Years ago, I had heard conversations about ‘loving your authentic self’, and thought it sounded self-indulgent and frankly, weird.
I have since learned that authenticity is being true to yourself, who you really are (no masks to impress or please anyone), and once you find that (no easy task), the next step is to learn to love that version of yourself.
At a class years ago I quickly became aware that I had no idea who my authentic self was, let alone have any real love for myself. So sad looking back because I was surely loved, and was very accomplished in life. So what was missing? Why did my life seem to look great on the outside, yet I was filled with anxiety?
I remember trying to complete a seemingly simple exercise where the person opposite me would just listen and be a sounding board and repeat the same question to stimulate brainstorming.
The question was simple – ““what do you want?” The rules were to think of things you wanted, not for your family or others. “What do you want, what do you want..”… over and over the question was repeated lovingly for one minute.
The large room was buzzing with noisy excitement, and that filled me with even more panic, because I had no answer. The exercise seemed to go on for an eternity. I did not know what I wanted.
I hadn’t considered that question for a long time. How could that be?
For me, I had been thinking what I ‘should’ do, based on what I thought others wanted or needed of me. I very sadly, had not considered in a long while, what I wanted for MY life.
Even more so since becoming a Mom, I had categorized anything that I liked to do as selfish or not important. I was more focused on keeping others happy or having people like me (using my mask, if necessary). I was missing a big piece though. I was in a fog.
The things that make us uniquely us, our likes, our dreams, our pet peeves and quirks, I now believe are a road map to lead us to where we are supposed to be in life.
If we live authentically and listen carefully, our wants and desires will lead us to the right friends and partners, how we are supposed to contribute to the world and to whom we are supposed to support.
The impact we are to have in this world cannot be found if we are not listening to our authentic selves, or if we are wearing masks.
After more self-exploration and much more coaching, I began to get a sense of what was possible; and it woke me up from my fogged disconnection, my people pleasing and the ‘shoulds’ I had taken on. It gave me excited chills of possibility for my life!
Part of the process of getting to know ourselves, our authentic selves, is to treat ourselves well. To honor ourselves. Much like any relationship, it’s a process of mutual respect and learning, understanding and love.
Take a moment today, get ridiculously selfish for a moment…. create the space….. Who are you and what do you want?? How are you going to show yourself that you matter and that you are loved and appreciated by YOURSELF today?
You deserve it!
PS If any of this feels familiar, if it’s been a while since you focused on yourself enough to know what you want, check out “Know Yourself on a Soul Level”. It’s a free self work-book I created to get you pointed back in the right direction 🙂 It’s under the “Free Resources” section.