable. We grow in the feeling of discomfort, we grow from looking at the things we did not know or in this case, we know we just wish we didn’t know. That is the case with denial.
The relationship we have with ourselves is and should be maintained and worked on for the remaining of our lives, from birth up until death. Because when we die we go alone..
If a part of you is in denial there is another part that is in full-blown exposure so to say. It knows and it will keep nagging for your attention.
You see, running from something takes much more energy than facing and accepting it. And every time we run we create more and more distance with our inner selves.
This is a big sacrifice, and it´s something that we do as a collective all the time. This is one of the reasons our world is ruel and selfish many times. Everyone is off running from the problem and very few are trying to solve the problem. And this is not in any way to say that one is better than the other, I don´t believe in that kind of comparison. It is simply an observation of the patterns that are currently being played out.
The boogie man is inside of us all. The shadow and pain is part of our existence here whether we like it or not.
Only accepting one does not make the other go away, and we know this but still, the fear runs deep enough to convince us otherwise.
The first step is to stop running. Just stop. To do this we require courage, but it is not combative courage like the kings of our past ready to go into the great wars and battles to defeat an enemy. It is courage in the form of great love. Where we recognize that which we fear as part of ourselves and part of all there is. Knowing there can be no mistakes, only happy accidents as our dear Bob Ross would say.
Getting out of denial is scary, it is almost like coming down from a high induced by drugs. But if we manage to practice it little by little, slowly it turns into trust. Trust in the universe at large, our role in it and most importantly, trust in our own selves.
The price of not accepting reality , the good bad and the ugly is simply that we will never be able to change that which we don´t acknowledge.
My love, you seem so distant. It breaks my heart to see you so empty,
Does your heart sing as mine does but in silence so no one would shut it down?
Does it dare to dream about things only hearts can ?
Has fear convinced you of losing it in this world that can appear so cold and ruthless?
Maybe we can add to some softness my love, perhaps we can stand tall in our roots so true knowing that even if we lose it,
it must return..
Never stop shining even if your light gets dimmed, know I am here know I always wait when you return.
Know my love for you is more prominent than anything your mind could ever measure.
My tears stream from the beautiful sadness that can be life, the absurdity that is happiness, and the cosmic drama being played out.
One day you will laugh, that I promise, you will laugh with tears streaming down your face, but this time it will be of joy.
But do you not see, they are the same tears? That is life… Funny isn’t it?
It is sometimes broken so it can be repaired, and it is sometimes tested so it can succeed.
Remember my greatest love in the times when hope is lost, and acknowledge my confusion those days your hearts swell with joy.
For it is through you, I can know me. Thank you a thousand times.
In moments of doubt and sadness, you can still create. Using the emotions to paint on any canvas.
Life is like a canvas, it is made to be created on. And every time we finish one, we want to start another.
Let us try in those moments of despair to keep creating on our canvases.
Because you know all those heartbreaking love songs? They were not written in a moment of bliss I can tell you that.
But it is through reminding ourselves that we can always relate to someone that takes the edge away from the pain, and who knows, maybe it can even be beautiful?
All is as it should be, it could not be any other way..
When I was dating a while back I still had some issues around asserting my boundaries and communicating my needs. This is what I was taught and because of my trauma, I had a very hard time feeling like my needs were important. I felt shameful for having needs at all and this was linked to my emotional trauma. Funny isn’t it? How we think we healed enough for a whole lifetime, just to discover we made space for a new layer to make itself known. Baffling and beautiful at the same time.
At the time a very good friend of mine said something that stuck with me.
“A few seconds of awkwardness will save you a lifetime of self-hate”
And it was like someone slapped me back into reality. Was it that simple? No matter how simple it sounded my patterns and negative beliefs made it feel so crippling. I felt needy, who the hell convinced me of that?!
I learned that to grow spiritually is to grow as a human and needs are something we have to deal with. What if someone started shaming us for having to pee?
I feel it is crucial for us to stop shaming our children. It should have stopped a long time ago.
