For many years, I lived a powerless life in denial of my core. Because I was not true to myself, I ended up carrying the weight of shame, guilt, fear and other heavy burdens around with me for many years. People throughout my formative years considered me a misfit. However, I know in my more innocent, less clouded years, I had a deep love and respect for myself.
In hindsight, my inner light was too bright for others, which made them uncomfortable. Because I wanted so badly to fit in and be liked, I dimmed my inner being so others felt comfortable around me. The problem with living this way is that eventually it lead me to resentment and victimhood.
Now that I understand the deeper dynamics of why this occurred, I have made a promise to myself to stand in my own power, in integrity with myself and shine my light like a beacon so I can help women like you do the same.
I am able to let go of my story. It helped me become who I am today. I thank it and release it. It has taught me, stretched me, battered me and created the space to become more of who I am supposed to be in this world. I no longer need to hang on to the negative patterns and beliefs. I no longer need guilt, shame, fear or the feeling of abandonment. Those emotions were needed to protect me in the past but not anymore. Now that I have found ME, and as I stand in my power and in courage for all women, I let go of the past to make room for my new story. I still remember it, but I know my story is not who I am.
As you know, kids can be cruel. In school my classmates thought I was weird or different. I remember wanting so badly to fit in. I was made fun of, no one would pick me to play on their teams, and others would laugh at me for hanging out with the “geeks” and underdogs. I was like the ugly duckling. I wanted to be the pretty girl who got to be the leader of the imaginary horse pack that led other girls around at recess in grade school. I wanted to be popular and attract the jocks in high school. I did find my place among the other misfits in school by joining the gymnastics team. I poured myself into my workouts and routines. This was my creative outlet where I could actually feel my own power.
Growing up with a sister who was beautiful, charming and popular challenged my self-esteem. I was simply known as her little sister. I hated being known as the goody-goody little sister. And as I grew to become my own, I was determined to not be the innocent “goody-goody” as I was always referred to. I finally broke through the stereotype others had for me.
This choice caused me to live out of integrity to myself for a long time. This circumstance is an important piece of the puzzle that has helped me figure out why this is my story.
When my mom (who was my best friend) died I was in my early 20s. She became very wise as she transitioned from a vibrant young woman into a still and peaceful being toward the end of her life. She taught me incredible lessons. She introduced me to healthy cooking, alternative medicine and she taught me about the importance of faith in a higher source called God. We both became students of metaphysics. I remember she used to take me to the local psychic fairs and her meditation circles. She taught me that I had options of choosing how to perceive life.
Through the 10 years of her illness she rediscovered herself and lived full-out. She shared with me how she had felt stuck and restricted prior to her diagnosis because she never honored herself. She was a devoted wife and mother. But at the end, what she taught me was to be strong and go for what I wanted in life. She taught me that anything is possible and to know that I can manifest what I want. Because I saw her get to this point in her life on her death bed, I thought it meant that once you had “the answer” or the secret to knowing yourself and being at peace then you were done with this life.
Every time I got close to being at peace and fully being me, I backed off in fear of impending death. In fact, I went so far outside of my core that during college and in my 20s, I lived like a rock star. Looks had always been important to me from my gawky stage but became even more important to me. I loved dressing up, feeling beautiful and being adored by others. The better you looked, the more attention you got. By day I was a student, and later a professional; by night I partied in limousines, private rooms in fancy clubs and high-class parties. I schmoozed among the celebrities, movie stars and band members. I loved the life of luxury; I enjoyed the excitement, but I hated not feeling myself.
I got married and had two beautiful children. I gained 60 pounds with my first child. I definitely looked different than I did pre-children. I noticed that I didn’t get cat-called when I walked downtown and I kind of liked it. I stayed heavy after my second child and couldn’t seem to get those last 20 pounds off.
My husband turned into an addict who was never there for us. I spent many nights when he would not come home wondering if he was dead or alive. I was so ashamed of my life! By day, a conservative professional and by night I lived a lie. I felt so bad that my children’s father wasn’t there for them and I felt if I could give them all the love I had it would help the healing for them.
I couldn’t imagine leaving my marriage. How could I make it on my own with two babies? When I got married, I made a promise “in sickness and health” and I didn’t believe I wasn’t the kind of person to give up or give in. (It seems all so ridiculous looking back because the obvious answer is LEAVE, RUN and never look back!). I was so embarrassed about my life that I constantly lied when people asked me how everything was.
Throughout this time in my life, I felt tremendous pain between the back of my shoulder blades. I knew the fear, anger and loneliness was bad for my health. I could feel it in my body! I feared for the safety of my children, myself and our future. I hated the way I was living, I hated who I had become and I knew something had to change!
One day I came across a journal that I wrote as an eleventh-grade English assignment. There were questions about what was important to me, what I wanted for my future life, who I was, what I loved and so on. As I read it, my emotions reeled and the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been living out of integrity of who I was for way too many years. I had lost me! I had lost the “me” that I loved and I’d lost my hopes and dreams. I had become someone I despised — someone in my wildest dreams I never would have liked. My life was a lie! By day, I faked a smile and told people everything was great. By night I was miserable, depressed and scared. I knew I had to get out. I literally felt that if I did not, I would end up like my mother who felt stuck — and died.
I was finally able to honor my intuition, which had been screaming at me for years. I stood in my personal power and took a huge step forward for me. I had the courage to gather support from friends and family who helped make it possible for me to move out of state and file for divorce.
That experience helped me remember the powerful woman I am. The process of being broken down, fragmented and then pieced back together wreaked havoc on my self-esteem and my whole being. It impacted my body, my mind and my heart.
As it turns out, that place where I felt pain every night was the same area where healers say you can enter your sacred chamber to your soul. My soul had been screaming to me to come home, but I didn’t get it. My body was giving me a warning sign, an alarm that I did not listen to. Because of the stress, my body became weakened and my health was impacted. I was overweight and had been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Arthritis and Peripheral Neuropathy.
What I know is that this is my story; it is not who I am. This story that I lived out in my past provided me lessons to stretch and grow. I had to go through this to become the fullest potential of who I am in this world. I was not a victim until I put myself into victimhood. Once I started living from my core, I felt my power and never looked back.
I do believe that my healthy diet, physical activity, love for mankind, faith and my determination has saved me. It is from this foundation, along with my education and experience that I know I can help others like me start to heal in their body and also their heart.
In the past I my doctors told me I was on my own and that my conditions would only get worse. I was not OK with that! So I kept searching for answers. My quest to heal has lead me to the discovery of cutting-edge research and therapies, as well as new relationships and collaboration with other professionals that think like I do. And as the light brightens on the planet and the consciousness of the masses rises there will be more discoveries because we are not satisfied with the status quo for our lives. More and more women are learning that there is hope.
I know that in order to heal, we first have to love who we are at our core. This is a process. It takes a balance of honoring our physical body and our being within. It’s necessary to have the foundation of health in place to then move into the exploration of inner work.
When you learn how to let go of heavy burdens from the past it will lighten your load and decrease the stress in your life. It’s necessary to re-discover your inner essence so you can live every day from the core of your being. When you live from your core, new opportunities open up and you will see that it is possible to have the peace and energy to do what you were born to do. From this place, together we can ultimately impact the world.