The time has come to start to normalize our humanness and stop pretending we can just transcend anything related to the physical that makes us uncomfortable
I was dedicated to self-love and was ready to take on this new challenge. It started little by little, I would say how I feel and what I needed. I slowly started to understand that I had taken responsibility not just for how I was feeling and needing, but also the people around me. But once I became braver it became clear that not only was I enabling people by taking that responsibility. I also never gave people a chance to meet my needs.
Think about it, how many people don’t walk through life belittling themselves staying in all kinds of unhealthy situations just because of the shame they might experience if they changed?
Shame is powerful and primal, it makes us feel like we are in danger and will be cast out of the tribe, something we will never get away from.
But the thing is, the moment you bring light to the thing you have been taught to be shameful about, it ceases to feel so scary. You start owning it and also give other people a chance to respond differently. This is how we get intimate with each other, this is authenticity. Be brave enough and watch how others follow. They start feeling safer to share just by having someone demonstrate that it’s okay.
It is important to play with open cards when you do anything in life, especially relationships. That way we know what to expect from each other and what we have to deal with. This allows us to make a conscious choice. How many times haven’t you seen people automatically change or scale themselves down when getting to know a person, they act like someone they think will get them the most approval from whoever is on the other side.
But what happens along the line? We can’t hide our true selves forever and our needs and wants will slowly creep up in manipulative ways. Then everyone starts feeling duped and shameful. It just won’t hold up.
First, we need to figure out what our wants and needs are. We need to develop an intimate relationship with ourselves and then be brave enough to share it with someone. This is freedom, this is how to know compatibility in all relationships. Because of course you will feel restricted and stressed if constantly having to pull off some act just to have the other person pleased. . Anyone that has a problem with you asserting yourself or has any resistance to communicating about it, is not somebody you want to keep in your life anyway.
Every person has their place in this universe. Some come to stay a long time in our lives, others just brush by shortly but powerfully enough to make an impact on us. Others, unfortunately, come in to hurt us, but it is from that pain we have a powerful choice to make. Grow or die.. kidding it’s not THAT dramatic but grow or die being stuck at the same place with the same lessons and same people while you all grew apart from each other a long time ago.
In Buddism, they have the belief that desire is the root of all suffering, but if you ask me the real root is attachment. Don’t hold on to things that are preventing you from going towards the sun.
If there is one thing you will always have with you in life it is the power of choice. No one or nothing can take away your free will, it’s a gift that holds immense power, but we seem to take it for granted many times.
Life happens, thoughts fly all over the place. With flying thoughts come fleeting and intense emotions it’s safe to say every day starts feeling like a rollercoaster ride.
My spiritual journey like many others started in a stressful period. I was experiencing suffering and pain that slowly turned out to be so uncomfortable that I had to look for anything to make my mind shut up.
The discovery of choice surprised me. I know it’s strange since we all consciously know we have free will, but if you think about it, how many that you know do actually use their free will to live a wholesome life? And how many use their free will to put their mind at ease when life turns rough? Not many will take the time to learn how to choose their thoughts. Now don’t get me wrong I am not at all talking about spiritual bypassing here. The way I see spiritual bypassing is like trying to take e shortcut but arriving at the same place you started. The intention was good but it backfired.
Also, I’m not talking about gaslighting yourself either, you can’t exactly lie to yourself. I am talking about the little pause we have between each thought. Those little moments of silence and peace, we never let ourselves explore more because.. life right?
But what is life? Is life living from the outside in? Are we awaiting the next grand thing to happen to us so that we give ourselves the freedom to be happy? If you ask me, friends, we can’t ever change anything if we don’t stop and be curious enough to become aware of it first. Stopping to question your thoughts is important for our happiness.
Doing this makes us dis-identify with our thoughts and so they don’t influence us as much. We start watching the thoughts like on a screen and from that point, we can use this gift of free will to choose. Is it a thought I want to keep and believe in? Or what can I put my focus on so it brings me peace instead of stress? The more we practice the better we get. It’s like training a muscle the stronger it gets the better.
Like I mentioned and have written about before. Using free will is not to run away from negative emotions. But it’s the same thing here really. When we embrace an emotion, it is like taking control over it and owning it, validating it for what it is just like we would with a child. When the emotion our unconditional presence directed at it, it melts away the rough edges.
So whenever life starts feeling too messy and you find yourself in a spiral, remember your creator nature and the power of choice. From that point, you get to decide.
And for those of us that tend to be chronic worriers, I know telling you to not worry just makes you want to punch me I know I have that aspect of myself too. Instead, if you absolutely feel the need to worry tell yourself you will set up a time and when that time comes, worry like you never did before. Most of the time you will find you’ve forgotten all about it. If something bad would happen, trust me it will happen whether you worry or not so why not try finding peace in the meantime and IF that bad thing happens, well at least you have your peace to deal with it.
When I was growing up, my mom used to tell me to choose my battles wisely. I spent a lot of time trying to understand what she meant by that. I was always one of those people needing to understand everything. Later learned I had control issues that made my life hell, but that story is for another day.
I never thought my identity was going to be one of those battles. It was clear from an early age that doing what others expect of you and pleasing the people around you, is what is going to get you, love. Or something they called love.
It didn´t. It got me used and abused, leaving me feeling empty and confused. (that rhyme though) Not to mention criticised. At one point, I remember feeling like I didn’t exist at all if I didn’t have anyone to accommodate. I was unconsciously stretching myself out too thin in hopes of filling up my cup from the outside in.
Like the development of an old photograph, slowly old memories of a former self crept back into my awareness. Feelings I tried to suppress for so long took over. I understood that the life I had created so far was nothing but an escape from my inner world, echoing with hurt and insecurities. I started to awaken to bits and pieces of my truth. My likes and dislikes were making a comeback, it was scary as hell, but at the same time so liberating. The saying that I heard from my mom as a child made sense. This battle was one I was taking on.
First, I thought I was going crazy; there were just too many things flooding me at once. Memories, emotions, hopes, and dreams that I had been hiding away for so long. Some of them were familiar, like my sensitivity, the part of me wanting to include everybody, and while others were bewildering to me and took a long time to accept.
It is a journey back to self, a journey that is life long but worth every second. Today I feel thankful for that emptiness, and it made me question the way I lived my life, I realised it wasn’t even close to the life I wanted to live.
Honestly, I had no clue how that would look like because, to begin with, I had no idea who I was. Still, I am not exactly where I want to be, but today I know I am the one making my choices and slowly but surely I am building myself back up again. Some days feel hopeless sure, the gold in that is that I learned how to be with myself when life feels hard, and not only when it feels comfortable.
I committed wholeheartedly to self-awareness and healing. And not healing to correct some wrong, it was about being present with myself and accepting and validating whatever came up. In that way, it wasn’t a battle at all. Becoming my own best friend was liberating. There was no longer a need to run away from something. Instead, I was running towards self-love. Those parts of me that I once viewed as shameful became my biggest strengths, I could use them to set an example and realised they are what makes me who I am. Being yourself can be scary at first. I still have days where I feel it would be more comfortable just doing what everyone expects, but that wouldn’t make me happy in the long run. Also, it’s not who I want to be.
Inside all of us, uniqueness is present. Letting ourselves express that uniqueness is pure joy. Because it takes no effort, it fills you with energy instead of depleting it. Eventually, we find out who our real friends and allies are. The ones that stick by and genuinely want to see you happy will be the people you want to keep in your life. The rest? You didn’t fit together, just like two puzzle pieces that don’t go together. They belong elsewhere in the puzzle. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with who you are. And you can be anything, but don’t forget to bring your compassion with you.
Choosing your battle requires you to be in the here and now. Connected to yourself and having the guts to listen to that voice within that always tells the truth. From there, you will know what to do. I believe in us. We got this.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why we do the things we do? Why we react in specific ways? Behind every action we take, there is an intent, and sometimes that intent can be clear as day, but other times it is more hidden in the shadows working behind the scenes. It does this for a reason, at one point we decided that parts of ourselves weren’t acceptable in the social structure we were at, and so we pushed them away into the background thinking that was the end of it. Boy, were we wrong.
A few years ago, I made a decision. I wouldn’t give out any more advice until I started living by it. This need for being of service is something so many of us do. We spit out wisdom all over the place like we got it all figured out when the truth is, has anybody figured anything out? So the crucial question I had to ask myself was, why am I so desperate to fix everyone’s problems? The answer was hidden in my subconscious mind.
In my childhood, everyone seemed to be a perfectionist. In my family, it was hard to please people, and being a people pleaser that just made it more of struggle. Now looking back I can clearly see people-pleasing was a way to make myself less of a threat. It started to feel like I HAD to be the one with all the answers, the one that was strong and never vulnerable, because being vulnarable was linked to shame.
The problem was I was missing one person, and that person was myself it felt like an internal scream that had been covered up. It just got louder and louder. I understood that while I love being of service and helping people, I hated being co-dependant. There was so much anger I had suppressed, and most of it was towards myself. I felt like a fraud, so I desperately wanted to understand what was going on with myself. This story brings me to a critical process in life called making the unconscious conscious. And like I mentioned, I was taught not to touch anything that could be too messy, but to sweep it under the rug. I wouldn’t even think much about it, that is until I tripped all over it.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung
This process was not a conscious act on our part, and along the way, we forget about those parts. The only problem is that they don’t go anywhere they remain somewhere unseen; thus why it’s called the shadow by many.
I am well aware that this sounds awful to many of us. Like there are parts of our personality we haven’t even met. I choose to see it as getting to know myself all over again, and every time one of those tucked away sides comes up, I feel it, keyword being feeling. Using our emotions to guide us through life is something this world discourages us from doing many times.
As children, we get shamed when we act a certain way that goes against the grain. Shaming is abusive. It cuts us off from our true selves.
If you find yourself in a situation where your emotional body is screaming GET OUT, and yet you still stay those are one example of how the shadow makes itself known, but we, not knowing better shove it back where we found it. I would instead challenge us all to get uncomfortable and invite those parts and do your best to love them back to life.
Becoming aware of ourselves is a life long process, and in that process, you find out who you indeed are and what makes you happy. I am not advising you to do some rebellious act where you cut up all your clothes, call your parents to tell them how they ruined your life and move away while screaming f*ck you to the world, even though that sounds kind of liberating. It’s about not resisting your true essence. That is why being present in the moment and anchoring yourself is so important, not just some hippie mindfulness talk. We can use our great minds to escape reality, or we can use it to become aware and, yes that is painful sometimes but pain is temporary always remember that.
If you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t feel good like the example above, ask yourself questions, and you will see that there is a legit reason for you feeling that way. And then listen to that and choose from a place of compassion and understanding. We all have our intuition and know deep inside what feels right for us and what doesn’t. It gets messy when we don’t follow that natural compass and start looking for the answers outside of us. Many times we do this to have someone to blame if things don’t go as planned. That is not taking responsibility. All you are accomplishing with this behaviour is giving over the power of your decisions to someone else.
Life is about living true to who you are. And to give yourself space to be what person. We grow, change and mature so make sure you have all of yourself on board and not just the sides society deemed acceptable. What does society know, anyways? Look around you; it’s a mess.
When we can take responsibility for our inner nature, we can also begin to understand our fellow human beings. Instead of reacting and jumping to defence when someone goes against us, we can try to be vulnerable, to say how we feel instead of playing the blame game. It might not always be easy, but it’s worth it in the long run. Like anything else, the more you do it, the more natural it will feel. Don’t ever apologise for being authentic. Healing takes time, courage and patience. Let yourself experience it.
And yes some days and some patterns that bubble up will feel like you are in a full-blown panic attack. You can feel part of your ego fighting for dear life, trying to find all kinds of excuses and justifications. And that is entirely understandable when we live from the same patterns for years. It feels like there is no other way. But remember it’s not about pushing yourself away but about integration. Feeling safe and trusting that there always is a choice. The thing is, we can never change something if we don’t acknowledge it first.
And hey, we are in this together so please ask for help and support. This in and of itself can be filled with anxiety, but trust me if it makes you feel like that, support is a need you have to meet.